The Rockbridge County Wildcats were knocked out of the Blue Ridge District Tournament Tuesday night, losing to William Byrd 85-55.
But they had already clinched a Region berth, so that means Andrew Rowsey will keep chasing VHSL history.
Rockbridge County's Andrew Rowsey knows how to fill up a gym and a stat sheet. One opposing coach said he's like a Pied Piper of high school basketball, drawing large crowds to watch his prolific scoring.
"The crowd gets into it. You don't want to stop shooting. You just want to hit that next one so everybody goes crazy. It's a really good feeling," Rowsey said.
Rockbridge coach Darrell Plogger: "We're going to ride him. When he gets on that roll we'll just let him go."
With a slick handle and smooth jumper, Rowsey has climbed all the way to second place on the VHSL's all-time scoring list. He has 2,567 points in his career, and is 120 behind Twin Spring's Stacy Ervin for the most in state history.
"I think he's gotten better each year. I think he's stronger. I think he understands the game better," Plogger said.
Last season, with a strong supporting cast, Rockbridge County made it all the way to the state semifinals. This year has been more of a struggle as opponents throw every defense imaginable at Rowsey.
"Triangle and two full court, I've seen that. I've seen box and one. At one point they had three guys on me one game. I've pretty much seen it all," Rowsey said.
Rowsey is averaging almost 36 points per game this year while shooting 49 percent from the field. With so much attention on the court and in the press for Rowsey, the Wildcats have handled a potentially divisive situation with a lesson from coaching icon John Wooden on what it takes to be a great player.
"Coach Wooden said it takes great teammates. And we've brought that up a few times through the year just to try to keep everybody on the same page. We've got a great group of guys. They've played hard and rolled with the punches," Plogger said.
At different points during his career Rowsey considered transferring to prep school. But the UNC Asheville commit is happy to reach these scoring heights in a Wildcats uniform.
"All the coaches, my family, the community. They've all had my back and I just felt like I owed it to stay. I think I would have regretted it a lot if I would have left," Rowsey said.
Plogger: "When it's over, we know we're going to miss him. And as far as this year goes, I don't know where we'd be without him."
Where they are is alive in the playoffs. And they'll ride their senior star as far as he can take them.