WISE — Parry McCluer gave Castlewood the Blues on Saturday in the VHSL Group A, Division 1 boys basketball quarterfinals at Virginia-Wise.
Forcing 19 turnovers and limiting the Blue Devils to just 26 percent shooting from the field, the Fighting Blues overwhelmed the Region D champions 53-34.
It was a disappointing end to the season for Castlewood (21-6).
“We had some good looks,” said Blue Devils coach Doug Campbell. “But we picked a bad night not to put the ball in the hole.
“Give Parry McCluer credit,” Campbell added. “They hit us in the mouth early and we just didn’t respond well. They are a very good basketball team.”
The Blues forced six first-quarter turnovers and raced out to a 13-3 lead by the start of the second period. A little more than four minutes into the second period the Blues’ advantage had grown to 18, 26-8.
By the halftime break, Parry McCluer held an almost insurmountable 33-13 lead.
“Being up so much at the half was huge for us,” said Blues coach Nelson Fox. “Castlewood has an outstanding team and we knew what they were capable of doing.
“Our goal was to shut down their back-door plays. And we had to keep them from getting good looks on the perimeter.”
The Blues were successful on both those fronts. They went on a 6-0 run to begin the second half and held their largest lead of the game, 39-13, with 5:49 left in the third period.
“We dug ourselves too big a hole,” Campbell said. “We had a little run to start the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late.”
Castlewood just hit 2 of 21 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.
Parry McCluer closed the game with 13 steals and scored 20 points off turnovers.
Josh Perry led the Blues with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Charlie Fitzgerald added 12 points and four steals. Tanner Fix came off the bench to contribute 11 points for Parry McCluer.
After being upset in last week’s Region C final by Bland County, Saturday’s victory tasted that much sweeter to the Blues.
“We were upset about losing the region final,” Fitzgerald said. “We were determined tonight to play better.”
Tyler Austin led Castlewood with 12 points and Reid Edmonds added 11.