Craig Pangle

STRASBURG — Strasburg’s boys basketball team has had an unusual season filled with some ups and downs. The Rams are on a five-game winning streak and everything may be coming together for them at just the right time.

A big reason why Strasburg is starting to peak is the Rams are finally healthy and becoming more familiar with each other.

Strasburg guards Craig and Kamryn Pangle transferred from Sherando shortly before the season started and it took some time for everyone to get comfortable with each other. Once that had started to happen, Strasburg junior point guard Dylan Hamrick returned from a broken collarbone and the team had to once again learn how to gel together.

“Team chemistry is good right now,” Craig Pangle said. “Like when (Kamryn and) I first came here we were kind of getting used to it. Then we got Dylan (Hamrick) back and we had to get used to it again. And now we got on that streak and we’re getting more comfortable. We’re getting good looks. We’re moving the ball. The team chemistry is good.”

Strasburg boys basketball coach Larry Fox said that he knew once Hamrick returned it would take some time for things to come together. He said it felt like it would take about six games for the players to really begin to gel and it was in the seventh game after Hamrick’s return that the Rams began playing their best basketball and starting a five-game win streak.

The Rams beat Moorefield, 63-49, on Jan. 18 and haven’t lost since.

“At the Moorefield game it was like it was time for us to go,” Fox said. “It’s time for us to be on the same page and playing our best basketball. Obviously, we still have room for improvement, but we’re well on our way.”

In the last five games, the Rams are allowing only 47.8 points per game, while scoring 55 per contest. Strasburg has held opponents to less than 50 points in four of the last five games.

Strasburg’s 51-47 victory over Clarke County on Monday moved the Rams into third place in the Bull Run District.

If the Rams want to continue to have success Hamrick said that sharing the ball and working together as a team will be important.

“I think getting out in transition and really sharing the ball, instead of taking selfish shots is big,” Hamrick said. “We all need to understand that each and every single one of us can knock down shots. So just sharing the ball and getting out in transition is going to be big for us.”

The Rams have a big test ahead of them this week with home contests against first-place George Mason and second-place Central.

Hamrick said the Rams have to stay focused and not let the winning streak go to their heads.

“We’ve just got to keep our heads up,” Hamrick said. “We’ve got better teams ahead of us. And we got to play better each and every single day. It’s a huge game (tonight). (George Mason) is on top of the district. They’re a great team. We just need to come out and fire on all cylinders.”

One possible edge for the Rams is playing at home. The Rams are 8-2 at home this season.

“When we’re at home we feel more comfortable,” Craig Pangle said. “We like to hear the crowd cheering. It gets us hyped. It gets us energized. We feel really good.”

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