Rams hold off Mountaineers for key district win

Christyan Reid

STRASBURG — It was a tale of two halves for Strasburg on Tuesday night.

The Rams saw a double-digit lead start to slip away in the second half, but held on for a 44-36 Bull Run District girls basketball victory over Madison County. The win moves the Rams into sole possession of third place in the district.

“I feel like we did really, really well the first half,” Strasburg junior Daniella Henry said. “The second half we let up a little bit. So we just need to make sure we crack down on that in the fourth quarter and keep our lead.”

The Rams built an 11-5 lead after the first period, but really took charge of the game in the second period.

Strasburg 6-foot-4 sophomore center Christyan Reid scored 14 of her game-high 19 points in the second period.

Daniella Henry

“I think the first quarter I definitely wasn’t playing as hard as I should have,” Reid said. “But the the second quarter I gave it a 100 percent, and I played hard and I scored a lot.”

The Rams (12-8, 5-3 Bull Run) were continually able to find Reid in the post as she made seven straight baskets. Henry added a basket of her own and the Rams took a commanding 27-7 lead with 1:50 left in the first half.

“I thought in the first half that we played probably one of our best halves all year,” Strasburg coach Darin Jenkins said. “I thought we found the open girl, hit the shot, took care of the basketball, ran our offense, played good defense, boxed out. I had no complaints in the first half.”

The Rams shot 51.9 percent (14-for-27) from the field in the first half. Madison County shot only 12 percent (3-for-25) from the field in the opening half.

Reid made two free throws to start the second half to stretch the lead to 32-11, but then things quickly changed.

Strasburg began turning the ball over possession after possession against Madison County’s full-court press and the Mountaineers chipped away at the lead.

“I guess our youth showed up,” Jenkins said. “They start putting a little more pressure on us. You look out there and it didn’t look like anybody wanted the basketball. It looked like if you had the basketball, it looked like it was a hot potato. As fast as you could get rid of it you was going to. And it was just turnover after turnover after turnover.”

It didn’t help the Rams that Reid and Jaden Alsberry each got into foul trouble midway through the third period and had to sit the second half of the quarter.

Strasburg turned the ball over 16 times in the second half.

Alsberry scored a basket with 5:08 left in the third period and the Rams wouldn’t make another shot for the next 10 minutes and 54 seconds.

The Mountaineers (9-10, 4-4 Bull Run) used a 13-2 run to cut the lead to 36-34 with three minutes left.

Reid made a free throw to extend the lead to 37-34. She missed the second free throw and Henry got the rebound and put it back in the basket for a 39-34 edge with 2:02 left in the game.

“Daniella (Henry) always seems like she puts herself in good position under the basket,” Jenkins said. “She always gets good position, and she understands the game really well. She’s not the quickest person out there, but she’s got the heighth. And she does a lot of good things for us.”

The 6-foot-3 Henry scored on a putback on Strasburg’s next possession to give the Rams a 41-36 lead, and three free throws by Maddie Smallwood helped seal the win.

Reid had 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Henry finished with 8 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks, and Alsberry had 9 points and 8 rebounds.

Henry said she thinks the Rams can build on the win for the final games of the season.

“I feel like we have a lot of potential,” Henry said. “We just need to make sure we pull through and work as hard as we can in the next few games.”