Free throws propel Generals past Rams
STRASBURG – With Stonewall Jackson clinging to a lead late in the game the free throw line proved pivotal on Thursday night.
The Generals made enough down the stretch to hold off Strasburg for a 38-32 non-district girls basketball victory.
“The key is we’re getting there so much,” Stonewall Jackson coach Jeff Burner said. “Trust me I’d love to see us make some more, but we’re definitely being aggressive and getting there and that’s what’s nice.”
The Generals went 7-for-15 from the line in the last five minutes of the game, which was enough to protect their lead.
Stonewall Jackson sophomore gave the Generals a cushion when she followed up her own missed shot, grabbed the rebound and then drilled a 3-pointer from the corner for a 29-25 edge with 5:11 left in the game.
“I knew I missed that shot. I had to get it, because if they get it they’re going back down the court,” Dellinger said. “So I had to get it and come back out. No one was on me, so I just shot it. If no one’s on me I’m going to shoot.”
A free throw by Stonewall Jackson sophomore LuLu Funkhouser extended the lead to 30-25, but the Rams rallied back.
Strasburg junior Haley Bischoff scored on back-to-back baskets to cut the lead to 30-29 with 3:24 left. Dellinger answered with a layup, and Strasburg senior Kelsey Jenkins hit a layup of her own to cut the lead to 32-31 with 2:52 remaining.
Dellinger and Strasburg freshman Debra Dillman each hit a free throw, before the Generals closed the game with five free throws.
Stonewall Jackson senior Cheyanne Green hit three in three trips to the line, and Funkhouser hit two with 16 seconds left to seal the game.
“I’ve been working on my free throws,” Green said. “They were pretty bad towards the beginning of the season, and they’re getting better, which I’m really happy about.”
The Rams were 8-for-27 (29.6 percent) from the free-throw line for the game.
“I told them in the fourth quarter and at halftime what this game was going to come down to was free throws. That’s just the way it was going,” Strasburg coach Darin Jenkins said. “Essentially, that’s what it was. They hit theirs and we didn’t hit ours.”
The Generals finished 11-for-27 (40.7 percent) from the free-throw line.
Both coaches said they were pleased with their defensive effort throughout the game. Kelsey Jenkins led the Rams with 11 points. Carey Scott had nine points and seven rebounds, and Bischoff had eight points and 11 rebounds for the Rams.
Strasburg is still searching for its first win of the year, but Darin Jenkins said he’s confident his young squad will see the results of their hard work soon.
“I told the girls next week we start district play, and that’s when it matters,” Darin Jenkins said. “So hopefully we can learn from these losses, and I know we will. The girls are working hard, coming to practice every day, putting in a good effort. It will pay off for us in the long run.”
Dellinger had 11 points to lead the Generals. Ball had six points, and Funkhouser had four points and seven rebounds.
The Generals have already won four games this season, more than the last two seasons combined.
“It feels really good to actually win all these games,” Green said. “I feel like we can accomplish a lot this season.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org