Altavista Combined School

The Colonels’ boys basketball team got off to a strong start on January 6 in their season opener at Cumberland High School.

ACS Coach Casey Johnson said both teams were rusty at first, missing lots of shots and turning the ball over frequently at the start of the game.

“You’ve just got to have a little patience because the kids want to do so well and they’re so excited to play but they just haven’t had a chance,” Johnson said.

Even so, the Colonels managed to finish the first quarter with a lead of 16-8.

Johnson said the Colonels extended their lead by four more points in the second quarter, before jumping far ahead in the third, extending their total lead to a 55-27 advantage.

“We really blew it open in the third quarter,” Johnson said. “We made more shots. Guys got a lot of confidence.”

Johnson said the game went back and forth in the fourth quarter, but that he was able to play multiple ninth grade students, who would normally play with the JV team, in the final period.

“They were able to play the last three minutes of the game,” Johnson said. “Which was a great experience for them.”

The colonels won the game 65 to 43. Johnson said the team was excited about the win, and that nine players scored, and several players finished with multiple assists.

“We’ve got guys willing to share the basketball,” Johnson said. “When you do that, the ball always seems to find its way back to you.”

Jayllen Jones led all scorers for the Colonels with 22 points. Braden Reynolds made four three-pointers for a total of 12 points. Stuart Hunt scored 11 points. Marquel Dawkins filled up multiple categories on the score sheet with 8 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals.

Johnson also said Carter Duff played a great game, taking a couple of charges. Johnson said Duff and Dawkins are leaders on the team, and that he expects big things from all of his players this year including Ben Tweedy, Turner Johnson, Ryan Hart, Randle Johnson and Jarod Barksdale, who has unfortunately been injured.

Johnson said the colonels missed several team camps in the offseason, and are focusing on playing a lot during practices to make up for lost time. He also said the team is young and will likely have a smaller rotation this year, and so may focus more on the half-court game more and press their opponents less.

Up next for the Colonels’ boys basketball team are an away game at Nelson on January 12, a home game against Appomattox on January 13, and a home game against Cumberland on January 16.