Warriors fall to Black Knights in regionals

CHARLOTTESVILLE –Sherando’s boys basketball team started off strong against Charlottesville on Saturday, but the game and the Warriors’ season slipped away in the second half.

The Warriors struggled with Charlottesville’s pressure as the Black Knights pulled out a 72-49 Region 4A West tournament first round victory.

We had a real good start, much better than last game,” Sherando coach Garland Williams said. “But with these guys you got to be on cue all the time. They have five real good players and they’re real heady.”

Sherando (14-11) was able to control the pace of the game in the first period. The Black Knights made only three baskets in the opening period. Sherando’s Jared Miller scored eight points to lead the Warriors to a 15-9 lead.

Things changed quickly in the second period.

The Blacks Knights (17-8) began to use a full-court press and the Warriors struggled with it.

“That was all right because the way we had it set up we had people right where they needed to be,” Williams said of Charlottesville’s pressure. “We just needed to execute on our end. We had a couple shots where we settled for jumpers instead of going right at ’em. You got to attack folk like that, to try and get some fouls.”

The Black Knights used a 14-5 run to take a 23-20 lead with 5:05 left in the first half.

Charlottesville’s Samuel Neale had 7 points during the run.

“We picked it up defensively and we started pressing them and we were attacking them,” Charlottesville coach Mitchell Minor said. “I think that was the difference in the game>

A basket by Miller cut the lead to 23-22 with 4:45 left in the second period, but the Black Knights closed the half with a 7-0 run.

Leading 26-22, Charlottesville’s Neale converted a conventional 3-point play with just one second left in the half.

“A 4-point game right there and all of a sudden it turned it a 7-point game,” Williams said. “That was big right there, because we needed those extra points.”

Sherando’s Matthew McKay made two free throws to cut the lead to 29-24 to start the second half, but the Black Knights used a 19-4 run to pull away for good. Sherando had seven turnovers during the stretch.

The Warriors trailed by at least 17 points the rest of the way.

Jaylen Hudson led the Black Knights with 18 points, while Khalil Vest had 15. Immanuel Wells had 11 points and Neale had 10 for Charlottesville.

The Black Knights play at top-seeded Loudoun Valley at 6 p.m. today with a state tournament berth on the line. Minor said he was confident about his team’s chances against the Vikings.

“We feel like no matter where we go we always have an opportunity to win,” Minor said. “I don’t care what kind of team you have we’re not going to be intimidated by anybody. The guys know that. Whether it’s home or away, you got to have that mentality otherwise you’ve lost the game before you even start.”

Sherando’s Alex Morefield had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead the Warriors. Miller had 10 points and Aaron Banks had eight points, three steals and six assists for Sherando.

Williams said he was happy with the season the team had.

“We told the guys we (beat) most of the folks that we felt we should have gotten, and got a couple that we knew we would be tough,” Williams said. “But the people that we did play that were pretty good we gave a good fight for most of the season and that’s all you can ask.

“Basketball being like all sports where you got to do something in the offseason, we’re telling our folks we’ll set up some off season things. For us to be very competitive like some of these other folks you got to come in and participate.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com