The Lord Botetourt girls will be the No. 2 seed when the Conference 31 basketball tournament opens at the sites of the third and fourth seeds on Monday.
The tournament moves to Northside for the semifinals and finals on February 14 and 17.
Magna Vista will be the top seed in Conference 31. The Warriors have lost just once with a week to go in the season while Botetourt took a 17-3 record into Tuesday’s home game with William Byrd. The Cavs will wrap up the regular season Friday against a weak Staunton River team.
Northside and Alleghany will get home games on Monday against the bottom seeds, fifth place Rockbridge and last place Staunton River. Then, a night later, Botetourt will host the three-six winner, probably Northside, while Magna Vista will play the four-five survivor. The two finalists both advance to the Region 3A West tournament.
William Fleming is in the Blue Ridge District but is not in Group 3A, which is probably a good thing for both the Colonels and the Lord Botetourt girls. Last Friday night in Roanoke they beat on each other for four quarters before Fleming pulled out a 65-59 win to earn a split of the season series with LB.
The game “featured” 50 fouls, 23 by Fleming and 27 by the Cavaliers. Botetourt had four starters with four fouls going into the fourth quarter, with only Jenna Alam not on the verge of fouling out. Two Cavaliers and one Colonel ended up fouling out, but the good news is Botetourt coach Chuck Pound got some good play off the bench.
“Mary-Hannah Jackson came off the bench and really held her own, and we also got some good bench play from Sara Bane and Jasmine King,” said Pound. “Some people off the bench really stepped up”
The game was close to the wire. Fleming led 25-23 at the half but LB pulled even at 40-40 after three periods, with starters Brooklyn Shelton and Miette Veldman sitting out much of the third period. Fleming pulled it out down the stretch, but it wasn’t due to lack of effort by the Cavaliers.
Shelton finished with a team-high 19 points despite sitting out much of the game. Alam had 16 and Sara Bane and Jackson had eight points each. Hannah Bane had five assists.
“It was good to have a tough game this close to the tournament season,” said Pound. “We needed one like this to get us ready.”