Highlanders rest starters in district tournament to get ready for regional

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Glenvar’s Noah Lovelace fakes a Carroll County defender off his feet in last Friday’s
Three Rivers District win.

David Redding is the Gregg Popovich of the Three Rivers District, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Popovich is the coach of the San Antonio Spurs, who have won five NBA championships since 1999. He’s also come under fire from paying customers and the NBA front office for resting his star players, even when they’re not injured.

Which brings us to Redding, who is the coach of the Glenvar High boys’ team. Redding rested all five of his starters on Monday in a Three Rivers District tournament semifinal game against Alleghany. He was unapologetic as the Highlanders dropped a 65-61 decision to the Mountaineers in overtime.

“The district tournament means nothing and we have the regional, which means a lot, coming up on Friday,” he said. “I thought we were better off resting our starters for the regional.”

Glenvar didn’t play to lose. In fact, just the opposite, as the second teamers gave it their all and led for most of the game. The Highlanders should have won if not for a couple missed foul shots at the end of regulation. At that, Hayden Clark had a long three pointer that could have won it but it couldn’t find the twine.

“Those guys earned the time,” said Redding. “They’ve all done something good over the course of the season and they’re going to be our starters next year. We basically have two teams, and you could see the chemistry between them. I told them if we won, they were going to play again against Radford in the final.”

Freshman post player Jeb Seacrist led Glenvar with 17 points while point guard Marshall Snider had 13. Tyler Beckner and Riley DeRolf had eight points each.

With the loss Glenvar fell to 15-9 on the season and was spared a meaningless game against talented Radford on Tuesday. Instead the Highlanders were content to get ready for Buckingham, who Glenvar will host in the opening round of the Class 2A, Region C tournament on Friday. It will be the second game of a doubleheader with the girls, beginning at approximately 7:15 pm.

The Highlanders are the fifth seed in the 13 team region tournament. The top three get byes, and Radford is right at the top, followed by Martinsville and Dan River. Appomattox is fourth and Glenvar is next. The Highlanders would most likely play at Appomattox on Tuesday if they win Friday, and Radford stands in the way in the semifinal round. The two finalists make the state tournament, so the Highlanders have a tough row to how.

Redding played his regulars in last Friday’s district tournament opener against Carroll County, a 51-50 win at GHS. Noah Duncan’s free throw with less than a second on the clock was the difference. Noah Lovelace had 15 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Highlanders.