The Craig County girls’ basketball team will be at Covington on Friday for a Pioneer District game. The girls are looking for their first varsity win after dropping two games last week.
On January 10 the Rockets played host to Narrows in a district game and lost, 41-27. The young Rockets trailed just 16-13 at the break against a solid Green Wave team but couldn’t hang with the visitors after intermission.
“It was a game we could have stolen at home,” said coach Brock Jones. “We were playing great team defense and that’s what kept us in the game.”
Freshman Daileigh Donithan led Craig in scoring with eight points. Annabelle Gregory chipped in with seven points and sophomore Madison Underwood finished with a career high 12 rebounds.
“We rebounded well and played solid defense for two and a half quarters,” said Jones. “We did a good job containing their best player, Mya Robertson, holding her to only nine points.”
The difference in this game was at the foul line. Craig finished five of 19 for 26 percent while Narrows finished 15 of 32 for 47 percent.
“With only seven players on the varsity we have to stay out of foul trouble,” said Jones. “We finished the game with four players on the court after three fouled out.
“Narrows is definitely a team that we can play with and I’m hoping for a different outcome when we go there to play. Our youth is still our struggle, but that’s expected with three freshmen and a sophomore on the team. I’m proud of the girls stepping up to the Big League and giving their all in every game.”
A night later the Rockets traveled to Wytheville to take on the Maroons of George Wythe High and fell 58-16. The Maroons have a strong team and they dominated the young Rockets.
“Not a favorable matchup,” said Jones. “Maybe in two or three years we will be ready to compete, but multiple years of off-season work is needed for us to compete with a team of this caliber while we try to rebuild our program. But not right now with, theoretically, a jayvee team suiting up to play varsity ball for us this year.”
George Wythe is ranked first in Region 1C and second in the state in Class A behind only defending state champ Honaker.
“They are the best team that we have played to date,” said Jones. “Very well coached, disciplined, and they don’t make many mistakes on the court. Doug Campbell(Wythe coach) has done a great job with their program there and they should make a long run at states this year. They have size, can shoot, pass, get after you on defense and move the ball extremely well on the offense end.”
Wythe jumped all over the Rockets, leading 25-0 after the first quarter and 29-3 at the half.
“I knew once I saw them on the schedule that it was going to be a tough matchup for us,” said Jones. “I usually do a lot of scouting throughout the year on single A teams in the state and this is one, along with East Mont, that is senior driven and expected to make deep runs in the state.”
Three girls scored for the Rockets. Freshman Kallie Fisher led the team with eight points while Donithan chipped in five points Gregory scored the other three.
“We were up for the challenge and didn’t quit in the game,” said Jones. “We were pushing hard and trying different things to see what we could make work, but they just had too much firepower for our youth.”
The jayvee team played Highland last week and won 46-16. Highland does not have a varsity.
Also, Saturday’s games with Bland were canceled due to inclement weather in Bland County. The Rockets were scheduled to host Parry McCluer on Tuesday and next Tuesday, January 24, Bath will be here for a jayvee only game. Bath also does not have a varsity team.