The Craig County girls will finish the basketball regular season with six games in 10 days as they try to gather some momentum for the approaching post-season.
The Rockets were at Eastern Montgomery on Monday, followed by a home game with Parry McCluer on Thursday of this week. Both are Pioneer District games.
On Saturday the Rockets host Bland County in a non-district game at 2:30 pm, sandwiched between boys’ jayvee and varsity games at 1 pm and 4:30 pm. Then, next Monday, the Rockets go to Highland for a 5:30 pm tip-off that opens a doubleheader with the boys. A day later they’ll host Roanoke Valley Christian at home, and on Thursday, February 8, William Byrd comes here for a rescheduled game to wrap up the regular season.
The Rockets come into the week at 2-3 in the district and 5-7 overall. Last week they split two games, losing at Narrows but bouncing back to beat Eastern Montgomery at home.
Craig lost at Narrows, 76-42, on January 22. The Rockets got off to a bad start and couldn’t recover, falling behind 24-5 at the outset and 42-13 at the half.
“We were unable to practice the entire week before last Monday because of the snow,” said coach Brock Jones. “The girls came out tired and not prepared to play. Practice and snow days hurt us bad as we aren’t allowed to practice when school is called off, then we have to make up games which puts us in a bad spot of three or four games a week. Not much time for prep of the opponents in between those games.”
Daleight Donithan led the Rockets in scoring with 13 points, including three three-pointers. Kailyn Jones had eight points, 11 rebounds and four blocks while Gracie Huffman and Brooklyn Cayton had five points each.
Last Friday at home the Rockets got a big Pioneer District win over Eastern Montgomery, 35-30. Kailyn had 24 of Craig’s 35 points to go with 14 boards and four blocks to lead the Rockets while Donithan had seven points.
This game was tied, 13-13, at the half but the Rockets came out fired up after intermission and outscored the Mustangs 13-5 in the third quarter.
“Jenna Boitnette and Kallie Fisher put the lock down on their guards at the top of the key and we rotated well on defense and shut down their offense,” said coach Jones.
Sisters Kallie and Kammie Fisher had eight steals apiece and forced East Mont into 32 turnovers.
“They finally said after the game, ‘we finally figured out the defense portion that you’ve been talking about all year and it clicked.’” said Jones. “So, moving forward, with that attitude and approach I hope we keep up the momentum. The girls stayed focused and were talking on defense and it all came together. It was awesome to see them finally believe and dig deep and have each other’s back.”