The McLean Highlanders overcame a seven-point deficit early in the third quarter to defeat the visiting Langley Saxons, 72-65, Jan. 6 in a neighborhood boys high-school basketball showdown between Liberty District rivals.
McLean took the lead for good at 47-44 on a three-point play from Nate Legg with 2:03 left in the third period. The game remained tight the rest of the way, with Legg and Aaron Bremser leading the way in scoring in the final quarter. Bremser finished with 31 points, making many foul shots. Legg scored 18.
The game was close throughout with nine lead changes and six ties.
For Langley, Amr Areikat scored a game-high 33 points and made eight three-pointers, many from the left wing.
Prior to playing McLean, Langley stayed close with the host W.T. Woodson Cavaliers into the third period in non-district action, but lost, 77-54, in part by not being able to overcome its cold shooting on Jan. 4.
Langley, playing a new, faster uptempo, pace on offense this season, shot 29 percent from the floor and 48 percent from the foul line, missing 12 free throws. Langley never led in the contest, but rallied and had a trio of chances to tie the score or take the lead into the third quarter.
The Saxons were within 37-35 in the third, when Woodson began pulling away, leading 56-41 entering the final stanza.
“We’re looking to push the ball and get into the paint and score this year,” Langley coach Scott Newman said. “It’s a new system and it could be a process to play that way. There are some growing pains, but we had stretches and made good runs. We are learning.”
Junior guard Amr Areikat scored 15 points and had two assists and two steals for Langley. Senior guard Jonathan Reiss scored 12 and made two three-pointers; senior forward Jiaan Sehhat scored 10 to go with four rebounds, three steals and three assists; and Michael Hoeymans had six rebounds, two blocks and three points.
In later games, McLean (3-2, 1-1) lost to the host Yorktown Patriots, 74-68, and Langley (1-3, 0-2) fell to visiting South Lakes, 57-51.
For McLean, Legg had 14 points, 20 rebounds, two steals and two assists; Bremser scored 15 and Paarth Soni 19, making three three-pointers. McLean led at halftime, then rallied in the fourth after falling behind by 13 in the third period.
"I saw signs of progress for us in this game," McLean coach Mike O'Brien said about the Yorktown contest. "Yorktown plays a fast style and it takes time to adjust to that."
McLean has four players who did not return this season, as they opted out because of the pandemic.
* The Madison Warhawks (5-2, 2-0) downed the Oakton Cougars, 58-46, and Chantilly Chargers, 81-46, in Concorde District boys games last week.
Against Oakton, Logan Spafford had 15 points and 12 rebounds, Colin Tuft had 11 points and nine boards and Dimitrije Hryshchyshyn scored 10.
In the win over Chantilly, Spafford scored 22, Elijah 12 and Tuft 11. Madison led 24-10 at the end of the first quarter and by 20 points at halftime.
* In girls action, in the Madison Warhawks’ 69-43 victory over the South Lakes Seahawks, Grace Arnolie made eight three-pointers, finished with 28 points and had 10 rebounds. She was 8 of 13 from behind the three-point line.
Amalia Makrigiorgos scored 16 for Madison and made three threes to go with three assists. Katie Koshuta scored 12; Alayna Arnolie had eight points; and Sarah Link had nine rebounds, three points and three steals.
Madison (6-0, 1-0) made 12 three-pointers.
Madison’s game against the Oakton Cougars on Jan. 7 was postponed, then Madison rallied past the Chantilly Chargers, 47-41, Jan. 9. The Warhawks trailed 14-3 after one quarter and 26-17 at halftime. In the third, the Warhawks took the lead by outscoring Chantilly, 16-4.
“We have been shooting well and playing well and working hard in practice,” Madison coach Kirsten Stone said.
Koshuta had 16 points and seven rebounds for Madison against Chantilly and Alayna Arnolie scored 17 and had six rebounds and three steals. Grace Arnolie scored 11 and Link had eight.
* In a Liberty District girls neighborhood-rivalry game, the host Langley Saxons took an early lead en route to defeating the McLean Highlanders, 42-29, Jan. 6. Langley led 20-8 at halftime.
McLean (1-4, 0-2) rallied to within six points in the fourth period, then Langley (2-2, 1-1) pulled away.
Langley lost to South Lakes, 65-43, on Jan. 8, the same night McLean fell to Yorktown, 47-38. Each with Liberty District games.
* The Oakton Cougars (3-1) defeated the Robinson Rams, 49-35, last week as the team continued to play strong defense.
“We have a defense that doesn’t give many openings,” Oakton coach Fred Priester said. “Our offense is coming around. We are scoring more each game. We hit free throws, play good defense and get some inside stuff on offense.”
* The defending 6D North Region champion Marshall Statesmen remained undefeated at 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the National District with blowout wins over Wakefield, 59-29, and Edison, 76-41, last week in league contests.
In the win over Wakefield, Sela Scheinman scored 11, Valerie Dirkse had 10, Mary Trivisonno nine and Christina Trivisonno eight.