The James River boys will be in west Roanoke County tonight for their second Three Rivers District basketball game of the season with Glenvar. The Knights are hoping for a better start in this one.
When the two teams hooked up in Springwood the Highlanders jumped on top 18-1 at the outset and appeared on their way to an easy win. However, the Knights scrapped back and caught the Highlanders by the end of the third quarter, then won the game by seven points in front of an approving Botetourt County crowd.
The Knights come in at 4-2 in the district and 11-6 overall after splitting two Three Rivers games last week, beginning with a 52-45 win at Alleghany. Ryan Steger made six three-pointers in that one on his way to 27 points while Sam Bell was a point shy of a double-double with nine points, 10 rebounds and four assists. George Toliver had seven points and nine rebounds.
“It was a monster win,” said River coach Ethan Humphries. “I honestly think they have the most talented roster, top to bottom, in our district. They run 12 guys at you that can all go. They will be dangerous come playoff time, and that road win proved to ourselves we can compete anywhere when we are tough and play our game. Our staff walked away super proud of our guys.”
Last Thursday the Knights hosted Floyd in the second game of a girls-boys doubleheader and dropped a 70-55 game to the Buffaloes, who came in as the fourth ranked team in the state in Class 2.
“Floyd came in with something to prove,” said Humphries. “We had some good and bad takeaways. We weren’t necessarily pleased with our performance, yet we were within striking distance until late in the fourth.”
Steger led again with 18 points while Bell had 15 points, 11 boards and six assists. Toliver had a dozen points and Brian Moran had eight.
“At times, especially early, we lacked the toughness we needed to make up for some of our other mistakes,” said Humphries. “That can’t happen against a top team like Floyd. For us, coaches and players, it was a great game to learn from so we’ll get back to work and get better.”
After tonight’s trip to Glenvar the Knights will be back on the bus Friday for a game at Carroll County. That will the second game of a doubleheader with the girls and it will be “Frank Beamer Night” as the team honors the all-time winningest Virginia Tech football coach. Beamer played his high school sports at Hillsville High in Carroll County.
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