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East Rockingham preparing for state championship rematch

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:41 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - There’s no extra motivation needed for the East Rockingham boys basketball team Friday night.

The Eagles are preparing to play Union as part of the Rock the Ribbon Roundball Shootout at Rockbridge County High School in Lexington. It will be a rematch of the 2020-2021 VHSL Class 2 State Championship that Union won, 62-47.

“Last time that we remember Union it left a bitter taste in our mouths,” said East Rockingham senior forward Tyler Nickel. “So obviously that’s a game that we have a lot of emotion going into. Obviously everything in practice is going to be centered around them and what we gotta do and we are going to watch a lot of that film from last year.”

East Rockingham has finished as Class 2 state runner-up twice in the last three seasons while advancing to the state semifinals three years in a row. Nickel, a University of North Carolina signee and nominee for the McDonald’s All-American Games, leads the way by averaging 33.7 points per game this season. The Eagles enter Friday night’s showdown 8-3 overall and on a four-game winning streak after an up-and-down start to the 2021-2022 campaign.

“It’s a big challenge,” said East Rockingham head coach Carey Keyes. “The guys are excited for it. But at the end of the day it’s just another game for us to get better prepare us for the tournament at the end of the season...we want to play our best and keep building towards the playoffs.”

Rock the Ribbon Roundball Shootout Schedule

at Rockbridge County High School

Friday, January 14

5:30 p.m. - Fort Defiance vs. Waynesboro (Girls)

7 p.m. - Stuarts Draft vs. Rockbridge County (Boys)

8:30 p.m. - East Rockingham vs. Union (Boys)

Saturday, January 15

10 a.m. - Liberty (Bedford) vs. Rockbridge County (Girls)

11:30 a.m. - Spotswood vs. Pulaski County (Girls)

1 p.m. - Spotswood vs. Lord Botetourt (Boys)

2:30 p.m. - Liberty (Bedford) vs. Union (Boys)

4 p.m. - Page County vs. Alleghany (Boys)

5:30 p.m. - Martinsville vs. Staunton (Boys)

7 p.m. - West Point vs. Parry McCluer (Boys)

8:30 p.m. - James River (Buchanan) vs Parry McCluer (Girls)

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