The William Byrd boys’ basketball team had a memorable “Senior Night” Tuesday, as the Terriers beat William Fleming in Vinton, 71-62.
Coach Josh Cunningham started all five available seniors, Terrell Smith, Casey Smith, J.J. Seymore, Cullen Livingstone and Jackson Honaker. A sixth senior, Jaylen Wheeler, was the starting point guard before being lost for the season with a knee injury just before Christmas.
This game was close throughout. Fleming, who was 11-5 coming in, led by four at the half but Byrd outscored the Colonels 20-12 in the third period to take the lead. Byrd then pulled away in the fourth quarter for the win.
“It was a lot of fun,” said coach Josh Cunningham. “Being Senior Night, it was pretty special.”
Casey Smith had his highest scoring game as a Terrier with 24 points, 18 coming on his six made three pointers. Smith has been a key to the team since Wheeler was injured.
“Casey’s played great,” said Cunningham. “He’s doing a lot of stuff that doesn’t show up in the box score, like running the point. We knew he could shoot. We’ve seen him at open gyms where he just takes over.”
Byrd hit 15 threes as a team as the Terriers scored 63 percent of their points on long range bombs. Terrell Smith, Seymore and Landon Johnson had three treys each. Terrell finished with 17 total points, Seymore had 15 and Johnson had nine.
With the win Byrd improved to 7-12 on the season. Last week the Terriers split two road games, winning at Pulaski and losing a close one to Bassett.
“We’ve been playing some pretty good basketball lately,” said Cunningham. “That win over Pulaski was big. That’s a tough place to play.”
The Terriers beat the Cougars 62-44 as Terrell Smith scored 26 points. Byrd did a good job on defense against a solid Pulaski team.
Then, on Friday night, Byrd played at Bassett and lost 56-51. Terrell Smith had 13 points and seven steals, Casey Smith had 11 points and Seymore had 10.
The Terriers will be at Staunton River this Friday for a girls-boys doubleheader, and the regular season finale is Tuesday at Lord Botetourt. The Blue Ridge District Tournament opens with a play-in game on February 8 and most likely last place LB will go to Byrd or Staunton River, defending on what happens Friday and Tuesday. Undefeated Northside is the top seed and William Fleming will be second.