The James River boys basketball team is back over .500 after downing Alleghany Monday night, 61-32. The Knights are 9-8 after defeating the Group 3A Mountaineers in Springwood.
“I thought we played well,” said River coach Mike Goad. “We changed up defenses on them in the second half and that seemed to work.”
River led just 23-17 at the half but outscored the Mountaineers 38-15 after intermission, scoring 19 points in both the third and fourth quarters. Darious Cheatwood led the Knights with 24 points, Walker Andrews had 15 and Jacob Wagner had seven.
The win was the second in a row for the Knights, who won at Nelson County Saturday night by a 65-43 score. Cheatwood had 21 points and 13 rebounds for River while Wagner had 14 rebounds to go with his nine points. Andrews had 13 points and River Clonch was also in double figures with 11.
“That was a good win for us,” said Goad. “It’s always nice to pick up a win on the road.”
The two wins followed two gut-wrenching losses. On Tuesday of last week the Knights dropped a heartbreaker at Glenvar, 82-70 in overtime. The Knights had a good look at the end of regulation that could have won the game but it didn’t fall.
On Thursday at home River lost to Giles, 51-49. The Knights had a seven-point lead with less than two minutes to go but let it slip away. The Spartans scored on a stick-back at the buzzer to win the game.
Cheatwood had 18 points in this one for team high. Wagner had 10 points, Brandon Colon had seven and Dalton Simmons had six.
A busy schedule continues this week. River was scheduled to host Buffalo Gap on Tuesday, then Wednesday the Knights are at Radford for their third game in as many days. That’s a tall order, as Radford is 18-0 after beating Blacksburg on Monday night.
After Thursday off, the Knights are right back Friday to host Floyd.
“We’re just taking them one game at a time,” said Goad. “You have to give the boys credit. They continue to play hard and you know they’re still students. When you play that many games in a short period of time it’s tough on you both physically and mentally.”