By Ben Sheridan / Scrimmageplaycva.com contributor
For Louisa County boys basketball, it was simple Wednesday night in the Region 4B quarterfinals. Win, and not only is your season still alive, but the team makes the Region 4B semifinals for the third straight season.
Lose, and it’s over.
The Lions met the challenge and picked up a 66-52 victory, fueled by a fast start.
“Our goal was to start strong, and I think the guys did a good job with having that energy,” said Lions coach Robert Shelton. “It’s tough when you don’t have a game before with a JV game, but I’m proud of these guys and they came out in playoff mode.”
Louisa definitely got out to a fast start as they started the game on an 8-0 run. Throughout the quarter, from the midrange to the perimeter to driving the ball, the Lions put on an offensive clinic en route to a 25-20 lead. Buck Hunter helped lead the way for the Lions, putting up nine points in the quarter before finishing the night with a team-high 19 points.
In the second it was more of the same for the Lions. In fact, the half ended with them doubling their lead, with a 42-32 advantage. To boost the offense, Jarett Hunter and Mahlik Munnerlyn each scored six points in the quarter. Hunter finished with 15 and Munnerlyn piled up 16 points.
In the third, the Lions wound up switching gears. The scoring pace slowed, but defensively, the intensity showed up in a big way as they allowed the Bulldogs to score just five points in the quarter.
“We knew that (Deshawn Goodwyn) could shoot, and we closed out hard on him and contained him, and after that we just played good help defense,” said the Lions’ Buck Hunter.
That strategy wound up working for the Lions, as they once again doubled their lead in the third, taking a 57-37 advantage to the final quarter.
The Bulldogs refused to go quietly and kept fighting to try to dig their way out of the hole they were in. Offensively, they were sparked by Kentwan Hubbard with 21 points and Carlin Mansfield with 10 points.
Louisa closed the door though, and the Lions move on to the Region 4B semifinals and a game away from the state tournament.
With one day to prepare, the Lions know they have to make the most of it to be ready for their next matchup.
“Rebounding is something we have got to do — we have to play our game and rebound, that’s what’s going to win us the game,” said Hunter.