Alex Keys, who recorded a double-double in Burton’s state quarterfinal victory over Bland County, including the game-winning shot, was held to six points and four rebounds. McKenzie Blair, who hauled in 17 boards against the Bears in Salem, collected only five Thursday.
Even without the individual fireworks, Williams thought his Raiders rebounded adequately as a team to compete. Getting the ball to the hole past 6-foot-3 Demetrius Johnson and his 6-4 fraternal twin, Darius Johnson, was more problematic.
“This team got this far because of defense and rebounding. I thought we defended today and I thought we rebounded pretty well today. We just had a hard time scoring against their length," Williams said. “That’s something that hurt us this year, so that’s something we’ve got to take from this game as far as what we’ve got to do going forward.”
Ervin Beaty, who scored 37 points against Haysi in the Region D semifinal victory that sealed Norton’s state tournament bid, led Burton with 14 against the Colonels.
“We really couldn’t get anything going. I think from the start we were intimidated by their size. It was just hard to score against them,” Beaty said. “I’d heard (Altavista) has always been a pretty good team and they play hard and they always make it up here to Richmond. But after it got going, I realized it was just another game. I had to get out there and play."