Posted: February 20, 2013
DALEVILLE – The Knights knew how good Justin Goode and Lord Botetourt High School’s shooters could be. They just forgot a few times.
Goode, a junior guard, made four 3-pointers, and it was during “four or five” of his big shots that Turner Ashby exhibited some of that amnesia on defense, TA coach Chad Seibert said.
By the end of the game, the Cavaliers had done enough to book their second straight trip to the Region III, Division 4 semifinals Thursday at top-seeded E.C. Glass. Goode finished with 23 points and the 94-percent free-throw shooter gradually salted the game away, going 7-of-8 from the line during the fourth quarter, in a 62-57 win over TA on Tuesday night.
“We knew we had an advantage with our fans and our students,” said Goode, who was hoisted by fans at midcourt. “It was huge to get a win here in our last home game.”
Junior guard Shane Brown netted 23 points and Justin Layman capped his senior season with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Knights, who finished 14-12.
“They have great shooters and we just left them open too often. We just forgot they could shoot,” Seibert said. “And in the end, I think the difference is [LBHS] playing at home. The atmosphere, that gave them energy.”
When Goode – who has made more than 250 career free throws – clanked the first of two foul shots, the home fans let out a long sigh as if the game hinged on it. He made the second one, giving LBHS a comfortable 62-55 lead with 10 seconds left.
“Late in the game, especially if we have a chance to get to the free-throw line, we like the ball in his hands,” LBHS coach Chad Conner said. “We like the ball in his hands anyways. He’s our leader.”
Lord Botetourt, the surprise Blue Ridge District tournament champion as the No. 5-seed, got off to a slow start. Dustin Hassell, who tallied 17 points, had the only basket for the Cavaliers (15-10) during a 1-for-6 shooting start for the team, as TA led 12-2 with 3:22 left in the first quarter.
A layup by Thomas Hickman gave LBHS its first lead, 30-29, as part of an 8-0 run late in the second quarter. Hickman – one of four LBHS starters with regional experience from last season – and Ricky Southerland each scored nine points, supplying the Cavs with two critical secondary scorers.
Though Brown and Layman combined for 42 points, the Knights got only 15 points from three other scorers. One of them, senior center Jonathan Keppel, fouled out while denying Southerland a sure basket with 1:30 to go.
Earlier, Southerland slammed home a dunk over Keppel that put the Cavs ahead 53-49 with 3:55 remaining.
“That definitely energized him and then the rest of the team and the crowd,” Conner said. “That’s always a big play.”
LBHS outscored TA 9-8 the rest of the way.
Still, Seibert was “extremely proud” of his team’s effort, a winning record for the first time since 2006-07 and Layman’s leadership in building a foundation for TA’s future. On this night, Goode’s crew was just a bit better.
“We tried to keep the ball out of his hands as much as we could. That’s hard to do,” said Layman, one of three graduating seniors for TA. “And you know, they made some big shots, but we played good defense.”
Layman 7 4-6 19, Keppel 1 1-2 3, Corbin 3 0-1 7, Brown 8 2-2 23, Bravo 2 0-0 5. Totals 21 7-11 57.
Goode 6 7-8 23, Hassell 6 2-2 17, Southerland 3 3-5 9, Hickman 4 0-0 9, Rivenbark 0 1-2 1, Gardner 1 0-0 3. Totals 20 13-17 62.
Turner Ashby 19 12 13 13 – 57
Lord Botetourt 16 17 14 15 – 62
3-Point Goals—TA 8 (Brown 5, Bravo, Layman, Corbin), LBHS 9 (Goode 4, Hassell 3, Hickman, Gardner). Fouled Out—TA (Keppell). Rebounds—TA 24 (Layman 10), LBHS 25 (Southerland, Gunter 5). Total Fouls—TA 15, LBHS 9.