Big Time Rush

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Galax home school team finishes its year on the upswing with a state title, strong showing at Liberty.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

The State Line Rush home school girls’ basketball team capped a strong season with a state championship and followed up with a top-10 showing this past weekend at the East Coast Homeschool Championships at Liberty University.


The Rush split its final two regular season games, falling 64-55 to the Blue Ridge Panthers and edging Surry Home School 61-57. Daisy Clark entered the Feb. 28 Blue Ridge game five points shy of 1,000 for her career and reached the magic number with a 3-pointer in the second quarter to brighten an otherwise disappointing night for the Rush.

Led by Olivia Pratt’s 14 points, Blue Ridge placed five scorers in double figures to highlight a remarkably balanced scoring attack. Savannah Poe scored 13 points and Alaina Pratt added 12 while Cassidy Williams and Amelia Collins tossed in 11 points apiece.

Audrey Clark led the Rush with 23 points. Daisy Clark had pumped in nearly 500 points as a sophomore and scored the team’s first three points last season before going down with a knee injury and missing the entire season. She bounced back this year to reach 1,000 career points.

Audrey Clark would score 28 points to lead State Line to its win over Surry.

VHSAA state tourney

The Virginia Home School Athletic Association consists of 10 teams scattered throughout the state, and five qualified for the state tournament, held the second weekend in March at Virginia Tech’s War Memorial Gym. The No. 2 seed overall, State Line avenged the earlier loss to Blue Ridge in the semifinals before handing Fairfax its first loss of the season in the title game.

Fairfax entered the tournament with a 28-0 mark that included a 20-point win over State Line in early January, but the Rush opened the game on an 11-0 tear and never let Fairfax closer than seven points the rest of the way, largely due to State Line sinking 19 of 22 shots from the foul line.

Audrey Clark and Daisy Clark led the way with 21 and 20 points, respectively, and Daisy Clark was named the tournament’s MVP. Amelia Cox and Rachel Clark provided 11 points apiece and Rachel Clark also grabbed 11 rebounds.

State Line reached the title game via a 50-43 win over the Blue Ridge Panthers. The Panthers rallied from 10 points down at the start of the second quarter to just two points in arrears by halftime, but the Rush held on through the second half for the win. Audrey Clark scored 16 points to lead State Line while Collins’ 13 led the Panthers.

East Coast Championships

While the state’s public schools were settling their state championships up the road in Richmond, more than 80 middle school, junior varsity and varsity boys’ and girls’ teams converged on Liberty University for the East Coast Homeschool Basketball Championships.

Teams were ranked according to their regular season records and efforts were made to avoid regular season matchups in the invitational’s pool play, but the Rush was unfortunate enough to draw the eventual overall champion Greensboro Heat in the first game of pool play. 

The Heat, which later in the weekend would hold a Knoxville team to 23 points in a 17-point championship win, jumped on the Rush to the tune of a 26-1 lead after one quarter.

“When we got done playing them, I told the girls, ‘I want to see the team that can beat them,’ ” State Line coach Larry Clark said of the Greensboro club. “ ‘You just watch and see what they do down here.’ ”

All five players who scored for the Heat were in double figures, led by Hannah VanEerden’s 21 points.

The Rush rebounded nicely following the opening-round setback and finished pool play with a 2-1 mark, downing Lighthouse Christian of Wake Forest, N.C. 48-33 and The Hampton Roads Cougars 41-33. State Line burst out of the gates to take a 27-7 halftime lead over Lighthouse Christian and got a game-high 15 points from Rachel Clark. Millie Cox added 12 points for the winners.

State Line took a 12-5 lead after the first quarter against Hampton Roads and made the lead stand up the rest of the way, led by Daisy Clark (14 points) and Audrey Clark (13).

Following pool play, teams were ranked according to their records and margin of victory (up to 21 points per game) and the top eight teams battled for the grand championship. Teams ranked 9-12 were placed in the 4A bracket, teams 13-16 went to a 3A bracket, etc. State Line finished 2-1 to enter the medal rounds as the 10th-ranked team, earning the No. 2 spot in the 4A bracket.

Avenging a four-point regular season loss, the Rush bumped off Greater Cabarrus 50-47 in the 4A semifinals. State Line took a 36-30 lead into the fourth quarter and sealed the win by going 8-of-10 from the foul line.

State Line and Greater Cabarrus were fortunate enough to be placed in the Vines Center, Liberty’s main arena, for their semifinal, where Audrey Clark, a 14-year-old, and 13-year-old Kacie Shaffner led the way with 20 and 12 points, respectively. Clark reached her scoring average of 20 points despite working against a box-and-one defense. Amelia Cox added five points and seven rebounds.

Staying in the Vines Center for its 4A title game, State Line’s final game of the event was a memorable one as the team twice rallied from an 11-point deficit only to fall in overtime to New Life of Raleigh, N.C., 53-48.

Trailing 28-17 at halftime, the Rush drew even with New Life before again falling behind by 11 points. With the crowd doubling in size as the next game’s teams and fans began to filter in, State Line opened the fourth quarter with six straight points to begin working its way into what would become a 39-38 lead with three minutes left. New Life pulled out to a 42-39 lead but State Line knotted the score at 42-42 with 11 seconds left in regulation on a 3-pointer by Audrey Clark, who scored 11 points in the fourth quarter.

