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Jefferson Forest revved its engine.
The points followed.
Following a tepid first half, the Cavs roared to life after the intermission, picking up a 63-46 win over visiting Staunton River.
Tyler Lucy, who wasn't even on the court when the game tipped off, came off the bench to marshal the scoring parade.
The junior scored 23 points in a variety of fashions. Jake Johnston, hampered a bit by a tender ankle, was good for 15 points.
Sharpshooter Sam Price picked up a dozen points. In fact, the Price was right on four lasers from three-point land.
Staunton River was paced by Ramir Hunt's 14 points. Madisyn Viera added 10.
River did a superb job of keeping JF off its game in the first half. During that span, the lead changed 14 times.
"We didn't play well in the first half," noted JF Head Coach Paul Smith. "We were sluggish, while (Staunton River) hit some big shots."
Smith noted that his team allowed Staunton River to dictate the pace of the game. Meanwhile, the Cavs seemed content to fire off low-percentage three-point attempts.
Toward the end of the second quarter, the Eagles built up a 27-20 lead on the strength of Hunt's hard drive through the paint and his pull-up three-pointer.
Lucy nailed a trey of his own to cut the River lead to four at the half.
We're not sure what was said at halftime, but the Cavs came out as though they'd been blistered. JF went on a 16-4 tear which featured a pair of Johnston steals and treys off the hot hands of Price and Lucy.
By the midpoint of the fourth quarter, JF had opened a 20-point lead, and this one was ready to be etched into the record book.
"In the second half, we came out with a purpose," said Coach Smith. "We picked up our defense."
Indeed, that defense limited a potent Eagle attack to seven points in the pivotal third quarter.
Defense will be what wins or loses games for this JF crew. It has talent galore on the offensive side of things. While its ability to defend remains a question mark, its effort in that area against Staunton River shows what it is capable of doing.
By the way, we'd be remiss if we didn't note the exceptional ball movement of the Cavs. Point guard Kylin Cardwell may not have featured prominently in the stats department, but his crisp passing and exceptional ability to spot cutters played a huge role.
Additionally, Lucy really seemed to spark the team. His ability to do so should be a factor in future success and should help relieve a bit of the burden on team leader Johnston.
On the Staunton River side, this game really seemed to be a breakout game for Hunt. He was at his most aggressive and found great success in his hard play, both in fighting under the basket and in working himself free on the periphery.
Point guard Deshawn Martin (eight points) played a big role in helping keep Johnston somewhat under wraps in the first half.
Finally, a tip of the hat to Ivan Branov. The Macedonian transfer scored his first points in a U.S. varsity game, swishing home a jump shot from just inside the three-point arc.