By RODNEY YOUNG
Fort Chiswell – In front of a packed gym Saturday night the Fort Chiswell Pioneers played the Floyd Buffaloes for third place in the First Bank of Virginia Christmas Tournament. Floyd’s Caleb Tanner scored 41 points to help defeat the Pioneers (2-4) 94- 85.
Tanner hit seven three point shots, five of those coming in the third quarter. Senior Brandon Lemons hit three straight jumpers in the paint midway through the third and turned a five point advantage at halftime into a 70-56 lead going into the fourth quarter. Lemons finished with 10 points.
Fort Chiswell got a stellar performance from 6’6″ junior Coleman Thomas as he produced 30 points and six rebounds in the fast paced gamed.
The Pioneers’ Levi Mooney scored a personal season high 19 points, connecting on five three pointers. He stroked three of those in a very entertaining fourth quarter. Dylan Hale had 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the loss. Daniel Hamm chipped in 10 points and six assists.
Pioneers head coach Derrick Jackson remarked, “I liked the pace of the game. I believe we committed 20 turnovers and its hard to beat a good team doing that. I saw improvement the last three days, hopefully the kids will keep their confidence.”
Floyd (9-2) not only got scoring from Tanner and Lemons but guard Cole Worrell produced 20 points on nine field goals. Cliff Conley added nine points to help the Buffaloes take third place.
The Championship game saw Carroll County (9-0) defeat Radford 68-58. The Cavaliers got a great performance from senior guard Ryan Gravley, who scored a game high 23 points, handling all the Bobcat pressure defense. Austin Horton scored 12 points. Three others chipped in with 10 points each, Gunnar Beamer, Cody Keith and Duncan Reece. Radford (8-2) was led by Isaiah Phillips with 19 points and Josh Little with 12 points. Radford was leading 29-28 in a back and forth game. They went up 40-31 before a Cavalier timeout.
Carroll then went on a run of their own, outscoring the Cats 13-4 to tie it at 45-45 going into final quarter. Gravley then help control the fourth quarter, running the show as he hit seven of eight foul shots and assisted on four of the Cavs five buckets in the period.
The fifth place game went to Graham (7-3) as they beat the Auburn Eagles (6-4) 56-53. Graham got 18 points from Tony Hood and 15 from Spencer Sheets. Auburn was lead by Jake Shelburne with 15 points and Jessie Rutledge chipped in with 10.
The opening game of the day saw Grayson County win the seventh place game over George Wythe, 64-51. Ty Cannaday led Grayson (6-3) with 21 points and the Maroons (0-5) got 18 points from Richmond bound Hardy Lester.
Fort Chiswell gets their Mountain Empire District schedule going Friday night at home against Grayson County.