One of the top girls basketball rivalries in the area resumes Friday when Lord Botetourt plays host to William Fleming.
It will be the second meeting of the season between the two, with LB winning a hard-fought 54-50 game in Roanoke in the first meeting. Last season Fleming was the only team to beat LB during the regular season as the two split regular season games before the Cavaliers defeated the Colonels in the Blue Ridge District tournament final.
This year Lord Botetourt is ranked second and Fleming third in the “Timesland” standings of area teams covered by the local daily. The Cavs opened the week at 16-2 and are undefeated in the BRD while Fleming is 15-3 with one district loss, to LB.
“Not only is this a big district matchup of two of the area’s top teams, but it also our Senior Night,” said LB coach Renee Favaro. “We are looking forward to honoring four special individuals for their contributions to our program. Playing William Fleming is always good for us no matter the outcome because it is a game that will prepare us for postseason play.”
Botetourt seniors are four-year standout Miette Veldman, Meredith Wells, Taylor Robertson and Kenleigh Gunter. Veldman, Wells, and Gunter were members of the 2018 state championship team, while Robertson has been a key piece after moving in from Cave Spring for her senior year.
The Cavaliers stayed hot with two more wins last week. They opened with a 61-43 win over Staunton River in Daleville. The seniors all scored in double figures as Veldman had 16 points, Robertson had 15, Gunter had 11 and Wells had 10.
“We did a good job of applying pressure and forcing Staunton River into turnovers,” said Favaro.
On Friday in Rocky Mount the girls beat Franklin County for the third time this season, 57-48. Botetourt fell behind early but rallied for the win.
“Defensively, we did not do a very good job and ended up down 10-2 in just a few minutes of play,” said Favaro. “Franklin County applied pressure to our guards and heavily contested us on the three-point line, so we were able to isolate inside by spreading out the floor. We got back into it by getting to the free throw line.”
Botetourt led by one at the half, then held Franklin to five points in the third quarter to regain control. Veldman led LB with 30 points and 16 rebounds against a big Eagle front line.
“Overall, I thought the difference in the game was our second half defense,” said Favaro. “In the first half we felt we had given them too many easy looks and too many offensive rebounds. Keeping them to 19 points in the second half is what won us that basketball game.”
The Cavaliers were scheduled to play at home against Hidden Valley tonight but that game was postponed as the Titans have been beset by illness. It’s been rescheduled for Monday, February 10.