The James River boys will host Floyd County in the second basketball game of a girls-boys doubleheader on Thursday night in Springwood. The girls will start at 6 p.m. with the boys to follow.
The game will mark the beginning of the second time through the Three Rivers District for the Knights. River was 3-1 in district games prior to a Tuesday trip to Alleghany and 10-5 overall. The Knights dropped a district game for the first time last Thursday, falling 59-44 at home against Radford.
“We learned a lot about ourselves against Radford,” said coach Ethan Humphries. “They are the standard in terms of toughness and I thought our guys exhibited that quality, which is what matters most come playoff time. Radford hit some tough shots down the stretch to change the game. As we learned last year versus them sometimes it’s just a matter of who hits more tough shots.”
Ryan Steger scored his 1,000th career point during the game.
“Ryan sets a tremendous example of what we want from a James River basketball player,” said Humphries. “We’re going to miss him when he’s gone next year and he’s off doing bigger things on a different court. For me personally, to coach a guy ‘cut from the same cloth’ in terms of living and breathing basketball is extra special and makes showing up every day very enjoyable knowing he’s in the trenches with you.”
The Knights also hosted Carroll County last week and took a 58-48 win. Steger had 27 points in this one while Bell had 20 points and eight rebounds.
“We loved the way our guys competed against a good Carroll team,” said Humphries. “They were coming in with a 9-2 record and had beaten the Pulaski team we just lost to three times this year. There sure are no nights off in our district.”