Gate City (Va.) superstar Mac McClung has been a nightly sensation from coast this winter for his seemingly effortless ability to get to the rim as a spry 6-foot-2 guard.
But on a night that will go down as one of the defining moments of the Blue Devils’ program, before a sellout crowd close to 4,000 that reportedly started arriving more than four hours before tip-off, it was McClung’s supporting cast that helped buoy Gate City to a monumental victory over Radford, 67-48, in a VHSL Class 2 quarterfinal.
“It’s hard for me to put it into words,” Gate City coach Scott Vermillion told the Roanoke Times. “It’s the first time we’ve ever beat Radford in the history of the school in basketball.”
This was the first loss of the season for Radford (27-1), the two-time defending Class 2 state champs, and snapped a 37-game win streak for the Bobcats dating back to last season.
There were none of McClung’s customary crowd-pleasing dunks on Friday night, though he still led the Blue Devils with 24 points — far below his season scoring average in the high 30’s. But it was the work of fellow senior Zac Ervin (22 points) that put Gate City comfortably ahead.
“I didn’t really feel any pressure,” McClung told the Bristol Herald Courier. “I’ve got these teammates who believe in me. They rode my back all year and tonight I rode their back. That’s a great Radford team and we knew that we had to draw the line tonight.”
The future Georgetown Hoya has put his small Appalachian town in Southwest Virginia thoroughly on the map this winter, as he continues to rewrite the Old Dominion’s high school record books. Last month, he broke Allen Iverson’s iconic single-season scoring record, and has since become the first player in VHSL history to surpass 1,000 points in a season. With potentially two more games to play, he needs 58 points to break the VHSL career scoring record, according to the Roanoke Times.