Due to the weather, some customers may experience late delivery of The Roanoke Times. We apologize for the delay.
The tenacious Golden Eagles erased an early deficit but could not hold off Heritage.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
MONETA — Heritage punched its ticket to the state tournament, but it wasn’t an easy ride to get there.
The Pioneers had to overcome upset-minded Staunton River 53-49 in the semifinals of the Region III Division 4 girls basketball tournament.
Heritage (23-2) jumped to an early 11-point lead and started to coast, but Staunton River (7-18) didn’t follow the script. The Golden Eagles played a more physical game and slowly closed the gap.
Staunton River coach Kim Jones said a poor effort earlier this season against Lord Botetourt resulted in a promise from the team that they would never go down without a fight.
“They have done everything we’ve asked them to do since that day,” she said. “We put it to our girls to believe they could win, and they could have won this game tonight.”
The Staunton River comeback took more than two quarters to complete. Tana Heath’s jumper a minute into the fourth quarter tied the score, then two free throws by Bri Holdren gave the Eagles their first lead. When Lauren Mitchell dropped in a 3-pointer, the Eagles were up five and looking to pull off the epic upset.
Heritage coach Bill Hayes said he thought his team quit at that point, so he took a timeout to motivate the players.
“We had given up. Our number one rule is never give up because you never know what can happen. I said I need this much from each one of you” he said, holding his finger and thumb an inch apart. “We weren’t playing a physical game and Staunton River was.”
The Eagles had a significant rebounding edge after the first quarter. The Golden Eagles had 12 offensive rebounds in the second half and 14 second-chance points in the game, to just four for the Pioneers.
The problem the Eagles faced was coaxing the ball through the hoop once it got there. The Eagles shot just 35 percent in the second half (11-for-31).
The Pioneers found unexpected success at the free throw line, where Brianna Paige, who shot about 30 percent from the line this season, made five of seven in the fourth quarter to preserve Heritage’s late lead.
Cameron Carter led all scorers with 22 points. Paige had 11 points and seven rebounds.
Staunton River was led by Holdren’s 14 points and nine boards. Sydney Stephens had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Pannell 2 0-0 4, Bryant 1 1-3 3, Anderson 4 0-4 8, Carter 6 8-11 22, Paige 3 5-9 11, Lowe 2 1-2 5, Horsley 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 15-29 53.
STAUNTON RIVER (7-18)
Holdren 4 4-4 14, Mitchell 3 0-0 7, B. Cawley 3 0-0 8, Tuck 0 0-0 0, S. Stephens 5 0-0 10, Heath 2 0-0 4, Meador 1 0-0 2, A. Stephens 1 0-0 2, W. Cawley 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 4-4 49.
Heritage 15 9 10 19 — 53
Staunton River 4 11 15 19 — 49
3-point goals — Heritage 2 (Carter 2), Staunton River 5 (Holdren 2, B. Cawley 2, Mitchell). Total fouls — Heritage 8, Staunton River 15. Fouled out — Mitchell.
Weather JournalMany very icy despite 'bust' claims