“We needed to get some stops in the fourth quarter, and we couldn’t get them,” said Glenvar coach David Redding. “Our kids played hard. They were tired at the end of the game.”
Glenvar never led in the game, but the Highlanders were always right on the cusp. They trailed 46-39 after three quarters and had the lead down to two at one point, but every time they inched closer Chatham would answer, sometimes in spectacular fashion with a flashy pass or a spinning drive to the hoop.
Meanwhile, the Highlanders went cold from beyond the three point line, which is usually where they make hay. Glenvar had six three pointers for the game but only one in the second half, and several attempts were from well beyond what would be the three point line in the NBA.
“You get to a point in the game where you have to take those shots,” said Redding. “We were making those shots against Martinsville.”
Foul shooting also hurt the Highlanders, who were six for 14 from the stripe. Meanwhile, Chatham was seven for 10 in the fourth quarter when the Highlanders were forced to foul.
“We needed them to miss a few more, but they didn’t,” said Redding.
It was the last high school game for senior Hank Conner, who was spectacular in defeat. Hank led Glenvar with 28 points and his silky drives to the hoop kept the game from getting out of hand. Noah Lovelace had 11 points and eight rebounds for Glenvar while Landry Gerbers and Logan Williams had eight points each.
The loss followed a strong showing in the Conference 38 tournament at James River High last week. The Highlanders beat the host Knights in the semifinals, 66-51. Williams had 22 points and Conner had a dozen as they combined for six threes.
On Friday night the Highlanders knocked off the defending state champs, Martinsville, to win the conference tournament. Glenvar trailed 28-11 at the half but rallied to win in overtime, 49-46. The Highlanders outscored Martinsville 14-2 in the fourth quarter, holding the Bulldogs to two free throws.
“That was a big win for us,” said Redding. “We’d missed six ‘bunnies’ in the first half, but in the second half the shots started falling for us.”
Dakota Francisco came off the bench to hit four big three pointers in the second half. Conner led Glenvar with 14 points while Gerbers had nine and Noah Duncan had eight.
That win earned Glenvar a home game Tuesday while Martinsville played a Dan River, where the Bulldogs also saw their season come to an end. The Region 2A West tournament is at James River this week, and that gym has been kind to the Highlanders. But that’s all “what might have been.”
“I thought we had a good season,” said Redding. “We were 17-4 in our last 21 games and we only had one senior(Conner) and four players with much varsity experience. I’m very proud of them.”
The Highlanders lost their first three games, but found their legs once the football players got in the flow. Their only losses in the last 21 were to Martinsville in the regular season, Radford twice and Chatham, all very good teams.
“We should be good again next year,” said Redding. “Replacing Hank will be tough, but we’ll have some experience and some good players coming up from the jayvee team.”