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VHSL Regional Capsules

VHSL Regional Capsules

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lebanon

Tatum Dye scores and is greeted by her Lebanon teammates in a 4-0 win over Marion on Wednesday in the Southwest District Tournament softball semifinals. The Pioneers are 14-0 and take on Gate City tonight.

Twenty-eight win-or-go-home regional tournament games involving teams from far Southwest Virginia will be held today at venues near and far.

Lebanon’s baseball and softball teams are both undefeated as regional play begins, while Abingdon (baseball), George Wythe (boys soccer) and Graham (boys soccer) will also try to keep their perfect records intact this week.

The following is a brief look at each of today’s game involving local teams:

BASEBALL

Region 1D

Grundy (4-6) at Holston (7-5)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: Holston won the Hogoheegee District tournament for the first time in program history, going on a hitting spree in wins over Rural Retreat (16-7) and Chilhowie (11-7). Tristan Allen (.393 batting average), Braxton Vannoy (.375), Brycen Richardson (.343) and Jordan Ezzell (.308) lead the way for the Cavaliers. Ezzell has rung up 51 strikeouts and has a 1.73 ERA in 28 innings on the mound. … Cade Looney (4-3, 2.54 ERA) is the ace pitcher for Grundy, but will not be available to go on the mound this evening. Austin Deel (.550) and Kaden Vanover (.370, 17 stolen bases) have been the top hitters for the Golden Wave. Tommy Crigger is in his first season as head coach of the Wave. … Holston hammered out an 18-9 win over Grundy in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Region 1D tourney.

Up Next: The winner plays at Eastside on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

J.I. Burton (7-5) at Honaker (8-3)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: Honaker hasn’t played since a May 27 loss to Chilhowie, so the Tigers will have to knock some rust off. … Alex Barton has been the ace pitcher for Honaker as he’s 6-0 with a 0.78 ERA and has struck out 53 batters in 36 innings. T.J. Hubbard (.394), Jayson Mullins (.300, 10 RBIs), Evan Justus (.308, 16 stolen bases), Dylan Barrett (.370, 11 RBIs) and Wes Yates (.429) are the top hitters for the Tigers. … Honaker’s three losses have come to unbeaten Lebanon, Hogoheegee District regular-season champion Chilhowie and West Virginia powerhouse Bluefield. … Clay Hart (3-2, 0.84 ERA, 31 strikeouts in 25 innings) is the No. 1 starter for Burton, while Chris Branham has a 2.52 ERA in 16 2/3 innings and is also hitting .500 with 15 RBIs. … Jaymen Buchanan (.432, 10 RBIs), Dauntae Keys (.324, eight RBIs), Robert Emershaw (.314, eight RBIs) and Cameron Sergent (.303, seven RBIs) are the hitters to watch for head coach Jacob Caudill’s J.I. Burton club. … This is one of the most compelling games on the docket today. J.I. Burton outlasted Honaker for a 7-4, nine-inning win in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Region 1D tournament.

Up Next: The winner plays at Chilhowie on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Region 2D

Tazewell (8-4) at John Battle (9-5)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: Seniors Bryson Almany (.524) and Zach Smith (.511) have been the cornerstones all season for Battle and both have signed with King University. Designated hitter Ryan Mix is hitting .424. … The Trojans have used an array of pitchers with Noah Sills (3.40 ERA), Braxton Emmerson (2.42 ERA), Jacob Hutton (0.66 ERA) and Jackson Gayle (0.75 ERA) having solid seasons. Battle’s roster features nine freshmen. … John Battle principal Jimmy King and assistant coach Chase Buchanan are both Tazewell graduates. … Tazewell has four players hitting over .400 and the starting lineup includes just one senior. The Bulldogs finished as Region 2D runner-up in 2018, beating John Battle in the semifinals.

Up Next: Either Lebanon or Lee High awaits the winner in Wednesday’s Region 2D semifinals.

Wise County Central (9-4) at Virginia High (10-5)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: This might be the most anticipated matchup of the evening … Isaac Berry (6-1, 1.61 ERA) and Cole Hartsock are a strong 1-2 punch at the top of the pitching rotation for Virginia High. Berry (.455), Connor Davidson (.370) and Dalton Taylor (.356) have hit the ball well. … Ben Brickey has been the workhorse of the Central pitching staff and is 4-2 with one save and a 1.44 ERA. He has struck out 44 batters in 34 innings. Preston Joyner (.432, 12 RBIs), Tyson Tester (.375, 15 RBIs) and Norfolk State University signee Evan Stanley have pounded the offerings of opposing pitchers all season long.

