Somethings never change — Charlottesville has always been about speed under coach Mitch Minor. And if Tuesday night was a precursor of things to come, this Black Knights team might be the fastest in recent memory and that’s saying something. While Covenant came into the meeting ravaged by injury, Charlottesville still looked awfully impressive as they terrorized the Eagles with defense, points in transition and some spot-on shooting from beyond the arc to cruise to a 67-25 win.
“I liked our intensity defensively and I was proud of our help in recovery and I think we made it tough,” Minor said. “We’re going to face some quick teams down the road and I think this was a good sign, but it’s still a long road ahead.”
Charlottesville simply came out of the gates running and there wasn’t a lot Covenant could do to stop it. Mica Girstantos had 10 first quarter points including a pair of 3-pointers to pace the way to a 21 -6 lead in the first quarter and the Black Knights never looked back.
“We go against each other in practice every day and it’s full speed, full court press and for two hours,” Girstantos said. “So it was just nice to go up against someone else and go all out.”
Defensively the Black Knights forced turnover after turnover and made their mark at the free throw line in the second quarter to take a 40-14 advantage into halftime. Little changed out of the break with Charlottesville putting together a 12-0 run to make it 52-14 before Minor subbed out his starters and saw his bench continue to roll.
“We’ve got guards that are 5-foot-6, 5-foot-7 and they handle the ball well, stay low and cover the ground very well and defend,” Minor said. “I love their tempo, the way they push the ball but it’s really what they do on the defensive side that makes it all work. It’s not just doing their job, it’s helping out and making sure the other guy isn’t in trouble. So I’m pleased with this win.”
On the night, Jordan Saylor led the way with 13 points while Girstantos had 12. Tyreek Ragland added 10 points. Every single CHS player, 11 in all, found their way into the scorebook.
For Covenant, it was a night of tough sledding as the Black Knights were simply overwhelming. But Devon McConley and Matt Cogswell tied for a team best five points as the team had just seven field goals in the contest.
Charlottesville (1-0) hosts William Monroe on Friday at 7:30 p.m. while Covenant (0-2) will look to rebound against Grace Christian on Thursday at Western Albemarle at 4:30 p.m.