Strasburg-Central game highlights busy week

Strasburg's Tyler Brill makes a pass to teammate Tyler Fincham while Clarke County's Michael Dietz defends during their game last week in Strasburg. The Rams host Central on Thursday to highlight a busy week of high school sports. Rich Cooley/Daily

There are plenty of big games on tap this week in local high school and college action, and the Central at Strasburg boys basketball game on Thursday is certainly toward the top of that list.

The Central-Strasburg rivalry has always been a big one, but this year there’s even more at stake than usual. Central is back down in at the Group 2A level. The two teams are in the same district and the same conference.

Currently the two teams are battling for third place in the conference, and the top four advance to regionals. The top three seeds get an automatic region berth, while the fourth seed will have to win a play-in game against the fifth seed.

“Right now us and Central are kind of fighting for that third spot,” Strasburg boys basketball coach Matt Hiserman said.

“I think that’s huge. I think it brings back the old levels of when the district tournaments, when two people went from the district tournament to the regional. Like that, when you’re in the same district together. It brings back more of that rivalry part where it’s not just a regular season rivalry, like when they were (Group) 3A the last few years. So I think that part of it is huge.”

Central's Varsey Bright runs into East Rockingham's Trenton Breeden during their game last week in Woodstock. The Falcons play at Strasburg on Thursday in district and conference play. Rich Cooley/Daily

The Rams enter the week at 7-5, but are 1-2 in the conference. The Falcons have the exact same record.

“I’m expecting a lot of points, a lot of 3’s, a lot of guard play,” Central boys basketball coach Brandon Shields said. “We’re very similar in a lot of ways. …It’s an intersting match-up for sure. We’re hoping there’s going to be a lot of people there. We’re hoping we can put out a good product on the floor.”

Strasburg and Central will each have tough games before playing each other. The Rams play at Warren County (4-9), and the Falcons host William Monroe (8-3) on Tuesday.

It’s also a week of local teams playing each other throughout the area. Skyline plays at Sherando in both boys and girls basketball on Tuesday. The Warriors are coming off a tough 10-point loss to Millbrook on Friday in boys basketball.

Stonewall Jackson’s boys and girls basketball teams each have two big Shenandoah District and Conference 44 games with Riverheads (Monday) and Luray (Friday).

Another rivalry will be renewed on Friday as Strasburg (5-8) travels to Central (10-1) for a girls basketball game. The Falcons also have a big game on Wednesday as they play at William Monroe (8-3). The two teams are tied for second right now in the Bull Run District. Strasburg hosts Warren County (6-7) on Wednesday. The Wildcats swept two close games last year.

There are also some big wrestling meets this week. Warren County hosts Strasburg and William Monroe on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The Rams and Wildcats are two of the top teams in the district, and have had some really close matches the last few years.

Sherando’s wrestling squad will travel to take on rival Millbrook on Wednesday at 6 p.m., while Skyline will host Handley at the same time.

On Saturday, Strasburg’s wrestling team will participate in the Handley Invitational, starting at 9 a.m. Skyline will wrestle in the Christiansburg Invitational, starting at 9 a.m.

In college sports, James Madison University’s men’s basketball team plays at Northeastern on Thursday at 7 p.m. Northeastern is undefeated and in first place in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Dukes (12-5) are 2-2 in CAA play.

Shenandoah’s men’s basketball team plays at Guilford next Saturday at 2 p.m. Guilford is tied for third in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, while the Hornets are 3-10 overall.

The Shenandoah women’s basketball team will play at Guilford on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Guilford is undefeated in the ODAC at 4-0. Shenandoah (4-9) is coming off its first ODAC win of the season in women’s basketball.

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