Written by Garrett Ruggieri
Congratulations to our Maroon basketball players and coaches on their fantastic seasons. The men finished the regular season 18-7 (11-5 ODAC) while our women capped off the year at 17-9 (9-9 ODAC). The work is far from over for these two squads as the ODAC tournament is set to get underway at the Salem Civic Center.
Off to a fast start, the ladies have already advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating Eastern Mennonite 81-67 at home on Tuesday the 19th. In a revenge match from an overtime loss earlier in the year against the Royals, the Maroons had their foot on the pedal from the opening tip off until the final whistle. Out-scoring the Royals 24-10 in the first quarter, the Maroons had solidified a led to play loose and fast for the remainder of the game. Renee Alquiza, Molly Hassell, Ajah Alexander, and Kristina Harrel were all able to eclipse double digit points in round one of the ODAC tournament. The No. 7 seeded Maroons will need another strong performance on Friday at 6pm against No. 2 Emory and Henry. In their first meeting, Roanoke fell to Emory & Henry 67-51 after a lackluster start that hampered the Maroons for the entire game. The box score is clean, it’s a new day in sunny Salem, and our Maroons are ready to face off against a worthy opponent with an opportunity to advance to the semifinals.
The men’s basketball team dominated the quarterfinals game against Lynchburg and are advancing to the semifinals game. The Maroons maintained their lead throughout the entirety of the game, all the way until 48 seconds left of the second half. The Maroons pulled through with strong defense, leading to a scoreless possession for the Hornets and giving the Maroons a chance at redemption. Junior, Joe Mikalauskas attempted to score from behind the arc, and freshman Tripp Green came to the rescue with the rebound and fouled shot. The crowd was on their feet as Green stepped to the line with 0.8 seconds left. The first shot bounced on the rim and swished through the net, and the second one followed suit. The Maroons prevented the Hornets from scoring and got to taste the sweet taste of victory against RC’s biggest rival. Next, the Maroons will take on the second seed, Guilford at 3:00pm this Saturday for the semifinals game.
Track and Field will have a crack at the ODAC Championship on Sunday, February 24th. The team has accomplished yet another impressive season, breaking multiple school records in the lanes and in the field.