The Craig County boys will play host to Eastern Montgomery Friday night at Craig County High School in a big Pioneer District basketball game. The Rockets beat the Mustangs in the first meeting and look to make a clean sweep of the season series.
Craig comes into the week at 2-11 overall and 2-5 in the district after dropping three games last week, starting with a 77-41 loss to Parry McCluer. Matthew Lucas led the Rockets with 16 points and Zach Peters had 10.
“Drew Duncan did a good job defending the post and rebounding against them,” said Craig coach Ryan Frazier. “ Parry McCluer’s hot shooting was too much for us down the stretch.”
On Thursday the Rockets played host to Staunton River, a Class 3 team from the tough Blue Ridge District. The Rockets hung tough before falling, 57-37.
“I was really proud of our performance against Staunton River,” said Frazier. “We handled the press well and had a good team performance.”
Lucas finished with 27 points and was able to find gaps in the middle of the zone. Peters was able to find Lucas and other teammates and finished with 10 assists. Duncan, who has been playing very well lately, played great interior defense and finished with 10 rebounds for the game.
“It was a game that we were competitive throughout, being down five at the half and about an eight point game with five minutes remaining,” said Frazier. “They had a stretch where they hit three three-pointers in a minute and a half and we had a couple costly turnovers in the span that put it out of reach for us.”
The Rockets finished a busy week with a home game with Covington on Friday and dropped a 65-46 decision to the Cougars on the second night of a back-to-back.
“This again was another game that we played well enough to win, but could not pull it out,” said Frazier.
Lucas led the team again with 23 points while Peters finished with 14 points with four threes. Duncan again played well in the post and chipped in with seven rebounds.
This was a game of two halves. Craig was up 26-24 at halftime but was outscored by 14 in the third quarter.
“We hit a wall in the third quarter and ran out of gas,” said Frazier. “We’ve struggled in back to back games all year. All three games this week had several positives for us to build on. We have played well in stretches, but really need to put it together for a full game. We are working on that daily and we can still achieve goals we set out for this season. This week is a huge week for us with Bath County away on Tuesday followed by East Mont on Friday. These are two games we need to win the keep the pace in the district for the tournament.”
After this week’s games the Rockets are back home Monday to host Giles.