STUARTS DRAFT — Riverheads utilized a stingy zone defense Thursday evening to control the flow of the game in a 45-32 victory over Stuarts Draft in Shenandoah District girls basketball action.
The Cougars struggled mightily against the Riverheads defense, making just nine field goals the entire game, including just four in the final two quarters.
“We worked hard out of the zone tonight,” said Riverheads head coach Preston Wood. “Draft’s a good basketball team. They’re guard oriented and they shoot the ball pretty well. We were active in our zone tonight, probably more active than usual.”
The Gladiators used a 9-0 run in the first quarter to open a double figure lead and stayed out front the rest of the game. Berkeley Tyree worked inside for a bucket and added two foul shots and teammate Hannah Grubb knocked down a 3-pointer and hit two foul shots to propel the Gladiators to a 15-5 lead. Draft’s Leah Wood worked inside for a bucket to pull the Cougars to within 15-7 at the end of one quarter.
Riverheads still led by eight, 23-15 at the half and the Gladiators scored the first five points of the third quarter to take a 13-point lead. Dayton Moore opened the third period with a 3-pointer and Savanna Crawford scored following a Draft turnover to give the visitors a 28-15 advantage.
The Cougars outscored Riverheads 9-1 during the final four minutes of the third quarter despite making just one field goal during that stretch. Draft was able to get the ball inside against the zone and, after drawing several fouls, the Cougars cashed in at the foul line.
Hadley May scored seven of the nine points to pull the Cougars to within four points. May hit 3-of-4 foul shots and added an inside bucket, cutting the margin to 28-20. Madi Armentrout made two foul shots and a technical against the Riverheads bench afforded Draft two more foul shots with May making both to bring Draft to within four, 28-24.
Hannah Hoosier hit 1-of-2 foul shots for Riverheads as the third quarter ended with Riverheads holding a 29-24 lead.
Riverheads regained control of the contest with an 8-1 spurt to start the final quarter. Moore and Tyree worked close to the basket with each scoring a bucket and Grubb hit from 3-point range as the Gladiators opened up a 37-25 lead and coasted the rest of the way.
Grubb and Tyree each scored 11 points to lead the winners while May tallied 12 points to pace the Cougars.
“Berkeley worked hard inside tonight. She does that every game for us,” said Woods. “There were times tonight when Draft pressured us and I thought Dayton Moore did a good job of taking care of the ball and handling the pressure.”
Both teams will advance to postseason play. Riverheads will be the No. 2 seed in the Region 1B tournament while Draft will be the No. 3 seed in the Region 2B tournament.
Riverheads won the junior varsity game 33-28