A rare meeting between the local high school sports teams will take place Monday night when the Salem girls visit Glenvar for a 6 pm basketball game at the Highlanders’ gym.
Games in all sports, except football, used to be commonplace for the two local high schools. However, they’ve been few and far between in recent years. This season, however, the two schools will meet in both boys’ and girls’ basketball.
“I just want to keep playing, I don’t care who it is,” said Glenvar coach Brian Crockett after his girls won at Covington Tuesday, 44-42. “We’ve gotten so much better. I wish I had taken a video of our first practice so I could compare it to how we’re playing now. We’re so much better, and I’m having a lot of fun teaching fundamentals to these girls.”
Glenvar is now 4-2 after back-to-back wins over Covington. Last Friday at home the girls took a 58-41 win over the Cougars as Kiera Omberg scored 24 points and freshman Olivia Harris had 17. On Tuesday in Covington the Cougars played a “triangle and two” on Omberg and Harris and held Kiera to 14 points and Harris to just two, but Kyleigh Drew picked up the slack with nine points.
“Kyleigh came up big,” said Crockett. “We don’t spend a lot of time practicing against junk defenses and when we see them it takes us out of our rhythm.”
Salem is also improving and playing some quality teams tough. The Spartans lost to William Byrd and Lord Botetourt in the past week, but they hung tough in both games against two of the best girls’ teams in the Roanoke Valley.
“Our girls fought to the end,” said coach Corbitt Hairston. “Against Botetourt we were still in the game after three and a half quarters, and that’s a very good team.”
Botetourt pulled away at the end to win 60-35. Deneja Hampton led Salem with a dozen points, all in the second half after getting in early foul trouble. Katie Evans had eight points, Kendra Bolen had 11 rebounds and Amanda Woody had three assists.
Last Friday in Vinton the Spartans dropped a 51-33 game to William Byrd in Vinton. Salem trailed by just three points at the half but Byrd took control in the third quarter, as Salem scored just three points in those eight minutes. Salem cut the lead to eight with three and a half minutes left in the game but could get no closer.
Evans led the scoring with 11 and Woody had five. Hampton and Ayzah Burnette had six rebounds each and Burnette also had four steals.
“The positive take away from Friday’s game was that we competed and gave ourselves chances to win the game,” said Hairston. “The Lady Spartans are growing up and improving each game.”
Salem is now 1-3 and won’t play again until Monday’s game at Glenvar, and note the varsity will play at 6 pm as Glenvar does not have a jayvee team until after the middle school season ends. The Highlanders are at Blacksburg on Friday.