By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: March 6, 2019 | 9:15 a.m.
SURRY – Riding a wave of momentum that began in the early stages of the season and grew to great heights over the past several weeks with an impressive regional and state-level run, both Surry High School boys and girls basketball teams prepare to head to Richmond for VHSL Class 1 State Championships after nabbing wins Tuesday evening in Sussex.
In front of what essentially was a home crowd of Surry supporters, the Surry’s Lady Cougars played a complete game against a formidable opponent in Riverheads High School out of Augusta County, earning a 74-54 victory over the Gladiators. Coming into Tuesday’s game, Riverheads High was the number 1 seed of VHSL’s Region 1B, with the team scoring an average of nearly 60 points in each of their three regional games to earn their way into the state bracket.
For the Gladiators, the scoreline of Tuesday’s game against the Lady Cougars was similar to Riverheads’ quarterfinal match-up against West Point, which saw the Gladiators win 73-48 but, when faced against the potent offense Surry High’s Lady Cougars, Riverheads High was unable to break through and notch their place in the VHSL Class 1 State Championships.
The semifinal game served to demonstrate the Lady Cougars’ ability to push their offensive efforts to another level as the 74 points scored by the team in Tuesday’s game stands as the most points scored by the team throughout regional and state-level play, with the Lady Cougars’ 67 points against Middlesex in the regional semifinals close behind.
With their ticket punched for Richmond and the VHSL Class 1 State Championships, the attention for the Lady Cougars now turns to Parry McCluer High School out of Buena Vista, Virginia just off Interstate 81 in the northwestern portions of the Commonwealth.
McCluer High earned their way into the championship game following a solid performance during their regional tournament, averaging 58 offensive points while only allowing an average of 37 points against in route to their region’s title.
Once in the state tournament, the Fighting Blues won their quarterfinal and semifinal games by 18 and 17 points respectively, while averaging 55 offensive points between both games, including a 62-44 scoreline in the quarterfinals against Patrick Henry out of Glade Springs.
The Fighting Blues will have a tough fight on their hands against a Surry Lady Cougars team that has been consistent on both sides of the ball throughout the regular season and even more so during tournament play. Coming in as the one-seed, Surry scored no fewer than 58 points across their three games on their way to a regional title. Entering state competition, Surry brought their strong offense and solid defense against their quarterfinals opponent of Altavista, scoring 51 points, including 32 unanswered points during the middle stages of last Friday’s game to earn a one-sided 51-13 win over the Colonels.
Later Tuesday evening, it was the boys’ basketball team taking to Sussex Central High School’s court to face off against Rappahannock High School in a game where they were able to capture a 64-55 victory over the Raiders in a rematch of the regional finals only days earlier where Surry earned the regional title against Rappahannock 50-45. Coming into Tuesday’s game, the Raiders did rebound from their loss to the Cougars but, when the semifinals saw the two teams facing off for a second time, Rappahannock worked hard to keep Surry at bay but, the Cougars would be victorious over the Raiders for the second time in as many days and earn an opportunity to bring the state title to Surry County.
Trying to stop Surry will be their VHSL Class 1 State Championship opponents, Eastside High School out of Wise County. Looking back at the Spartans’ run to the state championship, after advancing through the first two rounds of their regional tournament, they were bested by J.I. Burton High School in the finals 63-62. The Spartans bounced back from their regional loss with a 63-60 win over Region C Champion Auburn before facing off with Burton High School in another regional finals matchup, with the Spartans returning the favor and defeating Burton 69-54 to earn their spot in the finals.
After serving as the host for games over the last few days, Surry’s teams and the entire tournament heads to Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center, where the stands that are usually filled with loyal Rams fans cheering on their team to an Atlantic 10 Regular Season Championship will be packed with supporters from across the state, including Surry, where support for the teams has been unyielding and passionate throughout the season.
According to the Virginia High School League’s official bracket:
- Class 1 Girls State Championship
Saturday, March 9, 2019 – 11:00 a.m.
- Class 1 Boys State Championship
Saturday March 9, 2019 – 1:00 p.m.