STRASBURG — Things are starting to come together for Strasburg and it showed on Saturday night.
The Rams used a huge second quarter to pull away from Stonewall Jackson in a 69-34 non-district boys basketball victory.
Strasburg coach Larry Fox said that the team chemistry is coming along after adding two new players, transfer guards Craig and Kamryn Pangle, and having point guard Dylan Hamrick come back from injury. Saturday was Hamrick’s fourth game back from injury.
“We’ talked at the beginning of the season about having the kids get used to (Craig and Kamryn Pangle) and having them get used to us,” Fox said. “And now that we have Dylan (Hamrick) back it’s almost like starting over where they’re getting used to playing with Dylan. And he’s getting used to playing with them. So we’re starting to click there as a unit, finding each other and understanding who can do what.”
Both teams struggled at times in the first quarter, but the Rams held a 13-9 edge on the scoreboard.
Strasburg’s Derek Fox hit a 3-pointer and Russell Reeder scored inside the paint to start the second period for the Rams. However, a free throw by Stonewall Jackson’s Tyler Dellinger and a 3-pointer from teammate Michael Stout cut the Rams lead to 18-13 with 6:50 left in the first half.
The Rams, who scored 28 points in the second quarter, then took control of the game with an 18-2 run. Strasburg’s Trevor Sager had eight points during the spurt to lead the team.
Sager, who comes off the bench, said he just wanted to do what he could to help the team after having a couple games in a row where he didn’t feel he played his best.
“I just said clear my mind and said put everything I’ve done in the past behind me,” Sager said of his mindset for the game. “I’m moving forward from here. I’m just going to work hard every day and just try to help my team. It’s not just me. I don’t win, the team wins.”
The Rams were 11-for-15 from the field in the second quarter, and Larry Fox said he thought that was big against Stonewall Jackson’s zone defense.
“Obviously, if you’re making shots it loosens things up inside,” he said. “If you’re driving and attacking those gaps it creates shots for teammates. I thought the biggest thing was we were making shots and it just opened things up for us.”
The Rams stretched the lead to 41-20 at the half. Kamryn Pangle said it’s important when you’re going on a big run to keep the momentum going and not let up.
“You just got to keep pushing it,” he said. “You never want to give a team a chance to come back so we just kept pushing and running the ball.”
The Generals were 3-for-10 from the field in the second quarter. They also had 11 turnovers in the first half, which helped lead to easy baskets for the Rams.
Strasburg was coming off an impressive 60-46 victory over Madison County on Friday night at home. It was the first district game of the season for the Rams.
“District play is going to be huge for us — for seeding for postseason play,” Larry Fox said. “To get that win at home against Madison, of course, you want to protect your home court, but they’re typically one of the top teams in our league. And to get that win was huge for our confidence, and huge for where we want to get.”
Kamryn Pangle led the Rams with 14 points, 10 rebounds, two steals, and five assists. Derek Fox had 11 points and Sager had 10 points for Strasburg.
The Generals were led by Michael Stout with 5 points.
Stonewall Jackson coach Jim Sanders said it was a tough loss and he said it all starts with him as a coach.
“You can come up with all sorts of excuses about being young and inexperienced and stuff like that,” Sanders said. “But sooner or later they are what they are — they’re excuses. We’re not getting things done. And like I said, that responsibility falls with me. And I’ll take full blame for it.”
Sager said the Rams two wins over the weekend show what the team is capable of.
“Everybody’s starting to work together,” Sager said. “And when we do all work together it looks really good. And when the offense flows and everybody’s playing good (defense), not allowing dribble penetration, and keeping people in front of you, it’s like — wow it looks great.”