The Lord Botetourt basketball team had a busy schedule last week and the Cavaliers made the most of it, winning all three of their games. The Cavaliers beat Floyd County, downed William Byrd on a buzzer beater, then defeated Monacan High in the Bob Johnson Classic on Saturday.
The Monacan win, a 68-61 victory over a Class 4 team from Richmond, was one of five games in the Bob Johnson Classic. All five games featured coaches with Emory & Henry backgrounds, and the event honored long time Wasp coach Johnson, who was a mentor for LB coach Andrew Hart and many others.
“It was a fun environment,” said Hart. “Monacan was short-handed, but still super athletic and caused us some problems. We played great team basketball and shot the ball well.”
After watching the Chiefs go through an impressive pregame dunking exhibition in warm-ups, the Cavaliers came out and lit them up from behind the three-point line. LB was 14 for 32 on threes for an impressive 43.8 percent, including five for 12 from Conner Tilley and four of seven from Ashton Bramblett. Ashton led LB with 22 points, Tilley had 21 and Jackson Crawford had 13 while draining all three of his three-point attempts.
Botetourt led 12-9 after the first quarter and 34-27 at the half. The Cavs opened a 15-point lead by the end of the third quarter at 54-39 before the Chiefs rallied in the fourth to make it a little closer.
“They were able to make a run late in the game, but we weathered the storm with some senior leadership and finished the game off,” said Hart.
A night prior in Vinton, Bramblett hit a three-pointer from the corner, at the buzzer, to stun host William Byrd, 61-60. This was a close game throughout, with the score tied at 44-44 after three quarters. Byrd led by two when Bramblett’s big shot quieted the raucous Terrier crowd and sent the LB faithful home with an exciting win.
“William Byrd battled to the end, but it certainly felt great to come out with a victory,” said Hart. “Ashton stepped up and hit the buzzer-beating three to win it, a great kid who deserved that shot to go in.”
Botetourt had four players in double figures, led by Crawford with 19. Tyler Meade had 16, Tilley had 15 and Bramblett had 11. Again, the Cavaliers were deadly from long range, canning 10 of 21 attempts. LB actually shot better from threes (47.6 %) than they did on two-point attempts (14 of 36 for 38.9 %).
Two wins in less than 24 hours gave the Cavaliers a 5-1 overall record with Blacksburg scheduled to come to Daleville on Tuesday of this week. After that the Cavs are off for Christmas, returning on December 30 for the big rematch with James River in Buchanan.
“I’m proud of our effort over the week and weekend,” said Hart. “We are improving and have a huge stretch of games coming up.”