WOODSTOCK - In a warped, twisted sort of way, the girls basketball game between Strasburg and Central on Friday night was basketball in its basest, most elemental form. It was basketball without rules. Basketball without forethought and without hindsight.
STRASBURG - Madison County can score inside and out. It can use its vast experience to wear down teams. The Mountaineers don't lose much when they go to their bench, and a reserve led them in scoring Friday night.
STRASBURG -- The Strasburg gymnasium was thick with all of it: Desperation. Desire. Passion. Yearning. All of it. And the exhaustion from it all dyed red the faces of Warren County and Strasburg players alike.
In a 55-41 Strasburg win over Luray in the Daily Classic semifinals, Strasburg senior Jennifer Jackson had a team-high 10 points, surging the Rams to the championship bout against Broadway on Wednesday.
STRASBURG -- As his team ran onto the court for warm-ups, Damien Caison could sense something wasn't right. Despite the tip-off being just a few minutes away, Caison noticed his teammates weren't completely focused.
STRASBURG -- Bub McKelvey was exhausted. Too exhausted to continuously sprint for longer than a minute, too exhausted to even attempt a field goal in the third quarter of a 54-41 loss to Luray in the Daily Classic semifinals on Saturday.
STRASBURG -- The black sliver of ribbon waved only a few dozen yards away.
Stride by gliding stride, Strasburg runner Katlyn Ayers strode toward the finish line marking the end of the Group A state cross country meet at Great Meadow; and inch by inch, a nervous anticipation crawled up her stomach.
STRASBURG - Some guys can't perform in clutch situations. They get nervous and rush their shot, or simply look to quickly dish it off to the closest teammate. Not Aaron Heishman. When the game is on the line, he knows he feels comfortable being "that guy."
FRONT ROYAL - A quick start and a dominant finish gave Warren County and first-year boys basketball coach Vernon Mathews their first win in the young season 63-51 against the visiting Strasburg Rams on Friday night.
RICHMOND -- Both teams needed the point. For Gate City, a point would send them to the Group A state championship; for Strasburg, a point simply would keep the Rams alive in the fifth set. After that, Strasburg still had to score another point, and then another.
STRASBURG -- One more point, that's all Strasburg needed. One more point to send Northumberland home disappointed; one more point to return to the state tournament semifinals at Virginia Commonwealth University; one more point to finally get that rematch with Gate City the Rams have been thirsting for ever since their 3-0 loss to the Blue Devils in last year's Group A state final.