Generals overcome slow start to pick up fifth win
QUICKSBURG – Stonewall Jackson didn’t have its best game on Monday night, but the Generals still found a way to pick up their fifth win of the season.
The Generals overcame a slow start and pulled out a 42-37 non-district girls basketball victory over Rappahannock County.
“I think that we had our heads all over the place, obviously. We weren’t here in the gym focused on playing basketball, so I called a timeout to try to remedy that,” Stonewall Jackson coach Jeff Burner said. “We battled back. It was like we were running in mud all night. It was just one of those things.”
The Panthers took a quick 8-0 lead in the first five minutes of the game, including six points from Hannah Bennett.
After Burner’s timeout and some substitutions the Generals started to claw their way back in the game.
Sara Streett scored the team’s first three points, and a basket by Emily Ball cut the lead to 8-5 with 2:22 left in the opening period.
“I thought that when we came back with Sara (Streett) and Madison Long and Emily Ball and that little group, they really gave us a nice spark in the first quarter,” Burner said. “We were flat until they came in. So they battled and did some good things.”
Another basket by Streett, two free throws from Cheyanne Green and a basket by LuLu Funkhouser gave the Generals a 13-9 edge with 5:46 left in the second period.
Street had five points and four rebounds in the first half to spark the Generals.
“In the beginning we weren’t mentally there, and then someone had to step up,” Streett said. “So I came out there and played, and tried to be for my team. And it ended up helping us out in the long run.”
The Generals (5-2) trailed 18-14 early in the third period, but they used a 13-3 run to take a 27-21 lead with 2:05 left in the third period. Streett hit a 3-pointer and Emily Dodson scored inside twice against Rappahannock County’s 3-2 zone.
The Panthers came right back with five consecutive points to tie the game at 27 with 7:34 left in the contest.
Streett hit a free throw, and J.J. Dellinger hit a 3-pointer with 6:11 left to give the Generals a 31-27 edge.
Rappahannock County took the lead right back with a 3-pointer by Kelsey Parker, a basket by Bennett and a free throw from Julia Estes. The two teams went back and forth until Green gave the Generals a strong surge down the stretch.
Green scored five straight points, on a basket and a 3-pointer, to give the Generals a 39-37 lead with 2:15 left.
“I felt like since I was a senior I needed to be a role model for my other teammates that are younger than I am,” Green said of her scoring in the fourth period.
The Generals were able to play solid defense the rest of the way as they held the Panthers scoreless over the last three minutes of the game. Funkhouser, Green and Dodson each hit a free throw down the stretch to seal the win.
Stonewall Jackson finished 13-for-32 (40.6 percent) from the free-throw line for the game.
“All those chances to put it away and salt it away, and you kept blowing those,” Burner said of his team’s free-throw shooting. “Give Rapp credit, they kept battling back and making plays. But we were lucky enough to make enough at the end to pull it out.”
Bennett and Kayla Robey led the Panthers with 10 points each. Green had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Generals, while Streett had 10 points and six rebounds.
The Generals won only three games in the last two seasons combined and now have five this year with a young squad.
“It’s a feeling you can’t really describe,” Streett said of the Generals’ success. “Being a young team and playing difficult teams it definitely feels really good.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org