Strasburg-Central rivalry highlights busy week

First-year Central head coach Jeff Whittle talks to his team during a timeout against George Mason on Dec. 15. Central hosts Strasburg on Thursday. Whittle is a Strasburg graduate. Rich Cooley/Daily file

One of the biggest rivalries in the area will take center stage in another busy week of high school sports action.

Shenandoah County rivals Central and Strasburg play in both boys and girls basketball this week.

The boys game is on Thursday at Central with the girls game Friday at Strasburg. Start time is 7:30 p.m. for both varsity games.

The two boys basketball programs are in a rebuilding season.

The Falcons are 3-7 and have won three of their last five games. First-year Central coach Jeff Whittle will be coaching against Strasburg for the first time. The Strasburg graduate was a standout player for the Rams in late 1990s.

The Rams are 1-10, but have lost four games this season by 8 points or less. Strasburg also hosts Warren County on Tuesday, while Central plays at William Monroe on Tuesday.

Central’s girls basketball team is 7-4, while Strasburg is 4-7. Both Central and Strasburg are in Conference 35, which makes the games even more meaningful.

Strasburg’s girls basketball team has three games this week, including a game at Warren County on Wednesday. Strasburg girls basketball coach Darin Jenkins said that it’s a big week for his team, who have been struggling on the offensive end lately. Jenkins said that his team just needs one solid win to help turn things around.

“I told them there’s going to be that one game similar to what the Page County game did for us earlier in the year to give us a little confidence, give us a little momentum and build off of it,” Jenkins said. “Until then we got to come to practice every day, and I told them each girl has got to pick one thing every day you got to try to get better at. And we just got to stay together, keeps our heads up and keep working.”

Central’s girls basketball team also has a big game on Wednesday as it hosts William Monroe. The Dragons are led by 6-foot-3 Samantha Brunelle, ESPN’s top-rated sophomore girls basketball player in the country. Last year the Falcons and Dragons split their regular season meetings and finished tied for first in the Bull Run District

Girls basketball

Stonewall Jackson also has two key games this week. The Generals host Riverheads on Tuesday and play at Luray on Friday. Both games are Shenandoah District and Conference 44 contests.

Sherando hosts Skyline on Tuesday in a Northwestern District game. Sherando is coming off an impressive 51-48 over previously undefeated Millbrook. Sherando girls basketball coach Mike Marsh said he’s happy with how his 9-3 team is playing right now.

“We have some more work to do, but were getting there,” Marsh said. “We’re playing better. It’s the middle of the season, and we’re playing like middle of the season basketball right now.”

Boys basketball

Sherando hosts Skyline on Tuesday in a match-up of two area teams.

Stonewall Jackson travels to Riverheads on Tuesday and hosts Luray on Friday in two district and conference contests.

Wrestling

Strasburg will host Warren County, Madison County and Brentsville in a quad meet on Wednesday to highlight a big week of wrestling action.

Skyline travels to Handley for a Northwestern District dual on Tuesday, and Sherando hosts Millbrook in a Conference 21 West dual on Wednesday.

Warren County and Skyline will compete in the Handley Invitational on Saturday, while Randolph-Macon Academy will participate in Massanutten Millitary Academy’s tournament on Saturday.

Strasburg will wrestle in the Virginia Duals at the Hampton Coliseum on Friday and Saturday. Sherando will compete in a tournament at Freedom on Saturday.

Swimming

Strasburg will swim at Bridgewater College on Friday against Turner Ashby and Monticello.

Sherando will host Broadway, Harrisonburg, Hedgesville and James Wood on Saturday.

Central and Stonewall Jackson, along with Madison County and George Mason will participate in a meet at the Manassas Park Community Center on Saturday.

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

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