STRASBURG – Strasburg’s post players have been playing together for a few years now, and it showed on Thursday night.
The Rams trio of 6-foot-2 senior Daniella Henry, and 6-foot-3 juniors Jaden Alsberry and Christyan Reid dominated inside the paint against a much-smaller Stonewall Jackson squad. The Rams led from start-to-finish in the 65-44 non-district girls basketball victory.
“Definitely with me, Daniella and Jaden, we had a huge size advantage to Stonewall,” Reid said. “We definitely used it this game. This year me, Jaden and Daniella have been playing a lot more together, and we’ve been passing the ball.”
Henry said that the trio is more comfortable together than they were last season.
“We’re starting to get more used to each other,” Henry said. “I’ve been with Christyan for two years, but we got Jaden last year, and this year we are kind of more familiar with each other. So we know how to use that to our advantage. We just know where to look for each other and help each other out.”
Reid led the Rams in the win with 16 points and six rebounds. Henry finished with 8 points and five rebounds and Alsberry had 6 points and five rebounds.
The Rams (1-1) jumped out to a quick lead and led 20-6 after the first quarter, despite committing eight turnovers.
One of the big positives for Strasburg was the play of its bench. All 10 players who were healthy scored in the first half.
The bench combined for 31 points, led by 10 from freshman Kenley Smith.
Strasburg coach Darin Jenkins said he was proud of the way the bench players played.
“I thought Kenley (Smith) came off the bench and provided a spark for us,” he said. “She had a great game for us. Joely (Morgan) came in, and Joely is one of those that you can count on to do the right things, play good defense. She’s been working hard. It was good to see that tonight.”
Henry also helped ignite the Rams off the bench. The senior said she enjoys her role with the team.
“I honestly prefer coming off the bench, so I can analyze the game,” Henry said. “So I can see how the game is going so far and see what I need to do to help.”
Strasburg freshman point guard Nyla Sperry also had a solid game for the Rams with 6 points and six assists.
“She is a true point guard,” Jenkins said of Sperry. “I don’t know that there’s anybody that’s ever going to out-work her. Her motor runs non-stop. She’s quiet, but she’s somebody that I think our team really looks up to. She helps keep us together at times when things start going bad. She’s played a lot of basketball, and she works at the game. And we’re glad she’s on our side.”
The Rams were coming off a tough loss to Page County on Tuesday night in the team’s season opener. Strasburg was out-scored 19-2 in the fourth quarter of a 20-point loss to the Panthers.
Reid said the Rams were motivated to perform better after the difficult loss.
“Failure makes winners stronger,” Reid said. “And (Thursday) we bounced back from our failure at Page County.”
Jenkins said it was nice to see his team rebound from the loss and play well against Stonewall Jackson.
“It was huge,” Jenkins said. “We talked about it (Wednesday) in practice. We worked on some things from Tuesday. And the things we worked on (Wednesday) in practice paid off for us (Thursday). So we just got to keep working, keep getting at it and getting better each game, each practice.”