ABINGDON, Va. — Mac McClung doesn’t try to get too caught up in the sensationalism of his traveling basketball show. Instead, he just enjoys himself.
But as focused on the game as he wants to be, he understands there’s hardly ever been anything like his highlight reel here in the hills of Southwest Virginia.
“I don’t really have a word for it,” the 6-foot-2 senior said, when asked about people claiming seats at 2 p.m. for his 8 o’clock games.
“I just know I’ve always had a big chip on my shoulder to prove that people can make it from anywhere. I feel like that was what I was born to do.”
Chasing the all-time Virginia High School League scoring record, McClung netted 40 points Friday night, as Gate City waltzed to a 103-51 Mountain 7 District win over Abingdon.
The Blue Devils have now won 18 of their 19 games this season.
And just how do McClung and his teammates stay motivated for these 40- and 50-point wins that Gate City turns in week after week?
“The coaches do a great job of keeping us humble,” said the skywalking guard, who threw down three dunks against the Falcons (8-11). “We know we’ve got to get a lot better [to win an elusive Class 2 state championship], but right now we’re really enjoying being together out there.”
While McClung was having his typical outing, teammates Bradley Dean and Zac Ervin were living it up as well.
A sophomore with NBA range, the 6-2 Dean nailed four 3s and one dunk to finish with 25 points. He also assisted McClung on the play of the night — a lob on a 2-on-1 fastbreak that led to a thunderous two-hand slam.
Ervin, a 6-5 junior who is hovering around 1,500 career points, turned in his usual night’s work as well, kicking in 24 points.
“I love playing with these guys,” said the 185-pound McClung, who now has over 2,400 career points. “It’s really a special group.”
Abingdon fashioned its own 1,000-point man on this night, as hard-working senior Ean Bassham reached the magic mark on a follow of his own miss in the fourth quarter.
Bassham finished with 14 points to back baseball star Thomas Francisco, who led Abingdon with 19 points.
Abingdon 58, Gate City 40
Abingdon remained alive in the hunt for the regular-season title of the ultra-tough Mountain 7 District with a victory over the Blue Devils.
The Falcons, now 17-3 overall and 8-2 in the league with a game next week at once-beaten conference leader Wise County Central, were too strong inside and never really threatened.
Abingdon scored the game’s first nine points and led 16-4 after one quarter.
Gate City (9-11, 6-4) recovered somewhat and stayed in touch, trailing 31-20 at intermission. However, Abingdon’s edge swelled to 45-24 by the end of the third.
Abingdon, pounding the interior every chance it could, was led by the 14-point game of Peyton Carter. Grace Hess, a 1,000-point scorer, added 10 for the Falcons, while Cassie Farley, Sarah Walters and Taylor Gilbert combined for 24.
Gate City was paced by the 11 points of Tori Powers.