Falcons rally past Eagles

WOODSTOCK – Central has been a better second half team most of the season, and on Thursday night that proved to be the case in a big way.

The Falcons overcame a double-digit deficit in the second period and rallied for a 63-43 win over Clarke County in Bull Run District girls basketball action.

“I definitely think that some days we’re more of a second half team, which I know after regular season is over is going to bite us in the butt,” Central junior Tamra Scott said. “Coming out in the second half something just triggers in us, but I wish it would trigger in the first half.”

One thing that helped trigger Central’s run in the second half against Clarke County was a halftime talk from head coach Bryan Scott.

He said that sometimes the players need a pep talk.

“I don’t like to yell all the time, but sometimes the girls get really motivated,” Bryan Scott said. “I kind of raised my voice at halftime. That wasn’t Central girls basketball in the first half.”

The Falcons trailed 32-20 with 2:14 left in the second period. Central closed the first half with a 7-0 run.

Meredith Phillips scored five during the spurt, including a 3-pointer from well outside the 3-point line with three seconds left in the half.

“Meredith’s 3-pointer there was a big shot for us,” Bryan Scott said.

The Falcons (14-1, 8-1 Bull Run) kept the momentum going the entire second half. They stretched the run into a 20-0 run, as they scored the first 13 points of the third period.

They were able to create turnovers with their defense and score easy baskets at the other end to take a 40-32 lead 3:51 left in the third period.

“I told the girls just now that second half was probably the best half of basketball we’ve played all year,” Bryan Scott said. “When we do that we’re pretty good. That was probably the best defensive, best rebounding, best offensive half. We started sharing that ball. … When we don’t play so much individual basketball and we start playing team basketball – we’re pretty good.”

The Eagles made only three field goals the entire second half, and turned the ball over 15 times.

“We’re definitely a defensive team, because that’s what wins us our games,” Tamra Scott said. “I’d say we’re pretty solid on defense. That helps a lot. The first half (of) our defense was kind of sloppy – here and there – fouls every where. That’s what kept them in the game was free throws. I think the second half we really sat down, moved our feet, and used our hands and it really worked.”

Clarke County was led by Hannah Ravenscroft with 10 points.

Ayanna Strother led the Falcons with 19 points and four steals, and Tamra Scott had 18 points and 14 rebounds. Phillips had 11 points and five rebounds, Cianne Fields had 10 points, and Brooklyn Pumphrey had four points and five rebounds for the Falcons.

The Falcons have won nine games in a row, including a win over George Mason on Tuesday. The win avenged the Falcons’ only loss of the season, and moved them into a tie for first place with the Mustangs in the district.

“Definitely, beating George Mason, especially at George Mason was an awesome feeling,” Tamra Scott said. “It definitely sets us where we want to be as a team – tied for first in our district. It feels good.”

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