Up Next: Gate City or Richlands will be the foe for the winner in Wednesday’s regional semis.

Richlands (7-7) at Gate City (9-4)

Today, 5 p.m.

The Skinny: Richlands is in the regional tournament for the first time since 2013. Outfielder Jake Altizer (.428), first baseman Collin Richardson (.402), designated hitter Gavin Cox (.395) and third baseman Bowen Tarter (.370) have led the way at the dish for the Blue Tornado. … Gate City is in its first season playing home games at the Scott County Sports Complex and the Blue Devils have performed solidly wherever they have played. … Jake Taylor has delivered in a big way for Gate City as he is 4-1 with a 2.47 ERA, while also compiling a .488 batting average, .551 on-base percentage and 16 RBIs. Carson Jenkins (.476, 24 runs, eight stolen bases), Ryan Jessee (15 RBIs, eight stolen bases), Isaac Vincent (.379), Trevor Herron (.375) and Carter Babb (.361) have pounded out hits for GC.

Up Next: The winner gets either Virginia High or Wise County Central in Wednesday’s semifinals.

Lee High (4-9) at Lebanon (14-0)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: Unbeaten Lebanon has been led by a stacked batting order that features a man of steel and a pitching rotation anchored by one of the most dominant hurlers in Southwest Virginia history. … Preston Steele has a sublime .607 batting average for the Pioneers and is one of seven guys hitting over .300 for head coach Doc Adams’ club. Anthony Houchins (.436), Seth Buchanan (.400), Matthew Buchanan (.388), Zach Hertig (.400) and Dagan Barton (.300) are the other big boppers. … Matthew Buchanan is 4-0 on the mound this season and 20-0 for his prep career. He has not allowed a run in 2021. His younger brother, Seth, is 6-0 with a 0.50 ERA. Barton (1-0) and Steele (3-0) also pitch for the Pioneers. …Lee is in the regional tournament for the first time since 2013 when the Generals lost to Eastside in the opening round of the Region D, Division 2 tourney.

Up Next: The winner plays John Battle or Tazewell in Wednesday’s regional semifinals.

Region 3D

Northside at Abingdon (13-0)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: Abingdon is the top seed in the 10-team field. … The Falcons have outscored the opposition 192-17, have a team batting average of .418, a fielding percentage of .971 and finished the regular season unbeaten for the first time since 2004. … Caleb Collins (.500), Cole Lambert (.481), Jake O’Quinn (.471), Chase Hungate (.463, 19 RBIs), Luke Francisco (.457), Ethan Ketron (.448, two home runs), Ethan Gibson (.432, 26 RBIs), Jake Thacker (.433) and Brody Dotson (.433) lead the hit parade. Hungate (5-0, 0.91 ERA), Gibson (4-0, 1.14 ERA) and Brant Boggs (2-0, 1.36 ERA) spearhead the pitching rotation. … Northside notched an 11-4 first-round win over Staunton River on Saturday as Rylan McClain mashed out three hits. McLain, Cory Sigmon, Dylan Dampeer and Brayden Graybill are the names to remember for the Vikings from Roanoke.

Up Next: The winner plays either Tunstall or Lord Botetourt in Wednesday’s semifinals.

SOFTBALL

Region 1D

Eastside (11-2) at Honaker (9-1)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: These old rivals have engaged in some postseason battles throughout the years. … Lara McClanahan (.583), Halle Hilton (.480), Somer Honaker (.393, three home runs, 13 RBIs) and Alexis Anderson (.391) are among the standouts for Honaker. McClanahan and Honaker (4-0, 0.63 ERA) have shared the pitching duties. … The lone loss came for the Honaker Tigers came to unbeaten Lebanon, while Eastside’s lost twice to Thomas Walker.

Up Next: Northwood hosts the winner in Wednesday’s semifinals.

Region 1D

Grundy (6-4) vs. Patrick Henry

At Emory & Henry College

Today, 5 p.m.

The Skinny: Patrick Henry is a postseason regular and head coach Tami Counts has won more than 200 games and led the Rebels to six appearances in the state tournament. Her squad pounded Holston (12-2) and Northwood (10-0) en route to winning the Hogohegeee District tournament. Abigail Street pitched a three-hitter and one-hitter in those games. … Grundy – guided by first-year head coach Emily Kendrick – is led by Emma Deel (.552, one home run, 19 RBIs) and Amelya Bostic (.407, one homer, nine RBIs), the only two seniors on the Golden Wave’s roster.

