The Lord Botetourt girls are in the state Class 3 basketball tournament. The girls will play Liberty Christian Academy on Friday at a neutral site in the Lynchburg area. That was yet to be determined at press time and the tentative tip-off time is 5:30 p.m.
The Cavaliers go in as the Region 3D runners-up while LCA is the Region 3C champion after defeating Spotswood, 56-39, in their region final. LCA is 20-5 on the season and Seminole District champions after finishing their district schedule undefeated.
The Lord Botetourt girls punched their ticket to the state tournament with two wins in the Region 3D tournament last week. They opened with a 68-32 drubbing of visiting Abingdon in Daleville in the quarterfinal round. Blue Ridge District Player of the Year Madilyn Winterton scored 24 points to lead LB while Taylor Orange had 18, Gracie Huffard had 13 points and nine rebounds and Ainsley Anderson had six points and dished out eight assists.
“We had a very good offensive game and played really well together after a slow start on defense in the first quarter,” said coach Renee Favaro.
On Thursday the girls played for a spot in the state as Cave Spring came to Daleville, and the host Cavaliers pulled out a 48-40 win despite Winterton playing just four minutes in the first half due to foul trouble.
“We were really locked in defensively and were able to hold Cave to 15 first-half points,” said Favaro. “We always say if we can keep teams to 40 or under, we can score enough on our end to win and we did just that.”
Anderson had a big game with 20 points on seven for 11 shooting, including three of four from behind the arc. Huffard added a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards and Orange added 11 points with three three-pointers.
That clinched a spot in the state, and the only question was whether the Cavaliers would play the state semifinal near Botetourt or farther away. The girls had a tough task in the region final as they had to travel to Hillsville to play a Carroll County team that returned most of last year’s state championship team. Carroll was as good as advertised as they downed LB, 72-42, to improve to 25-1 on the season.
“They are a well-oiled machine with so many weapons,” said Favaro. “They are the defending state champs with the exact same team back from a year ago. However, we should have been able to give them more. We had 12 turnovers of our 22 for the game in the first quarter to allow them a 20-6 lead after one.”
Botetourt settled down after a tumultuous first period but the cows were already out of the barn.
“We battled hard, and started doing the little things,” said Favaro. “Overall, we played really hard but you can’t dig a hole against a team that good and expect to hang.”
Winterton scored 21 of LB’s 42 points. Orange added nine and Huffard had eight points and eight rebounds.
The Cavs will take a 19-8 record to Lynchburg Friday while Carroll County will host Region 3C runner-up Spotswood at a neutral site.