Tigers get a dose of revenge

NOKESVILLE — With a team bigger and more athletic than in years past, Brentsville coach Doug Poppe encouraged his players to break from tradition and open up the team’s offense.

On Monday night, with their Bull Run District title hopes essentially on the line, the Tigers returned to their gritty, defense-first style, holding No. 2 ranked Clarke County scoreless for all but the final seven seconds of the fourth period in a crucial 37-33 victory.

The Tigers snapped a 15-game win streak for the visiting Eagles (15-2, 8-1) and pulled Brentsville (11-7, 7-1) to within a half-game of first place. The Tigers can move into a tie for first place with a win tonight at Rappahannock.

In front of a full house on Monday night, Brentsville played its trump card.

“I think we’re going back to the old way we used to win,” Poppe said. “We’re being patient [on offense]… and we finally played the defense we’re capable of.”

“We’ve had three or four losses in the district the past two years,” said Brian Owen, who came off the bench to lead the Tigers with 15 points. “I guess [coach] figured why go away from that?”

Owen, who talked candidly about the reason for his not starting — inconsistent defense — did some of his best work on Monday night when the Eagles had the ball. The 6-foot-3 senior drew three charges by Poppe’s count, and also guarded Jason Reid, one of Clarke County’s most talented offensive players.

But when it comes to defense at Brentsville, it’s never a one-man show. It’s the Tigers’ trademark, and just when Clarke seemed to be pulling away, Brentsville broke it out.

Tied at 25 midway through the third quarter, the Eagles’ Ryan Manson scored on an underhanded scoop in the lane to start a 6-1 run to end the period.

Derek Underwood, who had a game-high 25 points in last Tuesday’s 54-51 win over the Tigers at Clarke, made a jump shot with 2:05 left in the third period to put the Eagles ahead 29-26. Reid made two free throws with 49 seconds left in the third to put the Eagles up five, equaling the biggest lead either team had all game.

“I felt good going into the fourth quarter up by five,” said Eagles head coach Brent Emmart. “We did a good job of coming out in the third quarter and taking control of the game.”

But with Ramsey Boyd, Collin McCarron, Sam Huff, Chris Carrico and Jake Lavely on the floor to start the fourth, the Tigers sapped Clarke of its offensive strength with a stifling man-to-man defense.

Then Brentsville chipped away at the lead.

Carrico made one of two free throws with 5:30 left in the game, and Boyd buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 31-30 with 4:32 remaining. Lavely gave Brentsville the lead 39 seconds later with a post move on Reid.

Clarke tried to push the pace by running the floor and getting quick shots, but it backfired when Underwood bowled over Owen and drew an offensive foul with 3:40 left. Clarke tried to enter the ball into the post, tried three-pointers and tried to penetrate for layups, but instead the Eagles missed their first 12 shots of the period.

But it was still a one-point game when Boyd poked the ball away from Underwood and set Owen up with a fast-break layup to make it 34-31 with 1:09 left.

Clarke’s first basket of the fourth came from Reid with seven seconds left, but Owen hit two free throws to secure the victory.

“To hold a team with that much scoring ability to 33 speaks highly of the kids’ defensive ability,” said Poppe.

Boyd, who scored 16 points in Saturday’s win over Strasburg, said Monday’s win merely came down to focusing on playing defense.

Clarke’s coach agreed.

“It was a combination of their defense and our lack of execution,” said Emmart, who added that he’s never seen a high school team go as cold as his did. “You’ve got to give credit to their defense.”

HYLTON 72, OSBOURN 67: Endor Cooper scored a game-high 19 points in Hylton’s non-district win.

Cooper led a contingent of four Bulldog scorers to reach double digits. After Cooper, Morgan Lindsey scored 16, Jermaine Hill had 12 and Dana Smith tallied 10.

With the win, Hylton is now 11-4 on the season.

For the Eagles (8-10), Brandon Oglesby scored 17 and Jarel Moore had 16.

EMMANUEL CHRISTIAN 57, QUANTICO 33: Emmanuel evened its record at 10-10 with a Delaney Athletic Conference win over Quantico.

Chris Hauter scored a game-high 12 points for the Flames (10-10, 8-6), while Kenny Clarke added 11 and Trey Compton finished with 10.

For Quantico, Andrew Thomas scored 10 and Patrick Croffie added eight.

HERITAGE CHRISTIAN 74, INDEPENDENT 56: Mike Sollbach scored a game-high 29 points as Heritage stayed unbeaten on the season. Matt Hastings added 25 in the Patriots’ win. Heritage improved to 12-0 overall.

EVANGEL CHRISTIAN 75, FAIRFAX CHRISTIAN 49: Evangel’s Ryan Keefe led four players in double figures as the Eagles scored a win over Fairfax Christian. The Eagles (10-5, 9-5 conference) also had big games from Antoine Bennett (14 points), Brian Farria (13) and Kendall Marshall (12).


EVANGEL CHRISTIAN 51, FAIRFAX CHRISTIAN 40: Terri Slade scored 16 points in Evangel’s win. Ashleey Stevens added 14 points and Katie Oakes had 12 points for Evangel (11-1, 10-0 conference).

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