Generals waste big effort by Somers in loss
QUICKSBURG — Stonewall Jackson’s boys basketball team let a 20-point performance by Kory Somers and a decent fourth-quarter of defense go by the wayside Tuesday when Riverheads polished off the Generals, 47-37, in Shenandoah District play.
Somers, a senior, connected on nine field goals and both free throws and his teammates held the Gladiators to just four points in the last eight minutes, yet still picked up their 15th defeat against one victory. Stonewall has the lone district victory against nine losses.
Meanwhile, Riverheads improved to 10-10 overall and 5-7 in the Shenandoah.
“I’ll tell you what the problem was tonight, we only had two guys looking to score. Kory has been the key for us all year and we’ve been able to count on him,” said Stonewall Jackson coach Patrick Smoot. “But one guy, or two guys, can’t do it for us. We don’t have a guy who’s going to get us 28 points, so we all have to pull through.”
Somers’ total led both teams. He also reaped six rebounds. He was followed by Nathan Miller’s nine tallies. The rest of the Generals combined for the remaining eight points.
Riverheads was coming off a losing string to Page County, East Rockingham and William Monroe recently and was searching for a victory. The Gladiators swept the series with Stonewall for the year.
As good as Somers was, the Gladiators saw him by two players. Senior Kendall Casto totaled 18 points and eight rebounds. Zach Roberts added 11.
“[Casto’s] a good athlete and does a lot of things for us,” said Riverheads coach Chad Coffey.
Casto hit five field goals, including three 3-pointers, and Roberts notched three field goals, including one from beyond the 3-point line.
Those 3s and the Gladiators’ ability at the free-throw line up them to a 30-14 halftime lead. Leading 12-8 with 1:37 remaining in the first quarter, the visitors outscored their hosts 18-6 to the half and the 16-point difference.
For the game, Riverheads hoisted in five 3-pointers and went 13-for-13 at the free-throw line.
Riverheads led by 18 with 3:55 to go in the game when Stonewall scored the final eight points to set the final 10-point spread.
“Yes, I was happy with that,” Smoot said. “We didn’t quit.”
Two big reasons why Riverheads led 43-27 at the end of the quarters were the 3s and its dominance on the boards.
Riverheads outrebounded Stonewall 14-4 through three quarters. For the game, the Gladiators owned the glass, 21-10.
“Their rebounding really got to us,” Smoot said. Because of the boards, Riverheads held several lengthy offensive possessions in the second half, though they might not have fetched a field goal.
“One time, I know they got something like four straight rebounds,” Smoot said.
Smoot said it was no time to dwell on the loss.
“The thing about basketball is that you’ve got another game. We’ll keep working to win and, then, try to keep this team together for next year,” Smoot said.
Stonewall Jackson includes three seniors and five sophomores on its roster. Riverheads had four fourth-year players at its disposal and three juniors.