Byrds soar over Eagles

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Rivermen fall after Christmas break

By Mike Forster


Staunton River was at a disadvantage from the start.

When the Eagles hosted William Byrd in boys hoops last Friday night, River Head Coach Brandon Harris dutifully sent his starting five onto the court.

The tallest stands five foot eight inches tall.  Every starting Terrier is taller than that mark.

In what may have been the least contested opening jump ball in county history, Byrd's 6'4" Koty Collier squared off with River's 5'8" Jordan Mattox.

The Terriers have a lot more than just height going for them, by the way.  They showed why they are among the Blue Ridge District's elite as they dispatched Staunton River, 78-56.

"Byrd is a really good team," Harris assessed.  "They are big, deep and talented."

The win improved the Byrdsters to 7-3, overall, and 2-0 in the Blue Ridge.  They've beaten the likes of Cave Spring, Salem and William Fleming along the way.

Also working against the Golden Eagles was the fact that they'd actually taken a break during the Christmas break.  "We played like a team that had not played in 14 days," noted Harris.  "We had trouble adjusting to playing again.  Regardless of what you do in practice, it is always difficult to simulate the exact conditions of a game."

In the game's early going, the Eagles kept things somewhat close.  Riverman Drew Phillips converted a three-point give-and-go play late in the first quarter to make it an 18-13 game.

But that is as close as the Eagles would get.  The Terriers leaned on Collier, who earned 17 points, and Josh Marcus (13 points) and Marvey'o Otey (13).

Staunton River, meanwhile, found its speed game thwarted by an effective three-quarters press from Byrd.

Nonetheless, Phillips managed to post a dozen points.  Ramir Hunt, Deshawn Martin and Jordan Mattox each kicked in nine.

River is now 0-2 in Blue Ridge District play.  They host Glenvar this Friday.