The Lord Botetourt boys will have a busy week as they take on two tough Blue Ridge District basketball rivals, then play one of the valley’s best teams in the Adam Ward Classic on Saturday.
Botetourt was scheduled to play at William Fleming against the Class 5 Colonels on Tuesday. Fleming came into the week at 13-5 and beat the Cavaliers once already in Daleville, 75-49.
On Friday they’ll take on Class 6 Franklin County at home, then on Saturday they play the final game of the Adam Ward Classic, which includes nine varsity basketball games over two days. LB will play at 8 p.m. Saturday against Class 5 Patrick Henry, the third straight game against larger schools for the Class 3 Cavaliers.
Since 2016, Salem High School, the Western Virginia Basketball Officials Association, and the City of Salem have joined forces to honor the memory of Adam Ward by hosting a basketball classic in his honor. Adam was tragically killed on August 26, 2015, while working as a photojournalist for WDBJ-7. The 2007 Salem High School alumnus, who graduated from Virginia Tech in 2011, played football at Salem High School and was an avid fan and supporter of all types of athletic events his entire life.
“Adam Ward personified the true meaning of a student-athlete,” said Grant Smythers, Salem High School teacher and tournament co-founder. “He was a huge sports fan, who loved high school basketball, and the Adam Ward Basketball Classic will highlight some of the best teams in the state of Virginia each season.”
The event is being sponsored by various businesses and organizations throughout the Roanoke Valley and the majority of the proceeds from the event will go to the Adam Ward Scholarship Fund that is administered by the Salem Educational Foundation and Alumni Association. To date, the Adam Ward Classic has contributed over $80,000 to the Adam Ward Scholarship Fund. In addition, the Adam Ward Classic Committee will be making donations to the Make a Wish Foundation and Special Olympics in Adam’s honor.
“The money generated from this event will provide scholarship opportunities for high school students who were deemed Adam-like during their high school careers,” said Smythers.
Botetourt coach Andrew Hart was quick to accept an invitation to the event, and the Cavaliers have another tough draw in PH, who came into the week at 17-2. Last year the Cavaliers played Cave Spring in the Adam Ward event, and the Knights went on to win the Class 3 state championship. LB lost to Cave Spring, 66-63, in front of a packed house in what was the most exciting game of the day.
“We are excited to once again be a part of the Adam Ward Classic on Saturday,” said Hart. “The event is for a great cause and organized by some of the best people in the basketball community in the Roanoke Valley. Our opponent this year will be Patrick Henry, a team that is having an excellent season as they are clearly one of the top teams on this side of the state. It will be a huge challenge for our guys, but the only way to improve as a program is to put our team through these challenges against top competition. Hopefully, we will bring our best stuff and show up ready to compete and win.”
The Cavaliers are coming off an 83-55 loss to undefeated Northside in Daleville last Friday. Botetourt trailed just 56-49 after three quarters before the Vikings turned it on and outscored LB 27-6 in the fourth quarter.
“Northside came to play, as they always seem to do, especially against us. They are ranked number one in the state for a reason, and it showed,” said Hart. “We will use this defeat as a learning experience to improve on both sides of the ball and hopefully we can give them our best effort and performance if we see them again in the postseason.”
Jackson Crawford had 28 points to lead LB, hitting 11 of 16 shots from the floor, including both of his three-point shots. Brayden Wells had nine points for the Cavs.
LB also dropped a game to William Byrd in Vinton last week, 59-55. Crawford had 22 points.
“Tough loss on the road,” said Hart. “It was a really good high school basketball game between two solid teams.”
The Cavaliers come into a big week with an 11-7 overall record. Next Tuesday they host Staunton River in their final game before the Blue Ridge District tournament.
ADAM WARD CLASSIC SCHEDULE
FRIDAY – FEBRUARY 3 – SALEM HIGH SCHOOL
6:00 p.m. Glenvar vs. Salem (Varsity Girls)
7:45 p.m. Glenvar vs. Salem (Varsity Boys)
SATURDAY – FEBRUARY 4 – SALEM HIGH SCHOOL
10:00 a.m. William Byrd vs. George Wythe (Boys)
11:45 a.m. Auburn vs. Narrows (Boys)
1:30 p.m. Carroll County vs. LCA (Girls)
3:15 p.m. William Fleming vs. Western Albemarle (Boys)
5:00 p.m. Cave Spring vs. LCA (Boys)
6:45 p.m. Northside vs. Radford (Boys)
8:00 p.m. Patrick Henry vs. Lord Botetourt (Boys)