River off to good start, Cavs still getting feet under them after football

River senior Jacob Wagner brings the ball up court agains Nelson County.
Photo by Noel Preece

James River will host Lord Botetourt Friday night in the first of two intra-county boys basketball games. The Knights will return the trip to Daleville on December 18.

River is off to a good start, as the Knights have won their first two games of the season. They opened last Wednesday at Buffalo Gap and took a 65-52 victory behind 22 points and 10 rebounds by Darious Cheatwood.

The Knights led 28-24 at the half, but the Bison went up 47-45 after three quarters. River then closed strong, winning the fourth period, 20-5, to win going away.

Freshman Walker Andrews added 18 points in his first varsity game, hitting four three-pointers. Jacob Wagner had 14 points for the Knights.

On Friday, River played host to Nelson County, where James River coach Mike Goad coached before coming to Springwood. The Knights dominated the Governors with a 48-16 victory.

“We were very good on defense,” said Goad. “We got a lot of fast breaks and lay-ups. We played with a lot of intensity.”

LB’s Dylan Maclachlan drives by a Hidden Valley defender.
Photo by Jim Devinney

Nelson County was scoreless in the first quarter and River led 34-4 at halftime before Goad took his foot off the gas pedal early in the second half. Andrews led the team with 18 while Wagner and Dalton Simmons had six points each.

LB opened at Hidden Valley Friday night and dropped a 66-42 decision. The Cavaliers have four varsity players who were only practicing basketball for a few days following the football season.

“We’re still trying to get our feet wet,” said coach Chad Conner. “We’re working on our chemistry, and Hidden Valley is a really good team.”

The Titans had LB doubled at 34-17 by the half, then pushed the lead to 26 by the end of the third quarter. Jacob Chandler led the Cavaliers with nine points, Evan Eller had seven and Tanner Selkirk had half a dozen.

The Cavaliers were scheduled to play at home against Pulaski County on Tuesday, but that game was too late for press deadlines. Next Tuesday, LB is home to Cave Spring on Tuesday while James River goes to Parry McCluer.