The Abingdon High girls turned it around on Lord Botetourt to give the Cavaliers their first loss of the season last week. Abingdon beat LB, 51-43, in the championship game of the Knights’ Winter Classic basketball tournament at Cave Spring High School.
LB had beaten the Falcons, in Abingdon, in their final game before Christmas, 68-50. Both teams were unbeaten to that point.
“We played this game even though it’s a long trip because Abingdon is a very solid program with good players,” said LB coach Chuck Pound. “We played our best game of the year. We handled their pressure for the most part and out-hustled them to most 50-50 balls.”
Brooklyn Shelton led LB with 31 points in that game.
The two were destined to meet again in the championship game of the Cave Spring tournament. LB kept on pace with wins over George Wythe and the host Knights while the Falcons hammered Northside, 66-34, then edged Brookville in overtime, 50-49. That set up an LB-Abingdon rematch in Saturday’s championship game, and this time Abingdon came out on top.
“They played a combo defense guarding Miette (Veldman), Brooklyn and Jenna (Alam), but not the other two outside of the paint,” said Pound. “We struggled to score, looking for someone in those other spots to step up. Our defense was also sub-par. They took advantage of our weaknesses and exposed these both offensively and defensively.”
In the second half LB went to more full court pressure and took advantage of some turnovers to get back in the game. The Cavaliers trailed 26-14 at the half but cut the lead to three, 35-32, after three quarters. However, that was as close as they would get.
Grace Taylor came off the bench to lead LB with 16 points, including five threes. Veldman had nine points and 15 rebounds, Shelton had nine points and seven boards and Alam had eight assists.
The loss dropped LB to 8-1 while Abingdon improved to 8-1 with the win. Botetourt opened the tournament with a 66-37 win over George Wythe as Veldman had 20 points and 17 rebounds in 22 minutes of play. Shelton had 17 points.
In the semifinal the Cavs had to scrap to beat a game Cave Spring team, 57-49. The Knights went 2-1 on their home floor.
“They were the surprise of the tournament, beating Floyd and Brookville,” said Pound. “They play hard and have some good young talent.”
LB was down 11 in the second quarter but rallied to win. Veldman had 18 points, 12 rebounds and six steals. Alam had 17 points, four assists and five steals and Shelton added 16 points. Veldman and Shelton were named to the All-Tournament team.
The Cavaliers will have a tough stretch as they return from the Christmas break. They host Brookville on Wednesday night, then play at Staunton River on Friday. Next week they have back-to-back games with a trip to Hidden Valley on January 9 and a home game with William Fleming on January 10.