The Lord Botetourt girls won two of three games in Gatlinburg, Tenn., last week to finish in third place in the challenging Smoky Mountain Winter Classic basketball tournament.
There were three brackets in the large tournament and LB played in the highest bracket. The girls opened with Riverside of South Carolina and dropped a 59-55 decision. The game was tied at 55-55 before Riverside pulled out the win.
“We dug ourselves an early hole,” said LB coach Renee Favaro. “We won the third and fourth quarters but the slow start, paired with poor free throw shooting. hurt us.
Madilyn Winterton had a near triple-double with 16 points, nine rebounds, nine steals and five assists. Grayson Alfano and Maddie Caron had 11 points each and Caron also had nine rebounds.
On Thursday the Cavaliers went up against Hardin Valley of Tennessee and took a 64-51 win. Point guard Ainsley Anderson dropped a career-high 30 points, draining six of eight three-point shots while also handing out five assists. Winterton added 15 points and three blocked shots while Caron had eight points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
The consolation final in the toughest bracket was for third place and Botetourt took on Westside High, the reigning 4A state champion in South Carolina. It was a tight game with the score tied at 25-25 at the half, but some clutch free throws down the stretch gave the Cavaliers a 53-47 win.
“We had the advantage inside and our posts stepped up big,” said Favaro, as Gracie Huffard and Caron had 14 points and nine boards each.”
With the win the Cavaliers returned to Daleville with an 8-2 record after playing a challenging non-district schedule. They also found time to have some fun and bond in Gatlinburg.
“We got to enjoy a lot of activities off the court and really grew closer together,” said Favaro. “We went to Dollywood, the Island at Pigeon Forge, and just enjoyed making some core memories together. The girls fundraised really hard to make this happen and we got better on and off the court.”
LB returns to action tonight with their Blue Ridge District opener at Staunton River. On Friday they’ll host William Byrd, and next Tuesday they have a big district game at William Fleming.