While many expected a big scoring number from East Rockingham sophomore Tyler Nickel in the Eagles’ season-opening win over Turner Ashby, it wasn’t needed — Nickel did still lead the way with 23 — as East Rock showed off its depth in the blowout victory.
As the season goes along, there certainly will be nights where Nickel erupts offensively.
Other players in the area who could put up big numbers on any given night on the boys scene include Spotswood’s Carmelo Pacheco and the Eastern Mennonite trio of Chance Church, Aviwe Mahlong and Trey Gillenwater are all equally as dangerous.
For the girls, players like Harrisonburg’s Mariah Cain, Spotswood’s Abby Branner, Lexi Bennington-Horton and Stephanie Ouderkirk or Turner Ashby’s Becca Shiflet stand out.
With one week of high school basketball down, let’s look at some noteworthy numbers:
86 — The percentage of East Rockingham girls’ scoring lost from a season ago. The Eagles are trying to replace Ali Berry, Naomi Gibson, Nicole Jefferson and Erin Clayton.
31 — How many straight games Spotswood girls have won in a row against opponents from the state of Virginia. The Trailblazers have won 31 of their last 32 games overall.
25 — The number of 3s the Eastern Mennonite boys hit in their first three games. The Flames coasted to three straight victories to open up their season.
9 — The combined amount of wins between the trio of Strasburg, Luray and Page County. The Bull Run District’s top three teams are all off to perfect 3-0 starts.
8 — The amount of seniors on the Harrisonburg boys roster. The Blue Streaks are the most experienced team in the Valley District this season.
6 — How many unbeaten boys basketball teams remain in the area. Those teams are Spotswood, Waynesboro, East Rockingham, Eastern Mennonite, Central and Riverheads, which hasn’t played a game yet due to the success of the football team.
5 — The number of Broadway boys players that have scored in double digits at least once this season. All five Gobblers starters have hit the double-digit point total once.
3 — The amount of double-doubles for Stephanie Ouderkirk in three games for the Spotswood girls. Ouderkirk is signed to play at James Madison next season.