STRASBURG — Strasburg’s girls basketball team lifted another Ram Hardwood trophy on Monday night, but there’s no question they’re not satisfied with how they are playing.
The Rams defeated Buffalo Gap 46-31 in the purple bracket championship but after the game, no one was pleased with their performance.
“The first half we played very well,” Strasburg 6-foot-4 senior center Christyan Reid said. “The second half we were a little sloppy. I just don’t think we played together, but we are working on playing more together and bonding more as a team.”
Strasburg took control of the game early. Reid and 6-foot-3 senior forward Jaden Alsberry dominated inside the paint to give the Rams a 12-4 lead after the first quarter.
Strasburg girls basketball coach Darin Jenkins said that he was pleased with the play of Reid, who finished with 21 points and seven rebounds.
“I thought Christyan played well tonight,” Jenkins said. “I liked her game tonight. I thought she played under control and she was able to take advantage of her height.”
He said he was also happy with the play of guards Madi Stinnette, Maddie Smallwood and the defense of Karly Colcombe.
However, he wasn’t happy with the play of his team overall. After the game, the team stayed in the locker room for 40 minutes to talk about their issues.
“We all just sort of stayed around there at the end and talked about ways that we thought we could improve as a team,” Jenkins said. “And what we would do different – just had a good family talk.”
Jenkins said he was mostly disappointed by the effort of his team and he said it’s been going on throughout the season so far, even though the Rams are undefeated.
“It just didn’t look the way it should look,” he said. “I think we all know it, and I’m not saying anything that we haven’t talked about as a team. I think everyone agrees that we have gotten away with it up to this point. But looking ahead if we don’t change something soon, we’re not going to be able to keep getting away with it.”
The Rams (8-0) went through something similar last year and after a team meeting went on to win 11 straight games before falling in the Class 2 state quarterfinals.
Jenkins said this year’s problems are a little different than last year’s.
“I think a lot of it might be they’re putting too much pressure on themselves,” Jenkins said. “The expectation is so high. They have high expectations for themselves, and we should at this point. We’ve worked hard to get to where we’re at. And like I tell them, these opportunities don’t come for every group of kids that come through this school. There’s a lot of people that went through here and played here that hasn’t had the same opportunities. It’s here – we got to take advantage of it.”
Alsberry said she thinks playing harder as a team starts with practice.
“I think that’s mainly just starts with going to practice and playing hard and counting on our teammates,” Alsberry said. “And just work on picking each other up when we’re down.”
It was the second Ram Hardwood Classic title in three years for Strasburg. They won it two years ago but lost in the final last year.
“It’s exciting,” Alsberry said. “Not winning last year and coming back and winning this year was fun.”
Buffalo Gap (4-3) was led by Amaya Lucas with 18 points.
Alsberry had 7 points, six rebounds and two assists.
Jenkins said he is confident his team will respond and start playing better basketball.
“I know we have people in the locker room that can handle adversity,” he said. “We had some last year and we handled it. I think this year we’re going to get a hold of it and we’re going to get it fixed. The potential is in there. The potential is in that room, but I can’t make people play hard. You got to find that within yourselves and we’ll get it, we’ll find it.”