The Duke’s Championship Preview: Strasburg vs Page and Clarke vs Luray

The Regional Championships will feature two matchups of teams VERY familiar with each other but have yet to play with this much at stake.

The Region 2B Girls Basketball Championship Game will be a rematch of the Bull Run District Championship Game with Strasburg taking on Page County on The River 95.3, Fox Sports Radio 1450, theriver953.com and the Tune In App at 5:50 pm.

The Panthers got the better of Strasburg in that game, 52-31, but the Rams were without star guard Macy Smith.

Smith is coming off a dominant 26 point performance against cross-county rival Central in the Regional Semifinals.

The Rams ran away with that one, 68-37, thanks to a 26-2 run in the second quarter.

Page County has played in tight games throughout the Regional Playoffs.

The Panther girls are coming off an overtime upset over the reigning Class 2 State Champions Clarke County, 73-71.

The Boys Region 2B Championship will follow the girls matchup with Clarke County taking on Luray for the fourth time this month, also on The River 95.3, Fox Sports Radio 1450, theriver953.com and the Tune In App.

Clarke County leads the series 2-1 with the most recent win coming in the Bull Run District Semifinals, 79-56.

The Eagles dominate the second period with a 25-5 run including 5 of 7 from long range.

Luray will enter the game coming off a thrilling overtime upset of Madison County, the #1 seed in the Region.

The game was tight throughout with 14 lead changes and four ties in the second half.

Luray was led by Matthew Owens with 16 points including five three-pointers.

Defensively, the Bulldogs were able to limit District Player of the Year Bryce Breeden to 13 points.

Both games will go down to the wire with the Rams knocking off the Panthers 53-50, and Clarke County knocking down free throws late to defeat Luray 60-55.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

The Duke’s Playoff Preview: Strasburg vs Luray

Tonight’s high school girls basketball game of the week features Strasburg (1st seed) hosting Luray (8th seed) in the VHSL Region 2B Playoffs on Fox Sports Radio 1450, theriver953.com, and the Tune In Radio App.

Luray is still rebuilding from the State Championship runs in 2021 and 2022 while Strasburg has high hopes for this year’s postseason.

The Rams earned the #1 seed for the Regional Tournament following a 19-3 regular season.

Strasburg fell in the Bull Run District Tournament to Page County but the Rams were without star senior guard Macy Smith.

Smith, a D-I commit of St. Bonaventure, was named the District Player of the Year last week after another strong season where she led the area in points per game with 19.5.

She is expected to return to action tonight for Strasburg.

Luray has struggled this year but the Bulldogs are excited about the future with sophomore Ella Parlett and freshman Chloe Gochenour.

The pair led the team in scoring for their final regular season game and have continued to progress throughout the season.

Strasburg has already defeated Luray twice this season by scores of 20 and 14, and I anticipate a similar Rams edge tonight.

Luray lacks a true post presence which will allow Strasburg to get to the basket and potentially force Luray into foul trouble.

I predict Strasburg to advance to the next round of the Regional Playoffs with their championship aspirations intact, 54-34.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Sports: Thursday, February 15, 2024

Northwestern District Class 4 Coach and Player of the Year Awards swept by Handley, Bull Run District tournament updates, JMU hosts Georgia State in a doubleheader tonight

The Duke’s Doubleheader Hoops Preview: Central vs Strasburg

It’s rivalry night in Shenandoah County as Central travels to Strasburg for tonight’s doubleheader Game of the Week on Fox Sports Radio 1450 WFTR, theriver953.com and the Tune In Radio app starting at 5:50 pm.

The girls will get things started in a matchup of two of the top teams in the Bull Run District, both entering the evening at 12-2.

Both teams are led by superstars who get things done in different ways but usually end in wins.

Central’s Makenna Painter has dominated the paint and averaged over a double-double for three seasons.

She leads the are in rebounding with 15 per game and is closing in on the Central school record in rebounds.

She also reached her 1000th career point earlier this season and will leave Central as one of the top scorers in school history.

Strasburg will collapse their defense to try and take away Painter’s opportunities down low which will make it that much more important for some of her teammates to be able to knockdown shots from the outside.

Kynli Hoover has shown the ability to step up in those situations as she already claimed Central’s school record for three pointers in a game this season with seven against Page County at the Ram Hardwood Classic.

Strasburg is led by the area’s leader in scoring (Painter is second) and steals (Painter is second), Division-I bound Macy Smith.

Smith has stepped up in Strasburg’s biggest games this year including a win over Clarke County, the reigning Class 2 State Champions, where she scored a career high 37 points on 62.5% shooting.

She took over late scoring the final 14 points for Strasburg to secure the win.

Smith also led the Rams with 15 points to knock off the defending Class 1 State Champions, Rappahannock County.

When the boy’s take the floor, Strasburg will look to reach .500 entering at 7-8 overall while Central will search for their second district win at 3-10 overall.

Central started off the season winning two of their first three, both against Riverheads, before losing nine of the next ten.