Up Next: The winner plays at Thomas Walker on Wednesday in the semifinals

Region 2D

Virginia High (7-6) at John Battle (13-1)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: The Bristol rivals will meet for the first time this season and both are seeking to bounce back from tough defeats. … Virginia High suffered a 4-3 walk-off loss to Richlands in the semifinals of the Southwest District tournament, while Marion bested the Bearcats, 13-1, in the third-place game. … Battle was handed its first loss of the season on Friday in a 4-2 setback to Ridgeview in the finals of the Mountain 7 District tournament. … Collectively, Battle is hitting .349 with 31 home runs and 124 runs scored. Hanna Jo McReynolds is one of Southwest Virginia’s top two-way players as she is hitting .465 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs, while striking out 120 in 95 innings of work in the circle. Logan Leonard (.566) and Logan Singleton (.370) can also hit the ball well. … Carrie Patrick (.480, 22 runs, 14 stolen bases, 12 RBIs), Aidan James (.449, 18 RBIs), Autumn Owens (.386, 16 RBIs) and Harley Holmes (.368, 12 RBIs) have been reliable run producers for VHS.

Up Next: The winner plays either Richlands or Wise County Central in Wednesday’s semifinals.

Wise County Central (11-4) at Richlands (10-4)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: Richlands is technically the defending state champions as the Blue Tornado won it all in 2019. … Most of the players from that squad have departed, but the Blues have still played well under first-year head coach James “Moose” Cochran. Erica Lamie has been one of the most productive sluggers in Southwest Virginia with a .600 batting average, four home runs and 20 RBIs. Gillian Guerriero (.352) and Rachael Rife (.350) can swing the bat as well. … Outfielder Maggie Shell is the only senior for Central and she is hitting .488 with six home runs. Sophomore third baseman Lexi Baker has seven homers to go along with a .444 batting average for the Warriors. Jill Sturgill and Bayleigh Allison have shared the bulk of the pitching duties.

Up Next: Either John Battle or Virginia High awaits the winner in Wednesday’s semifinals.

Marion (9-6) at Ridgeview (10-5)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: Both of these squads appear to be playing their best softball at the right time. … Ridgeview beat Lee High (4-3), Wise County Central (9-4) and John Battle (4-2) in winning the Mountain 7 District tournament for the first time in program history. Senior pitcher Laci Williams (9-4 record), second baseman Caiti Hill (27 RBIs), shortstop Braelynn Strouth (24 runs) and catcher Maggie Grant (20 runs) are among the leaders for Ridgeview. … Marion placed third in the Southwest District tournament, putting a scare in unbeaten Lebanon in a 4-2 loss in the semifinals and cruising to a 13-1 victory over Virginia High in the title game. Madi Bystrek hit two homers in the win over VHS and the Scarlet Hurricanes have several players in their lineup who can mash.

Up Next: The winner plays either Lebanon or Gate City in Wednesday’s semifinals

Gate City (7-8) at Lebanon (14-0)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: The only unbeaten softball squad still standing in far Southwest Virginia is the Lebanon Pioneers. … They have scored at least four runs in every game and won the Southwest District regular season and tournament titles. Tatum Dye and Maggie Lampkin of the Pioneers are two of the area’s top power hitters, while Adrienne Morrison and Alivia Nolley make quite the formidable pitching duo. … Lebanon won the 2019 Region 2D title, while finishing as regional runner-up in 2016, 2017 and 2018. … Sophomores Addie Gibson (.500) and Savannah Moore (.484) have the top batting averages for Gate City. Abby Davidson (.479), Kiersten Quillen (.426) and Sarah Thompson (.420, 29 RBIs) are also dangerous hitters for the Blue Devils.

Up Next: The winner plays either Ridgeview or Marion in Wednesday’s semifinals.

Region 3D

Abingdon (7-7) at Cave Spring (11-1)

Today, 5 p.m.

The Skinny: Just call the Abingdon Falcons the road warriors. After an 11-4 win at Magna Vista on Saturday, the team from Washington County will make the trip to Roanoke for a quarterfinal contest. … Furman University signee Lauren Woodall homered in that win over Magna Vista, while Haley Herndon, Chloe Odum, Kendel Yates, Sydney Nunley and Savannah Price had productive days at the plate. … Cave Spring has won the regional title in 2018 and 2019.Ella Bishop , Kylie Cundiff , Tristyn Tofano , Syd Smith , Riley Young and Kennedy Lange are the leaders for the Knights.

