CASTLEWOOD - The Castlewood boys took care of business Wednesday night.
The Rye Cove girls went home with unfinished business.
Chris Smith exploded for 25 points in the nightcap as the Blue Devils clinched the Cumberland District regular season championship with a 77-53 win over the visiting Eagles.
In the opener, Castlewood's Kayla Gordon scored 23 points in a 64-55 win over Rye Cove that put the Lady Blue Devils in a tie atop the district.
Castlewood (14-6, 7-2) wraps up the season with Ervinton at home Friday. Rye Cove (16-5, 7-2) travels to Thomas Walker Friday. If both win out, they'll meet again Monday in a playoff (site TBA) to settle who gets the top seed for next week's Cumberland District tournament at Clinchco.
That prize includes the district's automatic berth to the Region D tournament.
"We need to appreciate that we may have a second chance. We still control our own destiny. We just have to play better next time," said Rye Cove coach Jamie Carter.
Shasta Edwards scored 17 points for Rye Cove, which trailed 23-19 at the half. Cat-quick Christi Hood scored 21 points.
After an eight-point surge from the Lady 'Devils, Rye Cove clawed its way back into contention. The Lady Eagles got a self-created transition layup from Shelli McDavid, then McDavid's inside bucket with 2:14 left closed it to 53-50.
A couple of free throws by Gordon and another by Addington gave the home girls some breathing room.
"In the other game we were up by 10 in the fourth quarter and then we lost it. But this time, it was our home court and we decided it wasn't going to happen again," said Evans, whose clutch 3-pointer with 1:06 remaining was the dagger.
Castlewood coach Barry Ruff, who has occupied the Seat of Heat since losing at Rye Cove, was understandably pleased with the outcome.
"I told you guys last time I wasn't down on us and this is exactly the reason why," Ruff said. "I know we can be the top team in this district. I'm so proud of these girls. I really am."
The first meeting between the Castlewood boys and Rye Cove (14-8, 6-3) was probably the Cumberland District's most riveting game of the season. This time, the Blue Devils (19-1, 9-0) were determined to keep excitement to a minimum.
Working in the home team's favor was the absence of War Eagle guards Jarrid Hensley and Travis Shupe due to illness. This moved star guard Adam Hood to the point, where he was more vulnerable to double teams. Alternately hounded by Patrick Fisher and Travis Carter, Hood scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds while distributing seven assists.
Drew Justice and Brad McReynolds had 13 points, seven boards apiece for Castlewood.
"The bench came out and executed. That told me that everybody was paying attention on the whole team. They knew what was going on and what we were trying to accomplish," said coach Aaron Williams, who schooled Castlewood to its sixth straight Region D tournament appearance.