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Shorthanded Burton toughs out win over Holston

Kevin Mays • Jan 7, 2020 at 12:48 AM

NORTON — J.I. Burton sophomore scoring machine Zac Campbell has been gone for two games, and the Raiders are still looking to replace his presence.

“We lost Zac in the Honaker game, so we’re still trying to figure out how to play together without him,” Burton boys basketball coach Caleb Church said after his team took a 70-57 nondistrict win over Holston at Stan Wilson Gym on Monday. “But we’re still tough. I think it showed tonight that even though we’re missing one of our guys, the next man stepped up and that’s what it took.

“It took all of us together. It was a group effort for sure.”

View the 📸📸📸 from the game

Campbell averaged about 18 points per game through the Raiders’ first eight games before suffering a season-ending ACL/MCL injury last month in the Grand Home Furnishings Holiday Classic. He is scheduled to have surgery next week.

The Raiders (7-3) felt Campbell’s absence in the first half Monday when Holston (4-7) jumped out to a strong lead early and led 18-10 with under a minute to play in the first quarter.

Burton battled back in the second quarter, tying the game twice, before a 9-4 run over the final 3:43 of the half gave the Cavaliers a 34-29 halftime advantage.

Holston increased its lead to 10 points over the first four minutes of the third quarter thanks to the solid shooting of Nick Delatos, who hit three 3-pointers and a 2-point bucket during the push.

The final 3:13 of the third quarter and the fourth quarter belonged to the Raiders.

A free throw by Burton’s Trevor Culbertson at the 3:13 mark of the third quarter sparked a 13-0 run that put Burton ahead 47-45 heading into the final quarter.

“Trevor came up big for us tonight. He didn’t come out (of the game). He had to play the whole game and he did it,” Church said. “He sucked it up and he played tough the whole time.”

The Raiders continued the run in the fourth, outscoring Holston 9-2 in the first three minutes of the frame to build a 56-47 lead.

“When we come out and play four quarters, we’re going to be dangerous,” Church noted. “We’ve got to come out from the start and play like we did in the second half.

“We came up big defensively (in the second half). We came together and we played as a team at the end. We were getting transition buckets.”

The Burton coach was also pleased with Jaymen Buchanan’s defensive play on Delatos down the final stretch.

Delatos finished the game with 24 points, including 18 off 3-point shots.

Jonah Cochrane added 17 points to complement Culbertson’s 24-point performance for the Raiders.

Holston got 11 points from Jordan Keith and 10 from Braxton Vannoy.

NEXT UP

Burton is back in action Tuesday when it travels to Clinchport for its Cumberland District opener at Rye Cove.

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