East Rockingham ends Strasburg’s season in regionals

ELKTON — It didn’t take East Rockingham long to make a statement on Friday night.

The Eagles took control early in the game and cruised to a 67-19 victory over Strasburg in the girls Region 2A East tournament first round.

“We all knew what kind of challenge it was going to be,” Strasburg coach Darin Jenkins said. “That’s probably the best team we’ve faced all year. We knew it coming in. We knew we was going to have to play our best and have about every shot we took fall and them catch some bad breaks for us to even have a chance.”

East Rockingham’s Madison Shifflett hit a 3-pointer in the first minute. It was a sign of things to come. The Eagles hit 6 of their first 10 3-pointers in the game.

East Rockingham (23-2) built a 13-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game.

Strasburg (7-18) responded with back-to-back-baskets by Camerin Alsberry and Christyan Reid with 2:42 left in the opening period.

The Eagles put the game out of reach with a 21-0 run that stretched into the second period.

The Eagles hit four 3-pointers during the run.

The Rams missed eight straight shots during the stretch and had eight turnovers.

Jenkins said he was proud of his team for giving a good effort throughout the game despite the score.

Lexi Dean had 19 points to lead the Eagles. Natalie Jenkins and Shifflett had 12 points each for East Rockingham.

The Eagles will host Brunswick on Tuesday in the Region 2A East quarterfinals for a berth in the state tournament.

Reid led the Rams with 10 points. Strasburg’s lone senior, Haley Bischoff, had three points, seven rebounds and five steals.

“I just told Haley with the team is that the thing I’m most proud about with Haley is she showed our younger girls how to compete and how to battle,” Jenkins said. “Haley’s not always the most skilled person on the court every night, but I would say there’s no one out there that’s going to give you more of an effort than Haley. That’s something for her to be proud of.”

Jenkins said he saw some real growth in his young squad this season.

“I think there’s a lot of them that really got better from day 1,” Jenkins said. “We had some injuries along the way that didn’t help. I’m sure every team has those. But the future’s bright for Strasburg basketball. We got a lot of young girls that are coming up that if they continue to work, I think there’s brighter days ahead.”

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