By David Wagner
The Western girls’ basketball team routed Sherando in a first round game of the annual Holiday Basketball Classic Dec. 27-29. Rachel Cooke and Bridget Shaffrey dominated inside play as the Warriors rolled to a 58-37 win. Shaffrey had 14 points, nine rebounds and Cooke had a team high 17 points. Western Albemarle led 26-17 at the half before blowing the game open in the fourth quarter. Cooke and Shaffrey’s inside play proved to be too much to handle for Sherando. The Warriors continued to pound the paint in the second half and wore Sherando down.
Western faced Spotswood in the semi-finals. The Trailblazers pounded Charlottesville High School 60-36 in the first round and didn’t let up against the Warriors. Leading the Warriors by 13 points at the half, Spotswood’s full court pressure forced eight consecutive Warrior turnovers to start the second half. That led to a 17-0 run that got Spotswood ahead 50-20. They never looked back, winning the game 62-37. It was the Trailblazers’ fifth consecutive trip to the Holiday Classic title game. Bailey Williams led Spotswood with 18 points and Tayler Dobson and Elizabeth Dofflemyer each added 13 points. WAHS freshman Anna Sumpter led all Western scorers with 10 points.
The Warriors played Albemarle for third place. Albemarle had squeaked by Waynesboro 50-48 in the first round and was blown out by Miller School 73-36 in the semi-finals. The Albemarle game was a back and forth contest for most of the game. The Patriots then made a run early in the fourth quarter to take a five-point lead. Western then turned up the defensive pressure, forcing turnovers and getting some easy baskets. Between Albemarle’s sloppy ball handling and a late surge by the Warriors, Western was able to win third place.
Rachel Cooke scored 17 points in Saturday’s game after scoring 19 on Friday and 17 on Thursday. Anna Sumter help propel the Warriors to victory, scoring 13 points.
The Warriors hope to carry some momentum into the New Year and the district schedule. Spotswood defeated Miller School 62-57 in overtime to win their third straight Holiday Classic Tournament Championship.
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The Warrior boys ended up fifth in the tournament after losing an overtime heartbreaker to Sherando in the first round, 68-64. Western bounced back with impressive victories on Friday and Saturday. They beat Waynesboro 63-41 and followed that up with a 62-49 win over Heritage. Senior Chase Stokes, along with Jeremy Barruch, Will Mason and Eli Sumpter led the way for the Warriors over the weekend.
Western headed into the district play with a 9-4 record overall and looking to contend for district title. They beat Fluvanna at home the previous weekend by double figures in a game that surprised some in the area. Fluvanna also looks to be a contender in the Jefferson District.