East Rock Rolls Into Final

Cruises By Castlewood, 63-32

Posted: March 7, 2013

RICHMOND — The East Rockingham High School girls’ basketball team could have made more layups. A lot more.

And yet, despite all the missed gimmes and point-blank tries that rolled over and off the rim, the Eagles still managed to do what they’ve done all season: win with ease.

Led by a big third quarter from Katie Dofflemyer, defending state champ East Rock overcame a miserable shooting day to blow by outclassed Castlewood — which had 39 turnovers — for a 63-32 victory in the Division 1 semifinals Thursday morning at the Siegel Center.

“We were kind of waiting for the lid to come off the rim out there,” ERHS coach Paul Comer said. “... We were struggling to shoot the basketball for quite some time, but we played hard on the defensive end and gave a great effort defensively. We talk about that quite a bit. When our offense isn’t going so well, our defense will carry us through sometimes.”

Dofflemyer scored 14 points — 10 in the third quarter when the Eagles (28-1) outscored Castlewood 18-7 to stretch a nine-point lead to 20. The 5-foot-8 junior guard hit two 3-pointers and scored numerous points in transition.

“Paul basically told us to just have confidence and shoot the ball,” Dofflemyer said.

Now, the Eagles face the Altavista-Clintwood winner Friday at 2 p.m. for the state championship. ERHS has made the state final four in each of the school’s three years of existence.

“They’re the best team we’ve played this year, by far,” Castlewood coach Barry Ruff said. “They’ve been here for three years in a row and [won] 50-some-odd games in a row, and you just don’t get that way by chance. Good coaching, good players, good program, and we knew that we were playing the best team in the state, and they played like the best team in the state in the second half.”

Dofflemyer also had five rebounds and eight steals, as she helped East Rock finally get the ball in the hoop. Scoring in transition helped with that. The Eagles got 14 points off fast breaks and 41 off the Blue Devils’ 39 turnovers. Castlewood — which had more turnovers than points — gave it away 24 times in the first half.

“We got steals,” Dofflemyer said. “We got our hands up on the defensive end, and that made it a lot easier.”

Madison Comer led ERHS with a game-high 15 points. The sophomore point guard also had nine assists, eight steals and five rebounds. Senior guard Jessica Lam added 14 points and four steals for the Eagles, who traded leads three times with Castlewood (21-7) in the first half before taking over for good on a fast-break layup by Madison Comer.

She had 11 points in the first half and was one of the few players — on either team — who had success scoring early.

“We just shot the ball poorly, and then it got mental for us,” Paul Comer said. “And shooters, they’ve got to be mindless sometimes. You got to keep shooting the basketball. We looked tentative and really unsure of ourselves out there sometimes, and we just had loosen up and shoot a little bit and make some layups.”

East Rockingham shot 30.7 percent for the game, making 23 of 75 shots. Castlewood took 43 shots, hitting 12, against the Eagles’ very tough defense, which more than compensated for the slow offensive start. Their defense also left an impression.

“I have never had anyone play defense on me like that in my life,” said sophomore center Caitlyn Fleming, who led CHS with 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Dofflemyer 5-18 2-2 14, Comer 6-19 3-5 15, Cameron 1-6 2-2 4, Lam 3-9 8-8 14, Nicholson 3-9 0-0 6, Grubbs 0-1 0-0 0, Rouse 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 1-4 0-0 2, Miller 0-0 0-0 0, McPike 2-2 0-0 4, Wilkins 1-3 0-0 2, Bailey 1-1 0-0 2, Kisling 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-75 15-17 63.
Crabtree 0-8 0-0 0, Purtee 1-2 0-0 2, Kennedy 0-6 0-0 0, Jessee 2-6 2-4 7, Fleming 5-11 2-4 12, Couch 1-2 0-0 3, Ellis 0-0 0-0 0, Hubbard 1-2 0-0 2, Elam 0-0 1-2 1, Scarberry 0-0 0-0 0, Isaacs 2-6 1-2 5. Totals 12-43 6-12 32.
East Rockingham 12 15 18 18 — 63
Castlewood 7 11 7 7 — 32
3-Point Goal—East Rockingham 2-23 (Dofflemyer 2-11, Comer 0-6, Cameron 0-2, Lam 0-1, Smith 0-1, Wilkins 0-2), Castlewood 2-10 (Crabtree 0-3, Kennedy 0-3, Jessee 1-1, Couch 1-2, Hubbard 0-1). Fouled Out—none. Rebounds—East Rockingham 42 (Cameron, Nicholson 8), Castlewood 43 (Fleming 14). Assists—East Rockingham 20 (Comer 9), Castlewood 8 (Jessee 3). Total Fouls—East Rockingham 10, Castlewood 13.