The Craig County girls traveled to Elliston Friday to take on an Eastern Montgomery team that had lost just twice this season and the homestanding Mustangs were too tough for the Rockets to handle. East Mont improved to 18-2 with a 57-14 win.
“East Mont is first in the region and with seven of their nine players being seniors they have a strong case for making a deep run into the state,” said Rocket coach Brock Jones. “They don’t miss many shots at all. Our youth just couldn’t match up with their experience and skill level yet.”
East Mont scored 22 of the first 24 points and never looked back. Annabelle Gregory had four steals, four rebounds and seven points to lead Craig.
“Underwood for East Mont should make a strong case for Pioneer Player of the year,” said Jones. “She was the kicker on their varsity football team, and she plays extremely tough during basketball. I was letting our girls know that we must be able to hit the boards and get our butts on them for a box out or it would be a long night, and a long night it was.”
On Saturday the Rockets played host to Alleghany and dropped a 44-21 decision to fall to 1-13 on the season. It wasn’t a win, but coach Jones saw some improvement.
“We played them a lot better than the first time we played them,” he said. “We were able to slow down some of their shooters. The first time we played them we trailed 26-2 after the first quarter and didn’t score until they hit the first seven threes of the game. Saturday after the first quarter we trailed 14-8. We were closing out and getting out on the shooters. We rebounded fairly well and made a few jumpers of our own that we haven’t made in past games.”
Daileigh Donithan led Craig in scoring with eight points, knocking down two threes. Gregory had seven points, five steals and three assists and Hannah Ratliff also had seven points. Madison Underwood had 14 rebounds.
“I thought we had a shot to grab a 2A school victory if we kept the style of play where we needed too,” said Jones. “Madison Underwood has shined in the defense rebounding department for us. With the departure of a second team all-district member early in the season, Madison has really stepped up where needed.”
The jayvee team played at home against Bath last week and took a 51-13 win as hope reigns eternal for the future of the program. Bath does not have a varsity team.
“Jenna Boitnette and Brooklyn Cayton were pulled up from varsity to assist in the back court(against Alleghany) but that leaves us with only five players on the JV team,” said Jones. “Luckily Alleghany didn’t have a JV team and we were able to do this. And I am pleased to see that we are able to fill a JV and Varsity here at Craig County when 2A schools that are bigger aren’t doing the same. We continue to grow and learn every day and I am excited to see what the future holds for us in coming years.”
The girls were scheduled to at Giles on Monday, followed by a trip to Narrows on Saturday.
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