No. 4 Knights show character in loss to No. 1 Bulldogs

Published 11:34 pm Saturday, February 9, 2019

The No. 4-seeded Buckingham County High School varsity boys basketball team turned what appeared to be a blowout-loss-in-the-making into a highly competitive district tournament semifinal game Saturday night against host No. 1 Goochland High School, but the Bulldogs held on for a 66-55 win.

The Knights trailed by as many as 28 points in the first half and were down 43-20 at halftime. They cut Goochland’s lead to five with two minutes to go in the game.

“I was proud of our guys for showing character tonight in the second half,” Buckingham Head Coach Taylor Boyers said. “Being down 23 at the half, some teams would have folded, but our team showed some heart and grit.”

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The season is not over for the Knights (10-13), who will host their first-round game in the Region 2C tournament Monday, Feb. 18, with the opponent to be determined.

Boyers noted that the Bulldogs, who are the two-time defending district regular season champions, shot the ball extremely well in the first half Saturday, hitting eight three-point attempts.

“We made some adjustments at halftime and challenged our guys to show some fight,” Boyers said. “Amari Toney stepped up big, scoring 15 in the second half. To be a sophomore and do some of the things he’s done for us this year shows just how much promise he has. I’m proud of him for how hard he’s worked.”

Toney was the Knights’ leading scorer Saturday, finishing with 18 points. Senior forward Deamonte “D.J.” Lassenberry had eight points and 10 rebounds, and senior center JaCorey Holman added 11 boards and three blocks.

“We’ll get some much needed rest next week,” Boyers said. “Our guys need a couple days off. We’ll prepare and practice next week and take it one game at a time the rest of the way.”

In Boyers’ second season leading the Knights, they have shown improvement, moving from sixth in the district during their 2017-18 campaign to fourth this season. They won a total of seven games last season.