The Craig County basketball teams had a busy week with the Christmas break approaching. The boys had four games in seven days and the girls played three times and had another game postponed.
The boys picked up a big win over Bland County in Rocky Gap Saturday, 55-42. Hayden Reynolds led the Rockets with 17 points while Jaycob Wolfe had 16 and seven rebounds. Matthew Lucas had nine boards and contributed seven points, Talon Ritter had seven points and Luke Potter had half a dozen.
“To go into a hostile environment on the road and get a lead, maintain it and see out the win should give us confidence and valuable experience in those situations,” said Craig coach Ryan Frazier.
Drew Duncan only scored two points but had 19 rebounds, and that was a key to the win.
“Drew was a huge part of our victory,” said Frazier. “We talked as a group about rebounding and how it can determine our games and season and they took it to heart. It seemed like Drew got every rebound at times and played a great game. I was proud of this win because we controlled the boards, and handled them trying to come back.”
Craig made 17 of 24 free throws despite a rowdy crowd at Bland.
“We kept our cool in that environment when the other team was trying their best to get under our skin,” said Frazier. “Really good road won for us.”
The win gave the Rockets a 2-4 record after losing their other two games last week, 38-36 against Highland at home and 82-53 at Narrows last Thursday. Craig was scheduled to play at Roanoke Valley Christian on Monday but results were too late for publication.
Against Highland the Rockets were down seven and cut the lead to one but couldn’t finish it off. Lucas had 13 points and Duncan had 15 rebounds but the Rockets gave up 25 offensive rebounds.
At Narrows the Rockets got a look at the Pioneer District favorite. Reynolds had 22 points and Lucas had 16.
“Narrows is really good and are in the driver’s seat to win the district after beating Parry McCluer earlier in the week,” said Frazier.
The Craig girls got their week off to a good start with a 47-9 win over Highland in the first game of a doubleheader in New Castle. The Rockets blasted off with a 15-0 advantage after the first quarter and led 24-1 at the half.
“We played aggressive man defense,” said Jones.
This game was “all in the family” for the Rockets, as coach Jones’ two daughters combined for 24 points. Kailyn Jones had 15 and Hayleigh Flowers had nine. Kailyn also had 17 rebounds, eight steals and four blocks.
“Pretty cool to see my daughters lead the way,” said Jones.
Daileigh Donithan and Kallie Fisher had six points each for Craig, with Donithan hitting two threes. Gracie Huffman and Jenna Boitnotte had four points each, Morgan Underwood had two and Maddie Kendall hit a foul shot.
“We played an overall great game and were super proud of all the girls working hard in practice and staying focused,” said Jones. “I set our motto this year and we are following it. That is, small town believers, culture changers, academic successors. Great group of girls that I have the privilege to keep talking to.”
Craig had some sickness going through the team later in the week and the Rockets dropped their next two games, 62-30 to Narrows and 53-27 to Bland. The Rockets had a Monday game with William Byrd postponed and they’ll head into the break at 4-3 with a 1-1 Pioneer District record.