Pumphrey sparks Central girls

Central's Brooklyn Pumphrey is fouled as she goes up between Strasburg's Kelsey Jenkins, left, and Olivia Gochenour, right, during second half girls basketball action Tuesday night in Strasburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG — In a tight game in the third period, Central’s Brooklyn Pumphrey realized she needed to step up.

Pumphrey led the way in a huge spurt to end the third period en route to a 44-28 victory over Strasburg in Bull Run District girls basketball action Tuesday.

“It was pretty close, and I felt like I needed to try and score,” Pumphrey said. “I realized that the middle was open. My teammates passed it to me, which was a lot of help because without them I wouldn’t have been able to go to the line so many times.”

The Falcons led 20-16 midway through the third period. Pumphrey scored five points during an 11-2 run to end the period.

Pumphrey made a free throw, and drained a 3-pointer to held extend the lead to 24-16 with 3:27 left in the third period.

Strasburg's Carey Scott maneuvers through the lane to shoot over Central's Brooke Sager during first half girls basketball action Tuesday night in Strasburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

“She was taking it to the hoop,” Central coach Mallory Skarupa said. “She was being aggressive and she really started that [Monday night against Clarke County] and it carried over to [Tuesday]. Stepping up and realizing, ‘Hey, somebody’s got to score, might as well be me.'”

A Kelsey Jenkins jumper cut the lead to 25-18 with 1:18 left in the third period, but a free throw each by Pumphrey and Fields and a basket by Ayanna Strother helped the Falcons build the lead to 13.

Central (15-6, 11-4 Bull Run) had at least a 12-point lead throughout the fourth period. Central also played most of the game without top scorer Tamra Scott due to foul trouble.

Pumphrey said it’s always nice to play against a rival like Strasburg.

“It’s definitely my favorite game, because [Strasburg student section] ‘The Mountain’ go crazy,” Pumphrey said. “Our fans, they get into the game as well. So it’s not only us who are into the game, it’s also our fans. All of us really came to the game today wanting to win. It’s definitely the best game this year.”

Strasburg's Haley Bischoff, back, and Central's Tamra Scott reach for a loose ball during first half girls basketball action Tuesday night in Strasburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

Neither team shot the ball well, from the floor or the free-throw line. Central led the entire way, and raced out to a 9-3 lead, sparked by seven early points from Strother.

The Falcons led 13-7 at the end of the first period, and each team scored five points in the second period.

“We were getting decent looks and decent shots, but we weren’t being aggressive,” Skarupa said.

“We weren’t very good,” Strasburg coach Joel Morgan said. “We turned the ball over a bunch, fouled like crazy, couldn’t shoot free throws. We didn’t do much out there. I thought defensively we played pretty good. We did some decent things there, but that wasn’t as good the second half either.”

Morgan said part of the problem for the Rams in the second half defensively was his team got into some foul trouble.

Central's Brooke Sager beats Strasburg's Rachel Harriman to the basket during a fast break during girls basketball action Tuesday night in Strasburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

Jenkins led the way with 10 points and two rebounds, while Rachel Harriman had two points and seven rebounds for Strasburg.

The Rams (12-9, 7-8 Bull Run) are in the middle of a tough stretch to end the season, playing the top three teams in the district in their last four games.

“This is a tough stretch, and we’ll see what our kids are made out of,” Morgan said. “My hope is that maybe playing some of these tough games down the stretch, maybe they’ll get us more prepared, even though we’ve lost these games, maybe that will get us more prepared than playing Manassas Park or somebody like that down the stretch.”

Pumphrey had 11 points, eight rebounds and three steals, and Fields and Strother had 11 points each for the Falcons. Scott had 10 points and seven rebounds for Central.

“I think we’re doing as well as I thought we would do,” Pumphrey said. “We just need to come back on Thursday and really show William Monroe what we’re doing.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com

Central's Ayanna Strother drives baseline to throw a pass while Strasburg's Kerigan Jenkins defends during girls basketball action Tuesday night in Strasburg. Rich Cooley/Daily