Craig County girls fare better in second meeting with Parry McCluer

Savannah Looney brings the ball up the floor for Craig. Photo by Jim Devinney

 The Craig County girls took on one of the area’s top girls’ basketball teams last week, not once but twice. The Craig girls didn’t get a win, but they played much better the second time around.

Parry McCluer is 19-1 this season and leading the Pioneer District with an 8-0 record. Craig was also undefeated in district play before taking on the Blues last week. The Rockets fell to 5-2 with the two losses, tying them for second place in the Pioneer District with Covington.

Craig and Covington were scheduled to play Monday of this week, but inclement weather forced postponement of that game until February 7 in New Castle. The Rockets are scheduled to play at Covington a day later, on February 8, so that home-and-home series will be important.

Craig traveled to Parry McCluer last Tuesday, January 24, and it was all Blues as the home team took a 73-26 win. Tierrney Zysk had nine points and 14 rebounds and Kaylee Pauley had seven points.

“It was not a good night for us,” said coach Lauren Burgess. “We had worked on the skills we needed going into this game, but it’s almost like we were caught by surprise. I’m not sure if it ended up being nerves or just a very off night.”

A couple nights later the Rockets beat a weak Highland County team in New Castle, 59-39.

“Even though we won we weren’t playing like the Lady Rockets,” said Burgess.

Zysk, Taylor Sloss and Savannah Looney all had 13 points to lead Craig in this one. Pauley had eight and Olivia Menezes had six points. Craig dominated the boards, with Sloss grabbing 23 rebounds and Zysk getting 11 boards.

On Saturday afternoon the Rockets got a rematch with Parry McCluer. They didn’t win, but it was much closer than the first time around at 67-42. The Rockets trailed by just seven at the half and had the Blues worried.

“After working very hard on Friday, we got to have our rematch against PM on Saturday,” said Burgess. “Even though we ended up losing the girls played much better. They were definitely back on track and they played very well together. They used what we went over in practice, and they executed an amazing first half. I was truly impressed with the girls and know that if we continue to play like that we will unstoppable.”

Looney led the Rockets with 12 points and Zysk and Sloss had 11 points each. Maddy Jones contributed five points and Pauley had three.

Now 7-6 overall, the Rockets were scheduled to play at home against Eastern Montgomery on Tuesday for Senior Night. Results were too late for publication.

On Friday the girls are at Narrows for a non-district, non-conference game, and Monday they’ll be back home to host James River before the important two games with Covington.