The Region 4D boys’ basketball tournament begins Friday and William Byrd will have a home game to open. The Terriers will host Magna Vista at approximately 7:30 pm in the second game of a doubleheader with the girls.
The Warriors come to Vinton with a 7-16 record while Byrd is an even 12-12 after going 1-1 in the Blue Ridge District Tournament. Byrd and Magna Vista have no common opponents.
“I don’t know much about them but we will be studying as much film as possible over the next couple days and go out and see if we can get back on the right path,” said Byrd coach Brad Greenway.
The Terriers made it to the semifinal round of the Blue Ridge District tournament before falling to undefeated Northside on Monday. They opened the BRD tournament last Friday in Vinton and won a 60-59 thriller over visiting Franklin County.
“Really entertaining game if you weren’t the coach whose blood pressure was through the roof starting with the first timeout, down 0-9,” said Greenway. “In all seriousness, we start out down nine, crawled back in it and competed.”
Byrd pulled even by the end of the quarter but trailed 31-28 at the half. They were down by 10 in the third quarter but battled back to five by the end of the period, 48-43, then outscored the Eagles 17-11 in the fourth quarter.
The Terriers trailed by a point with 15 seconds left but a steal by Hayden Eads and a couple free throws by Isaiah Board gave Byrd the win. Ty Blalock had a big rebound off a missed free throw in the final seconds, and Byrd was able to get a stop to close out the game.
“The guys kept competing and believing, and we were able to pull it out,” said Greenway.
Jaiden Childress had 22 points to lead the Terriers, hitting nine of 12 field goal attempts and leading the team with nine rebounds and four assists. Board had 17 points and Israel Hairston had 10.
That win put Byrd in the district semifinal game on Monday against undefeated Northside, who had a first round tournament bye. The Terriers trailed just 20-16 in the second quarter when Northside went on a 27-2 run over the remainder of the period and into the third quarter to open a 47-18 lead.
“We struggled to play against their pressure from start to finish,” said Greenway. “We ended up shooting 1-for-15 from outside, and against NS you’re just not going to compete if you’re not shooting it well. They are going to put up points in a hurry.”
Childress led Byrd with 10 points while Blalock had seven points and eight boards. Byrd was 13-for-44 as a team from the field and just four-of-10 from the line.
“I thought we held our own in the half-court defensive game, but we had too many missed threes that turned into long rebounds and then the live ball turnovers that they were able to convert to layups. That’s just not going to get it done against a team of their caliber.
“It’s our plan to see them again and we’re not going to back down, but we’ll have to play a much more efficient game.”
If the Terriers win Friday the region quarterfinals are Tuesday, February 21. The semifinals are a week from today, on February 23, and the Region 3D championship game is Saturday, February 25.
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