Candace Slaw pops for three.

Both of Rappahannock’s basketball squads, gals and guys, are largely new for the 2021-2022 season.

Opening play two weeks ago gives them a leg up on other schools that played longer in fall sports. The young ladies, under the watchful eye of coach Ellen Gaines, are 2-2 over the past two weeks of play. The guys, much younger and inexperienced, are coached by Jonas Ankram and are still looking for that first win.

Lady Blue Devils

The Raider ladies opened their season with a 61-14 win over Middlesex. Ten Raider players scored with all getting some quality playing time. Candace Slaw led the attack scoring 25 points.

Against Mountain View, a larger school in numbers, the gals in red and white lost 43-31. Slaw was again the top scorer with 16 points. When Mathews came to town, “We did not play well,” said coach Gaines. But a final quarter full court press made the score a respectful 45-39 loss.

The Lady Blue Devils have one of the tallest teams in 1A that Rappahannock will face this year. Their box and one defense shut down Rappahannock for most of the game. Slaw led the Raiders with 18, including several three-pointers. She was joined in double figures by Nakaya West with 14.  

A fourth game at Middlesex gave the Raiders a 36-33 win but “it wasn’t pretty,” according to Gaines. Slaw again had the hot hand with 18 points.

 Blue Devil guys

“We are very young. Lots of inexperience,” coach Ankram said of the guys, and who added that they are “trying to get up to speed.”

One of the bright spots for the Raiders this early in the season is their balanced scoring attack. Over their three games played the last two weeks, four players have been the top scorers with two hitting for double figures in one game.

They opened their season with a 72-53 loss to a strong Middlesex team. Demetrius Parker hit for a team high of 15 points. Brandon Coleman had 10 points. Next up was 5A Mountain View and a 57-32 loss. Parker led the Raiders with nine. Mark Delano and Tray Rich both hit for eight points. The next game on the schedule was against Mathews but was postponed due to a Blue Devils Covid problem. Their last game before the weekend was a 78-53 loss to Middlesex.