Stonewall Jackson musters little offense in loss
QUICKSBURG — Two difficult quarters helped spell the difference Friday night as Stonewall Jackson fell to Page County, 47-23, in a Shenandoah District, Region 2A East Conference 35 girls basketball game.
The Generals, who a week ago knocked off district rival Riverheads 40-25 on their home court, could pick up but two and four points in the first and third quarters respectively, and watched as the Panthers put on a 20-7 streak to clinch the victory.
Stonewall is 2-7 overall, 1-4 in the district. Page improved to 7-6, 3-4, winning for the first time in four games.
“Well, we held them for what? No points for the longest time in the first quarter — the problem was we weren’t making any shots,” Generals coach Jeff Burner said. “Last year, we didn’t win a game. The problem then was, we couldn’t get any shots. We got shots tonight, they just didn’t go in.”
For the second game, the Generals stumbled out of the gate. In a 55-21 loss to Luray on the road earlier in the week, Stonewall Jackson came up with just four points in the first half.
Page County, a team that dominated Luray 62-44 earlier in the season, went up on Stonewall Jackson 12-2 in Friday’s game and held a 27-12 advantage at halftime.
“The fact of the matter is, Page is another good team in a strong district,” Burner said.
Neither team could find the range in the first period. In total, the two squads produced seven turnovers before the Panthers’ Laney Corbin, a 6-foot center who attends Burner’s summer camps, knocked in a follow-up. Tiffany Kibler, who enjoyed a game-high 16 points, snared a pair of free throws for the early lead.
Reserve Jessica Pechie grabbed Stonewall’s first points next, but those would be the only points for the Generals until early in the second period.
By then, the visiting Panthers had opened up a 17-2 advantage on a 3-pointer by Brooke Williams.
Burner likes to platoon his lineup because, he has said, many of his squad are on the same level, skill-wise. Also, he is building for the future.
“Right now, we have to look at the big picture,” Burner said. “It’s not about one girl, or two girls, but the team as a whole. The only way we’re going to get better is to play as many girls as we can.”
Starter Cheyenne Crigger knocked in the second Stonewall Jackson field goal of the night, right after Williams secured her 3-pointer.
But at 17-4, the Panthers ran off six straight tallies to take a 23-4 lead with 4:44 showing.
The Generals showed some guile from that point into the third period.
Jordan and Cheyanne Green dropped in a free throw apiece, until Hannah Henry dropped another 3-point bomb for Page’s 26-6 lead at the 2:27 mark.
After a Page County free throw expanded the visitors’ cushion to 27-8 at 1:33, Stonewall kept coming.
Sara Streett and Madison Long both scored. The Generals had outscored their opponent 8-4 and trailed by 15 at the break.
The charged-up Generals kept coming into the third period. Seniors Jayme Kokkonen and Jordan both nailed baskets, and suddenly, it was 27-16 inside a minute of the frame.
“I have to give us credit there,” said Jordan. “It could have been a lot worse.”
Stonewall had put up four straight points to open the half and outscored Page 12-4, counting its late work of the third quarter.
But, just as quickly, Page County sprinted back. Hanna Price stroked a free throw, Kara Comer connected twice from the free-throw line, Williams hit a jump shot and Henry added two more.
A 10-0 run gave the Panthers a 37-16 lead the Generals failed to challenge.
After scoring single digits in the opening quarter, Stonewall could must but four points in the third frame.
“We’re just struggling to score right now. It seemed to me we missed a lot of great looks,” Burner said. “Jayme [Kokkonen] got her third foul in there and that didn’t help either.”