Relentless Effort: Charlottesville boys beat Orange on the road

Photo by Kristi Ellis

Halfway through the third quarter of Charlottesville’s 73-50 win over Orange County Friday night, Nick Motley lined up under the basket for an inbounds play. Motley snuck by the defender and got the pass, but left the layup short. 


Motley then proceeded to get not one, not two, but three offensive rebounds off of short misses in the paint before he pulled the ball back out and reset the offense. He then promptly threw an alley-oop to Chris Stewart who threw down the dunk to give the Black Knights a 44-26 lead. Motley then blocked Destin Bray’s three pointer on Orange’s ensuing possession, which led to an easy fast-break bucket to put Charlottesville up by 20.


“Nick does everything that we ask.” Charlottesville assistant coach Andy Jones said of his senior point guard. “He always makes the next pass, doesn’t look for his own. Defensively, we’ve given more of a defensive role to Quincy (Edwards), but Nick is probably the best defender that we have.”


The emergence of Edwards as a defender has really given Charlottesville a huge boost on that end of the floor. Edwards took the assignment of marking the area’s hottest scorer, Sihle Mthethwa, and held him to just two first half points. That put Motley on Destin Bray for Orange, who came out and hit three first half threes, but Motley was able to lock him up in the second half, holding him to no points, where Mthethwa finally got loose for 15 before the end. The pressure on both of Orange’s guards was key in keeping the Black Knights ahead and Jones noted would be key to winning games this season.


Charlottesville came out of the gates on fire, nailing four threes in the first quarter and rushed out to a 25-11 lead. Orange clawed back and cut it to eight just before the half, but Zymir Faulkner rattled in another three-his fourth of the game-to give Charlottesville a 37-26 lead at the half. Faulkner had 20 in the first half alone.


“Bray was hitting things, but we were getting hands in their face and doing what we needed to, so I just told the guys to keep doing what we’re doing.” Jones said. “We knew if we just kept pressuring and pushing the ball, good things would happen.”


Chris Stewart and Aidan Yates kept Charlottesville up comfortably in the second half when Faulkner cooled down and Mthethwa started to heat up. Yates nailed a three at the end of the third and had some nifty buckets in the paint to start the fourth, and Stewart slammed home another dunk to usher in the CHS reserves.


Mthethwa hit a barrage of tough threes in the fourth but was held well below his season average that has been north of 35 per game.


The Hornets (2-3, 1-3) have a quick turnaround and host Albemarle on Saturday in their fourth game of the week. Mthethwa scored 15 and Bray had 12 in the loss.


Charlottesville (3-0, 3-0) gets a week off before hosting Albemarle themselves next Friday. Faulkner finished with 23, Yates and Stewart each notched 12, and Motley added nine.