Despite a furious comeback in the last two minutes that saw Louisa nearly erase a nine point deficit to visiting Powhatan on Friday night, the Lions were left to deal with a 59-56 loss that left the fans on edge, the players anxious and their coach frustrated but determined.
“We have got to get a win,” head coach Brian Wilson said after the defeat. “We played well, but we’ve done that a couple times. We’re tired of being almost there. We want to get a win.”
The loss wasn’t for a lack of effort. Trailing 46-55 with two minutes left, the Lions followed converted baskets with quick fouls to force the Indians to pressure shots at the line. Trailing by three with just half a second left, Lions guard Zach Spicer nearly banked in a shot from half court, though officials said a clock malfunction would have discarded the basket regardless.
It brought a sour taste of déjà vu to the mouths of the Lions (0-13), who lost to Powhatan (3-9) by seven in double overtime just over a month ago. In that game, Louisa led heading into the final quarter by five points. Though the ending results were the same, Wilson said he was more pleased with his team’s composure this go-round.
“This game, we were down, and we got ourselves back into it because we did things the right way,” Wilson said. “If we start doing the right things earlier, it’ll work out for us. The kids realize that.”
It was a close game the whole way, with neither team taking a lead larger than nine in the first half. Lions guard Jermaine Pace started off hot for Louisa, hitting back-to-back three pointers en route to eight first quarter points, and he finished with a team-leading 17. Trailing 21-30 at the half, Wilson switched the Lions into a full-court press in the third quarter, conversely preaching more patience on the offensive side.
The result created more open shots for Louisa. Guard Trey Cherry scored 15 of his 16 points in the second half. Down low, sophomore Jayvon Jackson had one of his best games in his career, scoring 14 points while grabbing 11 rebounds to collect the first double-double of his career. For a team that has struggled with developing a go-to post player so far this season, Jackson’s performance was a welcomed sight.
To read the entire story, see the Jan. 23 edition of The Central Virginian.