FINCASTLE – The Lord Botetourt boys advanced to the Blue Ridge District semifinals with a 64-60 win over Staunton River in Daleville Monday. The semis are tonight at Rockbridge County High and LB will play Northside in the second game of a doubleheader.
Botetourt came into the tournament as the third seed behind regular season champ Rockbridge and Northside, both of whom received first round byes. The Cavs drew sixth seeded Staunton River, who came to town at just 2-19 overall. However, the Golden Eagles weren’t about to go down without a fight.
“It was ugly, but it was a win,” said LB coach Chad Conner. “We really struggled early in the game. They’re just kids, you can never tell how they’re going to play.”
LB had six first period turnovers and trailed 16-14 after one period and 31-28 at the half. However, they rallied behind the shooting of Justin Goode in the third period and took a 42-40 lead into the fourth quarter and held on.
Goode finished with 24 points for game-high and his sophomore backcourt mate, Dustin Hassell, had 11 points and seven rebounds. Senior center Lucas Smith had 13 points and four blocks for the Cavs, and senior Ben Matthias also was a factor in the win.
“He did a lot of things that don’t show up in the box score, like diving out of bounds to save the ball in and things like that,” said Conner of Matthias. “Ben really stepped up, he brought a ton of energy to the court.”
The other first round game found William Byrd, the fifth seed, upsetting fourth seeded Alleghany in Low Moor, 64-62. Tonight Byrd will take on top-seeded Rockbridge at 6 pm and the LB-Northside game will follow, both at Rockbridge. The championship is at Rockbridge on Friday, and it’s the second game of a doubleheader with the girls.
“We’re focusing on Northside right now,” said Conner. “We’re going to have to handle their pressure and play a little better than we did Monday. They have three guys who can flat out get after you.”
Botetourt, now 9-14, has already clinched a spot in the Region III, Division 4 tournament. That will be held on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday of next week and the pairings will be decided over the weekend, after all the district tournaments are completed.