By Alyson McCullough
On Monday, January 7th, 2019, the Lady Knights basketball teams, both junior varsity and varsity, hosted the games against the Giles County High School Lady Spartans. The junior varsity team started the game with Olivia Thacker (10), Meradith Brogan (9), Karlee Eubank (9), Gracie Harlow (10), and Janiah Merchant (9). These girls put up a great fight against the Lady Spartans. James River was ahead for the majority of the game, but Giles came back and tied it. After a hard fought game, the Lady Knights fell short with a final score of 30-34, and Giles won. As for varsity, the starters for the game were Lakota Lucado (11), Madison Brogan (11), Victoria Trabulsie (11), Myla Lester (10), and Olivia Griffin (9).
With a technical for each team in the first quarter, spectators knew then that it was going to be a rough game. Unfortunately, in the end, Giles defeated the Lady Knights, the final score being 54-19. The Lady Knights’ next game is Wednesday, January 9, 2019, at Alleghany High School and then Friday, January 11, 2019, at James River High School against Radford High School.
On Tuesday, January 8th, 2019, the James River boys basketball teams also hosted the game against the Alleghany County High School Mountaineers, and the James River community really showed up to support these games. The junior varsity boys started off with Ryan Steger (8), Jacob Alderson (10), Isaiah Moran (10), Cole Miller (10), and Heath Andrews (8) on the court. The Knights came out with a 43-24 win over the Mounties, with Ryan Steger, an eighth grader, leading the team with eighteen points scored, sophomore Isaiah Moran in second with ten points, and sophomores Parker Thompson and Jake Braun both with six points. It was not one of the hardest teams they had encountered this season, but it was still a fun game to watch.
The varsity game was definitely a great one for spectators because it left you on the edge of your seat the whole time. The starting players for James River’s varsity were Patrick Clevenger (9), Devin Cheatwood (12), Dyllan McAllister (11), River Clonch (12), and Walker Andrews (10). Alleghany was a tough team to beat, but the James River Knights brought the definition of “blood, sweat, and tears” into this game. Many fouls were made by both teams and River Clonch ended up with a technical foul. In the second half, both teams had ten fouls each and Alleghany had a player foul out with a few with three or four fouls. There was not a single second that every player was not putting in everything they had on the court. Even those players not on the court at the time were cheering their teammates on and were just as involved in the game.
The Knights worked as a team and used communication to get through this tough battle. With a full student section that showed lots of love and support for their classmates and were on their feet cheering for the entirety of the game, James River pulled out a win with less than ten seconds left on the game clock. With six seconds left in the fourth quarter, an Alleghany player made a three-point shot, tying the game at 61 all. James River got the ball back and with three seconds left, Walker Andrews was fouled by a Mountie and with his foul shots, won the game. All of James River’s fans were screaming and cheering for their James River boys and they all left without their voices that night. Sophomore Walker Andrews had the second most scored points for the night with seventeen, senior River Clonch led with twenty-two, and freshman Patrick Clevenger scored thirteen. They have been working hard in practice and played with good sportsmanship, and it definitely was used to benefit them in the end.
The Knights’ next game is Thursday, January 10th, 2019 at Radford High School and then they go back on the road to play Friday, January 11th, 2019 at Staunton River High School. The next home game for the boys is Monday, January 14th, 2019 against Floyd County High School.
The junior varsity games, for all four teams, will start at 5:30 pm and varsity games, also for all four teams, will start at 7:00 pm.
Also, despite how small of the squad they have this season and both captains being injured, the James River cheerleaders are still going out on the court with a smile and a good attitude to support their friends and classmates. These ladies are doing an outstanding job spreading school spirit and showing their James River pride.
Please come out and join James River High School in supporting their athletic departments and student-athletes that work hard every day for these games.