By Ben Sheridan / Scrimmageplaycva.com contributor
In any sport, it’s not an uncommon thing for a team to get a slow start. Sometimes it just seems like nothing is going right at the beginning.
That is how the Charlottesville Boys basketball team felt against Orange County Tuesday in what became a 70-59 victory over the Hornets. Early in the first quarter, that slow start had the Black Knights staring down a 10-point deficit.
“We had to pick up the intensity, especially on defense, they were running us and we didn’t get back to set up our defense, but when we started setting the defense, things changed,” said Charlottesville Coach Mitch Minor. “Also, we were making one pass and jacking up shots, and when we got more patient on offense with the ball and pushing it up the court before they got set, it was to our advantage and I think that helped us get back in the game.”
Charlottesville began to lock in on the game and crank up the intensity, as for the rest of the quarter they were in complete control. They ended the quarter on a 12-1 run, giving them a 16-15 lead they never relinquished. Helping to lead the charge was Zymir Faulkner, who had seven points in the quarter. He finished with 27 points and 5 rebounds on the night.
In the second quarter, the momentum carried over for Charlottesville. They were forcing turnovers, easily driving the basketball, and getting good looks from the perimeter. All of that movement led to an 8-0 run to start the quarter, and the Black Knights never looked back, leading 40-28 at the break.
In the third, the Black Knights kept pouring it on, extending their lead to 65-45 fueled by stifling defense and smart offense. Christian Stewart had 7 of his 15 total points in the quarter.
Orange played a tough, physical game throughout, and won the fourth quarter by 1. The Hornets were led offensively with a big performance from Sihle Mthethwa, who put up 23 points in the game. However, the big lead for the Black Knights proved to be too much for the Hornets to overcome, as the final score read 79-60.
The win keeps Charlottesville among the top of the Jefferson District standings, but know that a huge matchup with Louisa awaits on Friday.
“It’s going to be tough, they have good guards and good inside play, and they’re pretty experienced, so we’ve got to be ready to play,” Minor said.