The Falcons will use the past week off to try to turn their season around and could do so with the help of a few newcomers who have stepped up including Haiden Click and Dereck Batiz-Lugo.

Strasburg will continue to rely on the familiar names of Walker Conrad and Griffin Carter.

Conrad leads the area in rebounding with 10.9 per game to go with 15.3 points per game.

He joined Central head coach Jeff Whittle in the 1,000 point club against Warren County earlier this season.

Carter, his tight end counterpart on the football field, leads the area with 32 three pointers made.

The duo provides a strong one-two punch with Conrad drawing the defense in and leaving Carter open on the perimeter.

Strasburg will have the home crowd along with the star power of Conrad and Smith should give the Rams a clean sweep tonight with the girls winning 54-50 and the boys 58-50.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Mike Yew resigns as Central football coach

ryan lingle

Mike Yew has resigned as head coach for Central High School’s football program.

Yew led the program for the last 17 years and has coached football at various levels in the Shenandoah Valley for over 25 years.

He helped build Central into a powerhouse in the region and the state level, winning two regional titles in the last three seasons and advancing to the Class 2 State Championship game in 2022.

His Falcons earned the second undefeated regular season in school history last year.

Before Yew took over, Central had not won a playoff game or regional title.

He finished his first two seasons with a 2-18 record before building up the program and going 119-53 the rest of his career.

The Falcons advanced to the playoffs 7 of the last 8 years with the only exception being the COVID shortened season.

Yew continues to serve as the interim athletic director.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

The Duke’s Preview: Central vs Page County featuring Coach Mike Yew

Central (8-0) hosts Page County (1-7) for their Senior Night in the penultimate regular season High School Football Game of the Week on The River 95.3, Fox Sports Radio 1450 WFTR, theriver953.com and the Tune In Radio App.

Central has continued their great success from last season which ended in a State Championship game appearance into an undefeated regular season so far this season.

They have used the same formula including a bruising rushing attack led by an experienced offensive line and a battering ram at running back, senior Tyler Forbes.

Forbes leads all area rushers in Region 2B with 1,172 yards and 19 touchdowns.

The Central defense has remained stout all season long, allowing only 7.8 ppg with only two opponents scoring more than once all season.

Page County and Coach James May continue to try to build up their program and the offense has been able to produce points at times.

Quarterback Hunter Petit has been dangerous on the ground and in the air.

Last week against Madison County, he had a passing touchdown and a highlight 51 yard touchdown run.

He has two young weapons that he has formed a great connection with including tight end Isaac Foltz and wide receiver Dawson Richards, both of who are sophomores.

Defensively, Page County has struggled, allowing 46.6 points per game and 69 points last week against Madison County.

Central will need to avoid looking ahead to a potential, de-facto Bull Run District Championship Game against Strasburg.

The Falcons should be able to stay focused on their game plan and get the win due to their experience and control over the line of scrimmage, 56-8.

Press play below to hear my interview with Central Head Coach Mike Yew.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

The Duke’s Preview: Skyline vs Strasburg featuring Coach Roller interview

Week 1 is finally here and our first Friday Night Lights Game of the Week features two teams with promising returning players, experienced coaches, and question marks at the game’s most significant position, quarterback.

Skyline is led by Head Coach Heath Gilbert on the sidelines and senior running back Aidan Vaught between the lines.

Coach Gilbert is switching the defense up this year to a 3-3 stack to better fit the team’s athletes.

That could hurt them against teams that like to pound the run like Strasburg does out of their classic T-formation.

All eyes will be on Vaught when Skyline’s offense is on the field.

He switched back to his more natural position of running back this season, but while playing quarterback last year, he amassed over 2,000 total yards and 17 touchdowns on his way to earning 1st Team All Region 3B All-Purpose.

Strasburg is lead by All State offensive lineman and linebacker Colby Shaw.

Shaw was one of the areas leading tacklers with 145 last season.

Head Coach Mark Roller’s Rams are coming off a strong season including a Bull Run District Championship.

The former Strasburg QB and long time head coach has to replace his son, All Region performer Ryan Roller, at QB this season.

He will look towards sophomore Brayden Hough who beat out another sophomore, Harper Sherman.

Hough was thrown into the fire during the Regional Championship loss to Central when Roller went out with an injury, but with more time to prepare, should have more control over the offense.

Skyline’s quarterback battle saw the more athletic Nick Mrad beat out the more experienced Nate Ballard.

Neither quarterback should be asked to do too much unless one of the team’s falls behind substantially as they will both look to pound the ground game.

I predict a very competitive contest between two teams who will try to keep their game plan simplified for their new QBs.

I look for Strasburg to emerge victorious tonight due to their strong run game and the way their offensive formation could exploit the weaknesses of Skyline’s 3-3 stack, 23-14.

Tune in to the action on The River 95.3, Fox Sports Radio 1450 WFTR, theriver953.com and the Tune In Radio App.

For my interview with Coach Mark Roller, play below.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.