no avatar

Raiders rough up Cavaliers in season opener

By KEVIN MAYS, Times-News Sports Correspondent • Dec 6, 2017 at 12:49 AM

NORTON — For J.I. Burton, “balance” was the buzzword in Tuesday night’s basketball season opener.

The Raiders used a mix of veterans and newcomers along with even scoring to take a 66-37 nonconference win over Holston at Stan Wilson Gymnasium.

Caleb Williams led the Burton attack with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jonah Cochrane came off the bench to score 11 points, Mikey Culbertson also scored 11 and shooting guard Houston Thacker had 10 for the Raiders.

Trevor Culbertson, making his varsity debut, finished with eight points, but the scoring department wasn’t where the freshman point guard did the most damage. Culbertson racked up eight assists and committed just one turnover against the Cavaliers (0-1).

“Trevor really did a good job of finding the open man,” said Burton coach Aaron Williams. “That was a good debut for a freshman at the varsity level.”

The Raiders used a tough pressure defense and the transition game to set the pace early, scoring the first 11 points of the contest.

“I thought we played a little tight offensively, but I thought our intensity was good defensively,” said Williams, who is still rounding his squad into basketball shape following the school’s deep run into the football postseason.

“We’ve gotten kind of a late start, but we’ve got kind of a veteran team. We only lost one player from last year’s team. So we know what we’re supposed to be doing.

“I like our balance, I liked our effort and I liked our intensity for a first game,” he added.

Holston didn’t score until the 1:24 mark of the opening quarter when Ben Hulbert hit a layup. His 3-pointer with 6:36 left in the first half cut Burton’s lead to 13-7, but that was as close as the Cavaliers could get.

The Raiders used an 8-1 scoring run to build a 21-8 lead halfway through the second period, and they increased their 13-point halftime advantage to 41-21 by the end of the third quarter.

Hulbert finished the night with 23 points and eight rebounds.

Recommended for You

    Kingsport Times News Videos