Generals defeat Panthers to advance to regional semifinals
QUICKSBURG — Stonewall Jackson overcame a poor free-throw shooting performance and moved within one victory of a state tournament berth Monday night.
The second-seeded Generals knocked off No. 7 seed Rappahannock County, 47-37, in the Region 1B girls basketball tournament quarterfinals on Monday. It was Stonewall Jackson’s first regional girls basketball victory since 2012.
“It definitely wasn’t our best game,” Stonewall Jackson senior Sara Streett said. “We had moments on offense and defense. We’ve never really been an offensive team. We’ve been a defensive team, but we definitely put up some points tonight, which helped. And our free throws were awful.”
The Generals, who never trailed in the game were 11-for-29 (37.9 percent) from the free-throw line.
Stonewall Jackson (11-13) led 19-16 at the half, but quickly built its lead in the third period.
LuLu Funkhouser and Emily Dodson combined for 10 straight points to help give the Generals a 29-19 lead with 3:25 left in the third quarter.
Dodson, who had a game-high 15 points, said that a few weeks ago she was out with the flu, and this was the best she has played since then.
“I feel like I’m back to normal, playing the way I usually do,” Dodson said.
The Generals led 32-23 after three periods, and stretched the lead to 38-23 on baskets by Dodson and Kylene Franklin and two free throws from Streett.
Stonewall Jackson maintained at least a nine-point lead the rest of the way.
Stonewall Jackson coach Jeff Burner said his message at halftime was simply that his team needed to play better.
“At halftime we just wanted to be aggressive on offense and keep attacking — that was the biggest thing,” Burner said. “I felt like in the second quarter we didn’t do that — the whole second quarter. We sort of got complacent a little bit.”
The Generals stormed out to a 14-3 lead in the first period. Streett led the Generals with five points during the run.
The Panthers (1-22) scored the last five points of the opening period to cut the lead to 14-8.
Stonewall Jackson’s J.J. Dellinger scored a conventional three-point play to stretch the lead to 17-8 with 6:33 left in the first half. It would be the Generals last basket for the next 6 minutes and 57 seconds.
The Panthers used an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to 19-16 at the half.
Dellinger had 10 points and Streett had 9 points for the Generals.
It was Stonewall Jackson’s third victory over Rappahannock County this season.
The Generals host Shenandoah District rival and No. 3 seed Riverheads on Wednesday in the regional semifinals. The winner advances to the Class 1 state tournament. Stonewall Jackson and Riverheads split their two regular-season meetings.
Burner said he was very happy for his six seniors on the squad.
“To think about this group of kids, when they were freshmen won three games and to now be one game away from playing in the state tournament is a pretty nice accomplishment for them,” Burner said. “I’m very proud of them for getting better and better and better.”