Strasburg thrives on 3-point shooting

WILLIAMSBURG — One of Strasburg’s biggest strengths all season has been 3-point shooting, and on Tuesday night it helped the Rams move within a game of the state tournament.

The Rams hit 10 3-pointers in their Region 2A East quarterfinal victory over Bruton.

“When we shoot it well from 3, we can stay in games and it can get us back into games,” Strasburg boys basketball coach Matt Hiserman said. “It can counteract some people’s runs and that’s what we were able to do tonight. Our kids don’t ever stop shooting, and they don’t ever stop believing it’s going in.”

The Rams not only hit a lot of 3-pointers against Bruton, but they also hit them at key times.

There was none bigger than Noah St. Clair’s with 16 seconds left in the game to tie it at 44-44.

“That [play] was originally for [Tyler Brill] and [Brill] couldn’t get open, and it came to me,” St. Clair said. “I was feeling it, so I just let it go. I think that was one of the best shots I ever felt.”

Bruton probably considered St. Clair an unlikely suspect from 3-point range as he had made only two all season, and he usually doesn’t take many from outside. He also hit one in the second period, which gave the Rams a lead right before the half.

St. Clair said that he’s been working on his shot a lot lately and it felt good on Tuesday.

“In warm-ups my shot was coming around. It felt better,” St. Clair said. “The past week in practice I’ve spent a lot of time working on shooting and it’s felt better.”

The big spark from outside on Tuesday came from sophomore Tyler Fincham, who hit five 3-pointers. The last of his 3-pointers came with 4:54 left in the fourth period to give Strasburg a lead.

“I hit a couple in the beginning and then they just kept on going in, so I kept on shooting and I was confident,” Fincham said.

Brill also hit two 3-pointers for the Rams. Strasburg entered the game shooting around 35 percent from 3-point range and went 10-for-25 (40 percent) against the Panthers.

Hiserman said he’s pretty sure the Rams have set a school record for 3-pointers in a season. It also helped a lot that so many different players can hit 3-pointers.

“Everybody on the team can shoot the 3-ball,” St. Clair said. “Our whole starting five can shoot it. We’ve got guys that can come off the bench, that can still shoot the ball. It’s nice to have people that can step up every night and keep shooting the ball and firing away, especially in big games like tonight.”

Hiserman said that he doesn’t mind the players shooting from outside as much as they do. Knowing that he has faith in them also gives the players confidence to fire away from outside.

“It helps a lot knowing that he has the confidence in us, knowing that if we miss a couple shots he doesn’t get mad at us,” Fincham said. “He doesn’t get down on us. He tells us to keep shooting, because he knows we’re good shooters, and we’ll get them to fall.

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