The Northside basketball team proved to be the nemesis for the Lord Botetourt boys once again last week as the Vikings denied the Cavaliers a win that would have given them a berth in the state Class 3 tournament. Northside downed LB 67-52 last Thursday at Northside in the Region 3D semifinal game.
The loss was the fourth in four tries against the Vikings. Northside swept the Cavaliers in the season series, denying LB a share of the Blue Ridge District regular season title, then beat the Cavs in the district tournament final. The Cavaliers were hoping to be the ones who laughed last in the region tournament, but Northside jumped to a 33-21 halftime lead and held on to earn a berth in the state tournament.
“Unfortunately, we just couldn’t get it done,” said LB coach Andrew Hart. “We gave ourselves plenty of opportunities to hang in the game, but it just wasn’t our night and the ball wasn’t bouncing our way. Northside had another really strong team this season. They just seem to reload year after year. Hats off to them for playing great basketball at the end of the season.”
Jackson Crawford had 20 points to lead the Cavaliers. Tyler Meade and Conner Tilley had 10 each.
In the region quarterfinal game the Cavaliers defeated Bassett in Daleville, 77-72.
“We got out to an early lead and played with a lot of energy,” said Hart. “It was a really fun environment. Bassett played really well and battled all the way to the final whistle but we were able to make enough plays to pull through in the end and earn a regional win.”
The Cavaliers finished the season with a 16-9 overall record against a tough schedule.
“Our coaching staff is really proud of our season and our guys,” said Hart. “We had hopes of reaching the state tournament, but our region was as tough as it gets. We played a really hard schedule and we knocked off some really good teams including Radford, James River, Spotswood, and William Fleming for the first time in five years.”
LB will graduate five seniors, Tilley, Ashton Bramblett, Dylan Salvi, Bryce Harrison and Tanner Lovern.
“Our five seniors will be greatly missed,” said Hart. “They have been through a lot in the last three years, but they always showed up with a great attitude and were determined to get better. They all brought something different to the table that made their team better. They are a special group and are much of the reason we were able to win a lot of games the last three seasons. I know each of them will be successful wherever their paths take them.”