Up Next: The winner plays either William Byrd or Staunton River in Wednesday’s semifinals.

BOYS SOCCER

Region 1C

Bath County at George Wythe (12-0)

The Skinny: George Wythe has quietly put together a masterful season and are considered a title favorite in the state’s smallest classification. … Yianni Kapranos is a goal-scoring machine for the Maroons, while goalkeeper Ty Catron has signed with Lenoir-Rhyne University. … The Maroons have outscored their opponents, 84-2, and 17 of the 18 players on the squad have scored goals this season.

Up Next: The winner plays in the regional finals on Wednesday.

Region 1D

Patrick Henry (4-6) at Honaker (8-2)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: Zane Johnson has been the main man for Honaker with 19 goals and 15 assists. Nick Goodman (15 goals, six assists), Tyler Skeens (12 goals), Austin Barnhart (four goals) and Landon Marsh (four goals) also star for the talented Tigers. … Junior Dylan Bassett has 15 goals and seven assists to lead PH. Natalie Strait spearheads the defense, while midfielders Wyatt Wright and Addie Hahn have scored three goals apiece. Ryan Woodlee, Lucas Lynch and Cameron Boothe have played well as first-year starters for the Rebels, who field a co-ed team. Twelve of the team’s 18 players played high school soccer for the first time in 2021. … Honaker’s girls soccer team has already clinched a spot in the state semifinals by virtue of being the only female team in Region 1D.

Up Next: Either Rural Retreat or Grundy will be the opponent of the winner in Wednesday’s regional finals.

Grundy at Rural Retreat (4-6)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: Levi Crockett leads the way for Rural Retreat as he’s amassed 16 goals and three assists. Abigail Belcher, Joey Olender, Eli Bobbit (four goals, three assists), Reid Umberger (four assists, three goals) and goalkeeper Gavin Crowder are other players to watch for the Indians.

Up Next: The winner plays Honaker or Patrick Henry in the regional finals on Wednesday.

Region 2D

Virginia High (4-7) at Gate City (8-1-2)

Today, 6:30 p.m.

The Skinny: In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year – eight seniors were in the Class of 2020 – the Gate City Blue Devils are still humming along. David Edwards (11 goals) and Daniel Mann (11 assists, eight goals) have been outstanding, while goalkeeper Luke Reed has allowed only six goals, made more than 100 saves and recorded five shutouts. … Twin brothers Patrick Poku (nine goals, seven assists) and Prince Poku (seven goals, four assists) from Ghana have been the offensive catalysts for VHS. Bailey Owens (one goal, four assists), Parker Carroll (two goals), David Basurto (one goal) and Aquemini Martin (one goal) have also played well for the youthful Bearcats. There are only two seniors on the Bristol squad’s 18-man roster.

Up Next: The winner plays either Richlands or Wise County Central in Wednesday’s regional semifinals.

Region 2D

Wise County Central (6-5-1) at Richlands (9-3)

Today, 7 p.m.

The Skinny: Richlands has had a fine season under the direction of head coach Morgan Lloyd and he has lauded the team’s balanced attack. … The trio of Lucas Coffey (15 goals, 10 assists), Ashar Khan (15 goals, seven assists) and Cam Orr (15 assists and eight goals) have been the leaders for Central, which is coached by Mark Dockery. Dockery was a basketball standout at Twin Springs High School and King University.

Up Next: The winner plays either Gate City or Virginia High in Wednesday’s regional semifinals.

Lebanon (7-6) at Union (7-6)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: Members of the Union Bears are used to big games. Five of the team’s starters were also on the Region 2D championship track and field team, while two starters were on the school’s state title-winning basketball squad. All the starters contributed to either the Region 2D football championship or cross country crown as well. Junior Corbyn Jenkins (13 goals, seven assists) and freshman Brayden Wharton (10 goals, seven assists) are among the standouts for Union, as is goalkeeper Malachi Jenkins. …Lebanon has just one senior and two juniors on its roster. Grayson Olson’s 11 goals and Austin Street’s 10 assists lead the way. Carter Dillon, Eli Taylor, Emmitt Breeding, Colton Bartin and goalkeeper Josiah Wilson have also been standouts for Lebanon.

Up Next: The winner plays either Graham or John Battle in Wednesday’s regional semifinals.

John Battle at Graham (11-0)

Today, 7 p.m.

