The Craig County girls finished winless in Pioneer District basketball games so they’ll go to Covington for the first round of the district tournament. The Rockets will play at Covington next Monday, February 13.
“Covington is a team that we most certainly can play with, and we have a great chance to win,” said Craig coach Brock Jones. “We will focus all week on stopping their best player, Laureen Bragg. We will create a game plan and try to take her out of the game and force someone else to beat us. She had 21 the first game and 16 in the second. The main thing is we must box her out. If we box her out and hold her to under 10 points I believe we win the game.”
If the Rockets win they would play in the district semifinals on February 16 at the sites of the higher seeds. That would put Craig against either Eastern Montgomery or Parry McCluer, who come into the week tied at the top of the standings with 7-1 records each in Pioneer District games. They will play at James River next Monday to determine the regular season champion and top seed for the tournament. The semifinal winners get an automatic bid to the region tournament.
The Rockets finished the regular season at 1-15 after dropping their last two games last week. Last Monday at Giles they gave the host Spartans all they could handle before falling, 53-49. Craig trailed by just two at the half, 25-23, and the game was close to the final buzzer.
“We should have won,” said Jones. “We played extremely well as a team.”
Freshman Kallie Fisher led the Rockets with a full stat line. Kallie had 15 points, seven rebounds, six steals and four assists.
“I told Kallie this is the expectation from here on out and into the future,” said Jones. “She has to be a ‘score first’ person looking to attack the rim like she did. She played really well and I am super excited for her to have a breakout game to build her confidence moving forward.”
Senior Annabelle Gregory had 12 points, 12 steals, four assists and seven rebounds.
“Annie is our energizer bunny,” said Jones. “She plays at 100 miles per hour every game and she sets the tone for us offensively when we can get out in transition and look to attack before the defense gets set up.”
Madison Underwood chipped in eight points and 10 rebounds. Hannah Ratliff had nine points, four steals and six boards.
“We continue to not shoot very well from the field as a team,” said Jones. “We shot 24 percent from the field compared to their 36 percent. We got more shots on the rim that didn’t fall, but we did score twice as much against them as what we average for the year. The girls played extremely hard and pushed the ball and ran, as we wanted too.”
On Friday the girls wrapped up the regular season with a 55-23 loss at Narrows. Craig shot just 14 percent in this one and that makes it tough to win.
“Nothing went our way,” said Jones. “At one point in the game we had five straight offensive rebounds on one possession, and we couldn’t finish it off. We shot extremely bad in this game; the girls were aggravated at half time because shots weren’t falling. We talked about playing hard on defense and how some games that’s the bad luck you draw, and it surely was this day.”
Sophomore Gracie Huffman was pulled up from the jayvee team as Craig had to cancel the jayvee game due to a sick player who couldn’t make the trip. That left the Rockets with only four jayvee girls and, after getting pulled up to the varsity, Huffman led the Rockets with five points while Brooklyn Cayton, another sophomore, had four.