The Lord Botetourt and James River boys basketball teams will go head-to-head Saturday in Daleville. The jayvees will open the doubleheader at 5:30 p.m. with the varsity to follow.
It will be the second meeting of the season between the two county rivals. They met in Springwood the week before Christmas with LB taking a 17-point win.
“We can’t get so hyped up when we play them,” said River coach Mike Goad. “Our kids get excited about playing LB and they lose focus.”
Both teams could use a win. River comes into the week at 4-7 while LB is 4-8 after splitting two games last week against Roanoke County rivals. The Cavs beat William Byrd and lost to Cave Spring.
LB defeated Byrd, 44-41, in Daleville in a low-scoring game. Neither team shot the ball well as LB shot just 31 percent from the field and 17 percent on three-point attempts. Kyle Arnholdt led the Cavs with 10 points while Jamison Foley and Tanner Selkirk had eight each. Mason Wheeling had nine rebounds and Arnholdt and Evan Eller had eight each. Eller also had six assists.
“We did what we needed to do down the stretch,” said LB coach Chad Conner. “We got off to a really slow start.”
On Thursday the Cavaliers were at Cave Spring where they dropped a 75-57 decision. Eller had 19 points, Foley had 17 and Wheeling had a dozen to go with 10 rebounds.
“It was a game of runs,” said Conner. “They went on a big run at the end of the first half. We tried to force some passes that weren’t there and that allowed them to get out in transition.”
River went 1-2 in three games last week, starting off with a 61-60 win over Alleghany in Springwood. Walker Andrews hit one of two free throws with eight seconds left for the deciding point after he was fouled driving to hoop, and the Mountaineers couldn’t hit a shot at the buzzer.
River Clonch led the Knights with 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Andrews had 17 points and Patrick Clevenger had 13. River hit six threes in the game, including three by Clevenger.
On Thursday the Knights didn’t have enough firepower to hang with undefeated Radford. The Bobcats jumped out to a 16-2 lead and never looked back, winning 63-37 to improve to 9-0 on the season.
“They have all kind of versatility,” said Goad. “They can go inside and they can shoot outside. It’s going to be hard to beat ’em. They can be as good as they want to be.”
Andrews led River with 22 points.
On Friday night the Knights traveled to Moneta to take on Staunton River and dropped a 56-45 game to the Golden Eagles. The game was tied at the half but Staunton River outscored the Knights, 18-8, in the third quarter.
“We lost a little momentum in the third quarter,” said Goad. “We had a poor shooting night.”
Andrews led James River with 17 points and he also had three steals. Clonch had a dozen points, six assists and five rebounds.
James River was scheduled to host Floyd County on Tuesday, but that was too late for publication. The Knights are home tonight against Carroll County, then travel to Daleville Saturday.
Lord Botetourt had a Monday home game with Pulaski County postponed. The Cavaliers are at Hidden Valley tonight and home to Staunton River on Friday.