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Burton dumps Rye Cove, sets up playoff with Eastside

Kevin Mays • Feb 9, 2019 at 2:20 AM

NORTON — Things went as planned for J.I. Burton on Friday against Rye Cove.

The Raiders jumped out to a big lead early, allowing coach Aaron Williams to rest his starters, on the way to a 77-22 Cumberland District boys basketball win at Stan Wilson Gymnasium.

The win gave Burton (17-5, 9-1) a share of the Cumberland District championship. Coupled with Eastside’s win over Twin Springs, Burton and Eastside (19-3, 9-1) are regular-season district co-champions.

Burton and Eastside will play Saturday at 7 p.m. at Rye Cove to determine the No. 1 seed in next week’s district tournament at Virginia-Wise. The winner also earns the district’s automatic bid to the Region 1D tournament.

PLAN COMES TOGETHER

The Raiders led 9-5 halfway through the first quarter and scored the next 13 points to build a 22-5 lead heading into the second quarter. They held a 40-9 halftime lead.

“That’s what we were hoping to do,” Williams said. “We were able to do some different things and get everyone involved. And we were able to rest some people because we have a big game coming up tomorrow.”

The Raiders cruised in the second half to put away the Eagles (5-15, 3-7).

PLAYING FOR PRIDE

With an automatic bid to the regional tournament on the line, Williams is taking a different approach to Saturday’s playoff.

“It’s a big game. It’s really a game for pride,” he said. “As far as the district, we’re already co-champions and as far as the region is concerned, I don’t really see a distinct advantage. Although if you’re the No. 1 seed you get to host a quarterfinal game and if you’re 2 or 3 you have to travel in the quarterfinals.”

POINTS PARADE

Zac Campbell led the Raiders with 16 points. Houston Thacker finished with 14, and Derek Allen and Mikey Culbertson had 12 each.

Chase Love led Rye Cove with 10 points.

Isaiah Kinser came off the bench and corralled 10 rebounds for Burton.

LADY RAIDERS WIN BIG

In a preview of a Cumberland girls tournament opening-round matchup, J.I. Burton (10-11, 3-7) took a 76-43 win over Rye Cove (7-13, 3-7) in both squads’ regular-season finale.

The teams will meet again Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Virginia-Wise’s Prior Center in the first game of the district tournament. The other first-round girls game will pit Castlewood against Twin Springs at 5:30 p.m.

Maggie Williams led four Lady Raiders in double- figure scoring with 25 points. Kaylee Jenkins added 17, Kaitlyn Lindsey had 14 and Sarah Mullins finished with 13.

Katy Roller led Rye Cove with 12 points. Kaleigh Sloan had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

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