The big neighborhood high school basketball rivalry games in McLean on Jan. 12 belonged to the host Langley Saxons.
In a packed and loud gymnasium, Langley swept the McLean Highlanders in girls and boys Liberty District action between community foes. The Saxon girls won in a rout, 61-35, then the Langley boys (7-6, 2-0) were victorious in the close nightcap, 60-53, as McLean fell to 5-8, 1-1.
The victory was the 10th straight over McLean for the Langley boys.
“These rivalry games are always close, and this one was a high-level, physical fun basketball game that our players had to go win and take the game,” Langley coach Scott Newman said. “The referees let them play. At one point, I told our coaches we need to get out of the way, because our players were taking ownership of this game.”
The boys game was close throughout. There were six first-quarter lead changes and a couple of more in the next two periods.. Langley took the lead for good at 36-34 with 4:10 left in the third quarter on a 10-foot jumper by Chase Beckett (21 points, seven rebounds).
In the fourth, McLean trailed 53-50, with 1:49 left, then a 6-0 Langley run made the difference.
“Historically, McLean-Langley games are always close,” Beckett said. “We stayed focused on defense and executed on offense.”
Langley shot 48 percent from the floor and had just two second-half turnovers, and seven for the game. McLean shot 41 percent and had four turnovers in the final two quarters, with two costly ones coming in the final 1:20.
Colter Carton had 15 points for Langley; Will Brzezinski had eight points off the bench; Jack Hoeymans had seven points, five rebounds (three offensive) and three steals; Eli Thrasher had five assists and Ian Muir had six points and five assists.
“Jack did a lot of little things that were big plays for us,” Newman said.
McLean was led by Matias Prock with 25 points, including six three-pointers.
“He can really shoot and was tough tonight,” Beckett said of Prock.
McLean’s Sean Senft had 11 points and five boards; Evan Stout had nine points and four rebounds; and Brian Aka had six assists and two steals.
In its previous game, McLean defeated the host Herndon Hornets, 81-62, for a big victory by winning at Herndon for the first time since 1991. Stout scored 30 points. Prock had 16, Senft 14, Aka nine and Andrew Lopez eight. McLean made seven three-pointers and was 22 of 24 from the foul line.
Langley defeated Yorktown, 71-61, in its previous game. Hoeymans scored 15, Beckett 14 and Carton and Thrasher 14 each.
In the Jan. 12 McLean-Langley girls game, the score was tight with the lead seesawing until Langley (9-3, 2-0) ended the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 25-17 halftime lead, which the Saxons expanded in the second half.
Senior point guard Jordyn Callaghan led Langley with 14 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Emily Shively scored 12, Rana Azad had nine points and three steals, Lauren Maloney had six points, Marya Mufti had four points and two blocks and Carly Britt scored five.
Langley shot 60 percent from the floor, including 74 percent in the second half.
In contrast, McLean (4-8, 0-2) shot 26 percent for the game and was led by Kaela Moskowitz with 13 points and nine rebounds and Elizabeth Dufrane with nine points. Natalie Hedrick had seven rebounds.
In previous Liberty games, Langley defeated Yorktown, 48-38, and McLean was nipped by Herndon, 56-55.