Lam's 25 Helps ERHS Win, 59-42
Posted: February 20, 2013
East Rock’s Katie Dofflemyer drives for a layup in Tuesday’s playoff game against Luray. (Photo by Jason Lenhart / DN-R)
Playing for the first time since a postseason loss snapped a 51-game winning streak, the East Rockingham High School girls’ basketball team looked similarly peeved and just as motivated.
Poor Luray hardly stood a chance.
The No. 2-seed Eagles didn’t trail after the first quarter and didn’t let their lead get below six in the third, then salted away a 59-42 win over the No. 7 Bulldogs in the Region B, Division 1 quarterfinals, making amends for a loss to Stuarts Draft in last week’s Shenandoah tournament that Comer said was “almost like a demon.”
“We felt like we didn’t give our best effort [against Draft],” Comer said, noting he watched the film of that game “probably” five times. “…If we were going to go down, I wanted to go down taking our best shot and taking our best swing, and I didn’t think we did that last week. That was something that we talked about.”
East Rock (24-1), the defending Division 1 state champion, advances to a regional semifinal against No. 3-seed Amelia County at 6 p.m. Thursday at Eastern Mennonite University. The winner earns a bye into the state tournament.
In the days that followed the Eagles’ 59-46 loss in the district tourney semifinals – their first loss since Dec. 6, 2011, and their first defeat to a current Shenandoah team in the third-year school’s history – the Eagles’ players were “shook for a couple days,” Comer said. And Comer took the loss hard, too.
“He [Comer] had watched the film a couple times and just [was] basically ripping us on what we did wrong,” Lam said. “But not only ripping us. He told us, ‘It’s a loss, it’s behind us, you’ve got to let it go and move on to the next one.’”
Lam poured in 25 points – including 11 of 13 free throws – and sophomore point guard Madison Comer (Coach Comer’s daughter) added 14 for ERHS, which took its last lead at 6-5 2 minutes, 15 seconds into the first quarter.
Luray, led by junior forward Sable Ponn’s 16 points, cut it to 33-27 early in the third quarter on freshman guard Michaelea Nichols’ jumper. But a quick 8-1 East Rock spurt followed.
Then in the fourth, the Eagles slowly squeezed the season out of Luray by slowing the pace, spreading the floor and attacking the basket off the dribble. Between layups and free throws, the Eagles’ demons slowly vanquished.
As his season came to an end, LHS coach Chris Ponn was a bit perturbed at drawing East Rock in the opening round of regionals. (Altavista, the Dogwood District regular-season and tournament champion, got the regional tournament’s top seed.)
“It’s just unfortunate that you work so hard in your district, and then you have to turn around and play someone [as good as East Rock] in the region right off the bat,” Ponn said. “I haven’t figured it out yet. I don’t know how it happened or why it happened.
“But you’ve got to hand it to them; that’s why they’re the state champions.”
Dudley 3 0-0 7, Ponn 4 8-9 16, Henry 2 1-2 6, Nichols 4 0-0 8, Dinges 2 1-2 5. Totals 15 10-13 42.
Dofflemyer 4 0-3 10, Comer 4 5-8 14, Cameron 2 0-1 5, Lam 7 11-13 25, Nicholson 2 1-2 5. Totals 19 17-27 59.
Luray 12 11 7 12 - 42
East Rock 21 11 11 16 - 59
3-Point Goals—Luray 2 (Dudley 1, Henry 1), East Rock 4 (Dofflemyer 2, Comer 1, Cameron 1). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Luray 26 (Ponn 8), East Rock 16 (Cameron 7). Total Fouls—Luray 23, East Rock 14.