By David Wagner
The Western Albemarle High School boys’ basketball team hosted the Monticello Mustangs in a key Jefferson District matchup Feb. 1. Monticello beat the Warriors earlier in the season and Western was looking for payback in a game that would have first place implications.
Both teams got off to a slow start, and the game was tied at 9 with 2:29 to go in the first quarter. But Chase Stokes hit a big 3-pointer to give the Warriors a 14-12 lead and Eli Sumpter added two free throws to put Western ahead 16-12 at the end of the quarter.
The teams traded baskets early in the second quarter before Monticello went on a 10-0 run to take a 29-24 lead. Denzel Terry and Jahvon Shelton hit back-to-back 3 pointers to get the rally going and turn the momentum in Monticello’s favor.
Western countered with their own flurry to take a 34-31 lead into the half. A blocked shot by center Jeremy Baruch led to a fast break layup for Jake Maynard as time expired.
Western came out hot in the third quarter, scoring the first five points as Maynard struck again, this time hitting a 3-pointer to give the Warriors a 41-34 lead.
But it was short lived. Monticello went on another run, scoring 11 straight points to go ahead 51-47. The Warriors managed two late buckets with Maynard scoring to tie the game at 51 all.
Monticello bounced back, though, to start the fourth quarter with Shelton scoring five points. The Warriors got back into the game behind the scoring of Stokes and Sam Chisholm and the game was tied at 58-58 with 4:10 to go in the contest.
In the final minutes Stokes hit two more field goals and Chisholm sank a big foul shot as the Warriors held on for the victory, 63-58. Monticello only managed two points in the last four minutes. Jahvon Shelton ended up with a game and career high 30 points to pace the Mustangs and Stokes led the Warriors with 19. Maynard added 13 points for Western and Chisholm finished with 12 points.
The win, which was followed by a victory Saturday over Powhatan, has the Warriors tied at the top of the standings with Monticello and Fluvanna. If the Warriors can win their final two contests (too late for this edition) they could capture the number one seed for the Jefferson District Tournament coming up next week.