Luray thwarts Hawks’ comeback

STRASBURG — Luray big man Josh Good was a free-throw machine, but it was an unassuming junior who filled the hero’s roll Tuesday night as the Bulldogs thwarted Skyline’s comeback attempt for a 58-53 victory in the annual Ram Hardwood Classic at Strasburg High School.

The Bulldogs (3-6) will face Strasburg in the championship game at 7:30 tonight. The Rams beat East Hardy in the second game of the night.

A 6-foot-7 senior, Good positioned himself around the rim for much of the night and scored a tournament high of 37 points, yet it was junior Boo Dean who supplied the push.

It was Dean whose 3-pointer tied the game at 53 with 1:30 left, after the Bulldogs had built a 19-2 first-half lead.

After the triple, a teammate made a steal but blew the resultant layup. It was Dean (4 points) who made the rebound. He collected one of two shots at the line to give his team a 54-53 advantage.

Luray hit free throws to win out.

“I usually don’t take a lot of shots but look for the other guys to take them,” said Dean.

Dean’s heroics came after Good scored nine field goals and collected 13 of 21 free throws.

“He is pretty much a machine in there. This was probably his best game of the year. He kept his concentration and he doesn’t always do that,” said first-year Luray coach Tyler Cassett.
The important play of Good and Dean overshadowed a magnanimous comeback for the Hawks (3-4).

Trailing by 17 early in the second quarter, they outscored the Bulldogs 51-39 the rest of the way. That included outscoring Luray 22-15 in the second quarter and 17-11 in the third quarter.

“We tried, but we couldn’t get all the way back. I think it says something about our togetherness as a team to come back the way we did,” said Hawks senior guard Evan Lester.

At one point the Hawks may have wondered if they were going to score. They finally did with 1:52 left in the first quarter, but by then they were trailing 13-2.

Luray extended that lead to 19-2 when the Hawks soared. Skyline coach Jeff Monroe had intermittently subbed two different fives into the game. On included sophomore guard Smith.

The sophomore scored 10 of Skyline’s 22 second-quarter points. Those latter tallies secured a differential of seven scores against Luray to make it 32-24 Bulldogs after one

After turning the ball over eight times in the first quarter the squad from Front Royal gave it up just three times in the second quarter.

In the first quarter, Luray turned five of those turnovers into 12 points.

Skyline outscored its foe 10-0 ut of the halftime intermission to take a 34-32 lead with 5:24 showing in the third quarter. That advantage was the Hawks’ first of the game.

Afterward, there were four lead changes and four ties.

The final knotting came when Dean hit his triple.

Sophomore lefty Smith led the Hawks with 22 points on nine field goals, including four 3-point shots. TrayQuan Diamond added 13 points and Brandon Wells had 10.