By Ben Sheridan / Scrimmageplaycva.com contributor
Louisa County boys basketball hosted George Wythe Tuesday, looking for a big win in the early stages of the season. When tough contests like these come around, teams tend to look for their upperclassmen who’ve been in big situations to help lead them to victory.
Louisa’s experienced players like Buck Hunter who poured in 27 points took over against George Wythe, leading the Lions to a 60-45.
The Lions took charge of the game right away with Louisa closing the first quarter on an 8-1 run. The Lions were in control because they were forcing the Bulldogs into turnovers, then getting out in transition and turning them into points. Leading the scoring for the Lions in the quarter and the game was Hunter, as he had 6 of his 27 points in the first.
In the second, the Lions were able to create a lot of turnovers again and get buckets off of them again while also crashing the offensive glass. Isaac Haywood helped spark the Lions, with four of his 14 total points coming in the quarter. But Louisa had their own struggles giving up offensive rebounds and turnovers of their own, along with the Bulldogs finding success driving the basketball. Jaheim Stokes led George Wythe with 11 of his 16 points in that quarter.
The Lions took a 29-22 lead into the break but knew they had some things to work if they wanted to end the game on top.
“I was just telling the team to relax, it’s still the beginning of the season, we’ve had a lot of practice and didn’t play our first game until last Friday,” said Louisa coach Robert Shelton. “So, this was our second game and we’re still trying to feel out each other, trying to feel where each other will be on the court, and more than anything I think we were rushing things.”
The Lions definitely calmed down, switching to a zone defense to try to take away the Bulldogs’ driving lanes. While both teams still had a multitude of turnovers, the Lions found a way to win the quarter, and take a 44-35 lead into the final frame.
In the fourth, the Bulldogs made a push, trimming the lions lead down to seven late. The Lions needed a playmaker, and found one in Hunter. He delivered back to back threes with about two minutes left, which effectively put the game out of reach.
“I know I need to be aggressive, and they were an aggressive team, we had to push the pace and do what we needed to do,” Hunter said.
While this certainly was a good win for the Lions, they know there are things for them to work on with the young season.
“We need to remain disciplined, and try to learn about each other, we’re still new as far as a unit,” said Shelton. “We have a lot of new faces from last year’s team, and a lot of guys that were on last year’s team have been asked to play different roles, so more than anything just spending time together, whether it be practice, games, outside of basketball, just building that comradery.”
The Lions hit the road for the Above the Rim Classic this weekend.