At East River Sports Complex

The Skinny: Graham head coach George Aiello has put another quality team on the field with Ben Morgan being one of the most talented players in Southwest Virginia. … John Battle suffered an 8-3 loss to Union in the first round of the Mountain 7 District tournament and the Trojans will face another tough task tonight in Bluefield.

Up Next: The winner plays either Union or Lebanon in Wednesday’s semifinals.

Region 3D

Abingdon at Christiansburg

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: If the Mountain 7 District handed out a tournament MVP trophy, James Whitted would have gotten it for the league tournament. He scored six goals in tourney wins over Lee High (9-1), Wise County Central (4-2) and Gate City (3-0) for the Falcons. … A major challenge awaits AHS today as the Falcons venture to the New River Valley.

Up Next: A spot in the regional semifinals on Wednesday goes to the winner.

GIRLS SOCCER

Region 1C

George Wythe at Eastern Montgomery

Today, 5:30 p.m.

The Skinny: It’s been a banner season of soccer in Wytheville as the boys soccer team at George Wythe is unbeaten and the girls squad has played well too. … VHSL Class 1 state cross country champion Morgan Dalton is one of the top players for the Maroons, while McKenzie Tate and Hailey Patel have also scored goals in bunches.

Up Next: The winner plays either Auburn or Bath County in Wednesday’s finals at Christiansburg High School

Region 2D

Tazewell at John Battle (8-4)

Today, 5:30 p.m.

The Skinny: John Battle is the defending regional champ, having won the title in 2019. Sophomore Taylor Wallace has 20 goals and seven assists, while senior Sarah Rice has found the back of the net 10 times. Sophomore Macie Ratliff has been in goal for six shutouts for the Trojans.

Up Next: Either Virginia High or Gate City awaits the winner in Wednesday’s semifinals.

Marion at Wise County Central (8-2-1)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: It’s been a milestone season for the Central Warriors, who gained the Mountain 7 District’s top seed for the regional tournament for the first time in program history. … Sophomore Olivia Webb (17 goals, four assists), senior Lauren Mulkey (eight goals, five assists), junior Isabella Sturgill (seven assists, six goals) and junior Alexandra Rogers (seven goals, one assist) are the headliners for the Warriors. … Four players – Chloe Shupe, Katie Kiser, Alyssa Bryant and Rogers – were on Central’s competitive cheerleading team that won a state title.

Up Next: The winner plays either Graham or Union in Wednesday’s semifinals.

Union (8-5) vs. Graham (7-4)

Today, 5 p.m.

The Skinny: Emma Hemphill has been a reliable goal-scorer for Union with 22 goals and eight assists, while Isabella Blagg (16 goals, five assists) and Kyndra Horner (nine goals) have been major contributors for the Mountain 7 District tournament runner-up. … Senior forward Macy McBride’s 18 goals lead the way for Graham. Sophomore Mallory Brown’s six goals are second-most for the G-Girls.

Up Next: The winner plays either Wise County Central or Marion in Wednesday’s regional semifinals.

Gate City at Virginia High (11-1)

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: After winning two games in 2018 and going 4-11-5 in 2019, the Virginia High Bearcats won the Southwest District title this season. Junior midfielder Maria Wilson (26 goals), junior forward Adie Ratcliffe (11 goals) and freshman wing Mary Katherine Wilson (12 goals) are the offensive standouts. Defensively, Maddie Moore, Kelly Locke and Caleigh Hampton have anchored the back line. … VHS has allowed just 14 goals.

Up Next: The winner plays either John Battle or Tazewell in Wednesday’s semifinals.

Region 3D

Abingdon (10-3) at Hidden Valley

Today, 6 p.m.

The Skinny: Abingdon has won nine straight matches, including a 3-2 victory over Union on Friday in the finals of the Mountain 7 District tournament. … Freshman phenom Ella Seymore has scored 16 goals for the Falcons, while Riley Cvetkovski has converted 11 goals. … Abingdon lost to Hidden Valley in the 2018 regional tournament.

Up Next: The winner plays at Lord Botetourt at 6 p.m. in Wednesday’s semifinals.

thayes@bristolnews.com | Twitter:@Hayes_BHCSports | (276) 645-2570

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Zack Moore’s most recent game as a high school boys basketball coach occurred on Feb. 21 and it was a contest that will be remembered perpetually around these parts as his Union Bears played about as well as a squad can play in collecting a 62-47 victory over East Rockingham in the VHSL Class 2 state championship game.

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