The Glenvar High girls’ basketball team was headed to Gate City Wednesday to play in the state Class 2 semifinal. If the Highlanders were able to pull that out they would host the state championship game on Saturday at the GHS gym.
The Highlanders took a 7-4 record to Gate City to meet the defending Class 2 state champion Blue Devils. Gate City went into that game with a 14-1 mark.
“They’re not overly big, but they’re very aggressive on defense,” said Glenvar coach Jeff Johnson. “And they have some good shooters.”
The Highlanders are no strangers to aggressive defense. Last week they swept Floyd County, Giles and Radford to win the Region 2C tournament after coming in as the third seed. They beat Floyd for the first time in 11 years, then took down second seeded Giles on the road in the semifinals, 52-42, and top-seeded Radford on Friday, 53-43, in Radford.
“That was the best basketball we’ve played so far,” said Johnson of the win at Radford. “We were able to match their intensity. Radford tends to get up on people quickly and we didn’t let them do that.”
Glenvar trailed by a point at the half, 22-21, then won the third quarter, 18-12, to take a five point lead. The Highlanders hit their free throws down the stretch to hold off the Bobcats for the big upset.
Olivia Harris led Glenvar with 35 points. That was just two off the career high for the University of Lynchburg bound senior, who had 37 in a game with Giles last year.
“They told me at the end of the game how many points she had and I had no idea,” said Johnson. “It was all in the flow of the game, we moved the ball well. And they kept fouling her in the fourth quarter.”
Harris was 10 for 13 from the line and had three three-pointers among 11 field goals. Melaysia Donaldson had eight points and Rhyan Harris had seven for the Highlanders.
If the Highlanders can pull off another upset over Gate City Saturday’s championship game would be at the Glenvar gym, most likely in the evening, but fans would not be allowed to attend. However, the game could be viewed on the NFHS network by going to nfhsnetwork.com.