GREENVILLE — For the second straight night, the Riverheads girls basketball team defeated a Class 3 school, defeating visiting Rockbridge County, 54-42, on Wednesday.
“We just beat a tough Wilson team last night,” said Riverheads head coach Preston Woods. “We got a slow start and we were tired.”
But the Gladiators erased an 8-0 deficit as the Wildcats came out hot to start.
“Our bench came along,” Woods said. “We’re bench heavy. A lot of the girls coming off the bench could start.”
The Gladiators after shaking off the early rust, scored 12 unanswered points and led 12-10 after one period.
The teams traded points in the second quarter, with Riverheads clinging to a 24-22 lead at the halftime break.
Behind post Graceon Armstrong and guard Emily Galford, the Wildcats took the early lead in the second half.
A three-pointer by Riverheads sophomore Mackenzie Sacra tied the game at 27-all.
Another triple by sophomore Hannah Hoosier put the Red Pride back in the lead briefly and toward the end of the quarter, the Gladiators made their move.
“It just clicked,” Woods said.
With increasing defensive turnovers, the Gladiators forced numerous turnovers, but inability to make free throws kept Rockbridge within striking distance.
Junior Savanna Crawford’s three from long range just beat the buzzer at the end of the period and gave the Gladiators some breathing room at 40-33.
In the fourth quarter, Riverheads opened with an 8-1 run to put the game away. Another three-pointer from Hannah Grubb gave the hosts their largest lead (53-35).
“Caitlin Sellers did a heck of a job on number 14 (Galford),” Woods said. “She works as hard as anyone on the team.”
Grubb led Riverheads with 14 points as the Gladiators had nine players score.
Guard Dayton Moore had nine points, four assists and four steals for Riverheads.
Galford led all scorers with 16 points and Armstrong added 11.
“We have three big games this week,” Woods said. The Gladiators travel to Fort Defiance (another Class 3 team) on Friday for an Augusta County and Shenandoah District clash.