The crew from Buena Vista outdistanced the Lady Spartans 69-29 in a VHSL Class 1 girls basketball semifinal Tuesday at Virginia-Wise’s Prior Center. Eastside managed just 22.2 percent shooting from the field and committed 21 turnovers in suffering its first loss since Jan. 17.
“We knew it would be a tough test,” Eastside coach Barry Ruff said. “I’m proud of my seniors, who have put all of the years of work in to get us to this point. We just came up short tonight against a better team.”
Eastside (25-4) opened the game on a 4-0 run, but things quickly turned south for the Region D champions. The Lady Blues went on a 17-4 run over the remainder of the opening eight minutes, and the Lady Spartans headed to the second quarter facing a 17-8 deficit.
Parry McCluer (26-2) used its defense to expand the lead in the second quarter, holding the Lady Spartans to 2-of-12 shooting in the period. Peyton Mohler, meanwhile, scored five of her 13 points to help the Lady Blues take a 30-16 lead to intermission.
Things went from bad to worse for Eastside when played resumed after intermission. The Lady Spartans missed four of their first five field-goal attempts to begin the second half en route to a 3-for-10 showing from the field in the third period.
While Eastside was struggling, Parry McCluer was crashing the offensive glass and cleaning up second-chance opportunities.
The Lady Blues grabbed 10 of their 20 offensive rebounds in the third quarter and converted the extra offensive possessions into eight points.
“Rebounding in the second half was big,” said Parry McCluer coach Adam Gilbert. “We pride ourselves on defense, and if we can play good defense the offense will come.”
Parry McCluer erased any hopes of a comeback quickly in the fourth. The Region C champions began the period with an 18-0 outburst to build the lead to 41 points.
Lady Blues forward Madison Dunlap led all players with 11 rebounds and added 10 points to post a double-double.
While Dunlap was doing work inside for Parry McCluer, Hailey Huffman was connecting from long range as she made a trio of 3-pointers as part of her game-high 15 points.
After shooting well from the perimeter in its state quarterfinal contest, Eastside made just 1 of 14 3-pointers Tuesday. Senior Hannah Wyrick was the lone Lady Spartans player to register double figure scoring, netting 11 points.
Parry McCluer goes for its second consecutive state title Friday at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center against Surry County.