New Life took the lead for good early in overtime with a pair of free throws and went on to win the game, the 4A title and ninth place overall in the tournament. State Line, the No. 10 seed, took the runner-up spot in the division and earned a 10th-place finish in an overall field of 24 teams.

State Line had finished up its semifinal game on Friday at 10 p.m. and suited up Saturday morning for an 11 a.m. tip-off.

“It took us a quarter to get in synch, and then was started coming back,” said Larry Clark. “It was a lot of fun. The crowd kept getting bigger and the fans were getting into it, it was just a great atmosphere.”


Blue Ridge Panthers 64,

State Line Rush 55

regular season


Blue Ridge......14  12  20  18––64

State Line......15  16  10  12––55


Blue Ridge

A.Pratt 12, O.Pratt 14, Vass 3, Williams 11, Poe 13, Collins 11.

State Line

B.Clark 1, A.Clark 23, Smith 2, M.Cox 8, R.Clark 7, L.Cox 2, D.Clark 12.


Three-point field goals – Blue Ridge 6 (Williams 3, Collins 2, Vass), State Line 6 (A.Clark 2, M.Cox 2, D.Clark 2).


State Line Rush 50,

Blue Ridge Panthers 43

VHSAA semifinals, Blacksburg


Blue Ridge........5  20  5  13––43

State Line......15  12  7  16––50


Blue Ridge

A.Pratt 2, O.Pratt 10, Vass 2, Williams 8, Poe 8, Collins 13.

State Line

A.Clark 16, A.Cox 7, R.Clark 13, O.Cox 2, D.Clark 12.


Three-point field goals – Blue Ridge 4 (Collins 3, Poe), State Line 4 (D.Clark 2, A. Clark, A.Cox).


State Line Rush 67,

Fairfax 51

VHSAA championship, Blacksburg


State Line......23  12  16  16––67

Fairfax.............7  17  10  17––51


State Line

A.Clark 21, Shaffner 2, A.Cox 11, R.Clark 11, O.Cox 2, D.Clark 20.


Lawler 11, Berger 2, K.Cassell 12, B.Cassell 4, McGraw 14, Grose 6.


Three-point field goals – State Line 4 (A.Clark 2, A.Cox, D.Clark), Fairfax 5 (Lawler 3, McGraw 2).


Carolina Home Educators 76,

State Line Rush 30

East Coast Homeschool Championships, Lynchburg

pool play game 1


Carolina.........26  10  27  13––76

State Line........1  13    5  11––30



Lanier 21, VanEerden 17, Woodley 10, Whitt 18, Lakin 10.

State Line

A.Clark 14, Shaffner 4, A.Cox 5, R.Clark 2, D.Clark 5.

Three-point field goals – Carolina 2 (Lanier 2), State Line 2 (A.Clark, A.Cox).


State Line Rush 48,

Lighthouse Christian 33

East Coast Homeschool Championships, Lynchburg

pool play game 2


Lighthouse........4    3  18    8––33

State Line.......15  12    8  13––48


Lighthouse Christian

Ce.Kester 8, Lattay 1, Cl.Kester 8, Bragg 2, Jennings 14.

State Line

N.Clark 4, A.Clark 6, Shaffner 7, A.Cox 12, R.Clark 15, O.Cox 2, D.Clark 2.


Three-point field goals – Lighthouse Christian 2 (Jennings 2), State Line 6 (A.Clark 2, A.Cox 2, Shaffner, R.Clark).


State Line Rush 41,

Hampton Roads 33

East Coast Homeschool Championships, Lynchburg

pool play game 3


State Line...............12  8  9  12––41

Hampton Roads........5  6  8  14––33


State Line

A.Clark 13, Shaffner 7, A.Cox 5, R.Clark 2, D.Clark 14.

Hampton Roads

Hunt 1, T.Wasko 3, K.Wasko 19, Cagle 6, Williams 4.


Three-point field goals – State Line 3 (A.Clark 2, D.Clark), Hampton Roads 5 (K.Wasko 3, Cagle 2).


State Line Rush 50,

Greater Cabarrus 47

East Coast Homeschool Championships, Lynchburg

4A semifinals


Cabarrus........10  14    6  17––47

State Line......14    6  16  14––50


Greater Cabarrus

Ka.Pinion 20, Seger 2, Ko.Pinion 16, Long 6, Potter 3.

State Line

A.Clark 20, Shaffner 12, A.Cox 5, R.Clark 8, D.Clark 5.


Three-point field goals – Greater Cabarrus 4 (Ka.Pinion 2, Ko.Pinion 2), State Line 7 (A.Clark 3, Shaffner 2, A.Cox, R.Clark).


New Life Storm 53,

State Line Rush 48, OT

East Coast Homeschool Championships, Lynchburg

4A championship


State Line......10    7  9  16    6––48

New Life........18  19  5    9  11––53


State Line

A.Clark 21, Shaffner 5, R.Clark 20, D.Clark 2, M.Cox 0.

New Life Storm

Patrick 20, Johnson 4, Stone 11, Baylock 3, Call 11, Suffridge 3..


Three-point field goals – State Line 3 (A.Clark 3), New Life 3 (Patrick, Johnson, Baylock).