The Lord Botetourt boys saw their basketball season come to an end in the Conference 31 semifinals last week. The Cavaliers lost to Alleghany, 61-55, at Staunton River High School.
“With the exception of two stretches, we played well enough to win the game,” said LB coach Chad Conner. “I felt like in the first half we weren’t playing like it was an elimination game. They were getting too many of the 50-50 balls, too many second chance opportunities, and we were settling for outside shots. Even though we had been shooting the ball well against them, we wanted to get the ball inside to our big guys.”
LB trailed by eight at the half, then cut the lead to four by the end of the fourth quarter at 41-37.
“In the second half, the guys did exactly what we asked,” said Conner. “Our guards did a great job of getting the ball inside. Late in the game, I thought we forced some things. It seemed like we were playing like we were down by 10, but we were only down five.”
Kris Call ended his high school basketball career with one of his best games, scoring18 points with 14 rebounds. Evan Eller also had a good game with 15 points and Noah Taylor had 12.
“For a ninth grader to turn in that kind of performance in a big-time game is really exciting for the future,” said Conner of Eller’s performance.
LB finished the season at 7-17.
“I knew coming into the season that we had a lack of experience on the roster,” said Conner. “Just like any season, there were some games that we would definitely like to have back. I feel like we improved throughout the season, which is always at the top of the list in terms of season goals.
“This is one of the better rebounding teams we have had, and they were very unselfish with 78 percent of our made field goals coming off assists. That is a stat every team would be proud of.”
LB will graduate four seniors, Call, Taylor, Grayson Bond and Bryton Dalglish.
“I am very excited for the future,” said Conner. “We had several first year varsity players play major roles who gained a lot of experience. Max Burke, Dylan Maclachlan (both juniors), Jacob Chandler (sophmore) and Evan Eller (freshman) all started multiple games and were major contributors throughout the season. We will have more experience coming back on next year’s team and our JV team also had a good season, so we have a lot of potential in the years to come.”