Warriors fall in regionals
ROANOKE – William Fleming has been in the Group 4A state tournament the last two years. Sherando was making its first Region 4A West berth in three years. The experience showed on Monday when the two teams met.
The Warriors struggled to make a shot or free throws early in the game, and the Colonels cruised to a 77-43 girls basketball victory in a Region 4A West first round tournament game.
“We did a great job doing what we came down to do, attacking, getting to the foul line,” Sherando coach Mike Marsh said. “We were 4 for 11 in the first quarter (from the foul line). We missed a couple front end of one-and-one’s. We usually are a pretty good foul shooting team. … It could have been the atmosphere of the game, regional game. We just didn’t shoot free throws the way we normally do.”
William Fleming scored the first nine points of the game, including four from Tamani Manning.
Sherando’s Kelli White hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 9-2 with 5:32 left in the opening period.
The Warriors didn’t make a basket in the first period, and missed their first 11 shot attempts of the game.
William Fleming coach Ronald Hubbard was happy with his team’s start.
“That was beautiful, because we haven’t had a good start in a while,” Hubbard said. “The last five games we haven’t had a good start. So it was good for us to have a good start in this game.”
The Warriors were causing some foul trouble for the Colonels. However, it didn’t affect the Colonels much as they use 12 players on a regular basis.
Sherando turned the ball over 10 times in the first period, and trailed 16-4 after the opening eight minutes.
It was more of the same to start the second period. William Fleming scored the first nine points of the second period, including five by Dasmine Kasey.
Sherando’s Kathryn Robertson hit a jumper with 5:10 left in the first for the Warriors’ first made basket of the game.
The Warriors (17-9) went on a scoring surge in the second half of the second period. They outscored the Colonels, 15-9, to end the half trailing 39-23.
Sherando sophomore Amber Garrett led the way with nine points during the run. Marsh said Garrett has really been playing well over the last 10 games for Sherando.
“She’s gained a lot of confidence,” Marsh said of Garrett. “She’s really been a great find. We knew she was going to come along. We were just waiting for it to happen. She’s another good guard that we can throw out there.”
The Colonels (19-5) came out strong in the third period and built the lead to 28 and pulled away for the win. Marsh said rebounding was a big factor, as the Colonels got a lot of points on offensive rebounds.
Hubbard said it was something he stressed to his team.
“We worked on boxing out and grabbing rebounds,” Hubbard said. “A lot of times our athletic ability helped us.”
Manning led the Colonels with 15 points. Qwonneshia King and Kasey each had 11 points for the Colonels.
William Fleming lost in the Group 4A state final two years ago, and lost in the state semifinals last year. They lost seven players from last year’s team, but have still had a very strong season. They will play at Freedom on Tuesday in the regional quarters with another state berth at stake.
“I’m sure they’re very solid,” Hubbard said of playing Freedom. “We look forward to the opportunity to showcase what we can, because we’re coming from southwest Virginia so a lot of people probably don’t even know us and that’s fine. It gives us an opportunity to showcase what we can bring to the table.”
Garrett led the Warriors with 11 points, and Robertson added 10.
The Warriors will lose seniors Madison Leckie, Kali Kremer and Allison Combs to graduation but return everyone else.
“We played very well the second half of the season,” Marsh said. “That just gives us something to really build on for next year. We have a lot of kids coming back. We’re going to miss the seniors that are leaving. I told them that I really appreciate their leadership, how hard they pushed us all season at practices, contributions in the games. It’s something that we can build on, and we’re certainly hoping to do that.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org