The James River boys basketball team dropped games to Radford and Franklin County on back-to-back nights last week, and will now have a week off. River games this week have been postponed as of Tuesday morning.
The Knights fell at perennial state contender Radford last Friday, 77-54. Jayson Easton was playing his first game for River and led the team with 18 points. He transferred in from Alleghany along with his twin brother, Corey. Both are juniors and Jayson, wing, was first team All-Region last year, while Corey, a guard, was second team All-District.
“I think both are great players and I believe they want to buy into what we do,” said River coach Ethan Humphries. “Our guys are really embracing their addition and love having them around. Time is the main ingredient for the success we need with their addition. Both are stellar students, too, so I think that makes their transition that much smoother.”
Patrick Clevenger had 11 points and six boards against Radford and Isiah Moran had five rebounds. River struggled from the floor, shooting just 32 percent.
“I really loved our fight versus Radford,” said Humphries. “I think we learned half a season’s worth about ourselves going against a great team like them. We didn’t particularly shoot it well and knew our A game would have to show up to give us a chance. Not very many times as a coaching staff we walk away with a 25-point loss and feel good about our team. If we can accelerate the implementation of what we learned I like our chances going forward. The challenge will be figuring it out in the few weeks we have left.”
On Saturday in Rocky Mount the Knights lost to Franklin County, 70-67. Jayson Easton had 20 points and seven rebounds, Clevenger had 18 points and seven boards and Heath Andrews had six rebounds and four assists. The Knights were hurt by 20 turnovers, eight of which came in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we let this one slip away from us,” said Humphries. “It’s hard to win a game with 20 turnovers and in reality we didn’t deserve to win with eight turnovers in the fourth quarter. Nonetheless, some practice time can fix a lot of that.”
River’s JV team picked up a win against Franklin County in a 30-29 thriller.