Louisa County’s boys basketball team just keeps coming in waves. Even in games where the shots aren’t pouring in, where the Lions are having to work for everything, the depth wears on opponents like it did Tuesday night against Charlottesville.
“We saw a pace in the first quarter and we subbed early and that’s a testament to our depth, they played even at that point,” said Louisa coach Robert Shelton. “Our depth came through for us.”
The Lions’ freshness in the fourth helped them hold the Black Knights scoreless in the final frame, turning a tight game into a 55-38 road win.
Ten different Lions scored against Charlottesville, with just C.J. Williams reaching double figures with 12 points. Against a Charlottesville team stocked with guards, the 6-foot-6 Williams was the trump card and he got going in the second quarter with three big buckets.
“That’s a testament to his hard work in the offseason, he’s put in time and gotten a lot better and he’s just scratching the surface,” Shelton said. “He’s worked hard and he deserves everything he’s getting.”
Despite the Lions’ depth and height advantage, Charlottesville managed to stay shot-for-shot with Louisa threw three quarters and trailed just 41-38 heading into the fourth.
“We didn’t score a point in that fourth quarter,” said Charlottesville coach Mitch Minor. “They did kind of wear us down, I don’t know if we got tired because they have a lot of size or they were subbing a lot.”
Immanuel Wells scored 13 points to lead the Black Knights while Jibron Barnett and Isaiah Washington each chipped in eight points. Charlottesville’s performance at the free throw line — they went 3-for-18 — accelerated Louisa’s ability to pull away. The Black Knights were 2-for-12 at the line before halftime, helping Louisa hang close despite getting whistled for 10 first quarter fouls.
“That’s huge, it’s a big difference,” Minor said. “I still felt like we were in the game up until the fourth quarter. There’s no excuse for missing that many free throws”
Meanwhile, the Lions stayed locked in defensively despite some offensive struggles, with Jarrett Hunter’s effort at point guard leading the effort. Hunter scored just four points but he managed to control the pace of the game. When the Lions needed to push, Hunter pushed and when they needed to melt the clock, he melted the clock during a perfectly-orchestrated fourth quarter.
“Jarrett had a chance to go through this varsity schedule last year and played a lot of minutes,” Shelton said. “He’s been in this environment and I think that shows, he stays calm throughout adversity, throughout pressure situations.”
Chris Shelton finished with nine points, Xavien Hunter had eight points and Malik Bell chipped in seven as Louisa leaned on a balanced offensive effort.