Brentsville survives late Manassas Park flurry


[email protected]

NOKESVILLE –The last thing Brentsville coach Doug Poppe wanted to see was a defensive letdown and that’s exactly what he got in the fourth quarter of his team’s game against Manassas Park on Saturday.

The Tigers committed the majority of their 16 turnovers in the fourth quarter and had to hold off a scrappy Cougars’ squad for the second time this season, winning 53-43.

Brentsville led 43-22 midway through the fourth quarter. However, Manassas Park threw on a full-court press and the Tigers began to commit mistakes in droves. The Cougars sliced the deficit to 48-40 with a minute to play but were unable to get any closer the rest of the way.

The Tigers (13-7, 9-1 Bull Run) hit three of their next four free throws for a 51-40 lead and Manassas Park was unable to make a field goal in the game’s final seconds.

“We’ve got a huge game on Tuesday coming up [against George Mason] and this is not what I wanted to see before that game,” said Poppe, whose team is tied with Clarke County for first place in the district. “I know they relaxed. We’re not a good enough team [to do that] and they’re not bad.”

“Our kids fought hard so that’s a positive out of it,” said Manassas Park coach Bob Schaul. “They never gave up and really believed that they were going to win all the way to the end.”

The Tigers played one of their best defensive first halves of the season, holding a depleted Manassas Park squad to just 11 points at halftime. Cougar starters A.C. Fitchett, Shamel Boyd and sixth man Joe Green became academically ineligible after a 59-54 loss to Madison on Jan. 21.

Schaul said he was proud of his team’s effort but also realized how much the missing players would have helped in a game like Saturday’s.

“Definitely losing Shamel had an impact,” Schaul said of his post player. “He averages 10 rebounds, four blocks. He’s our defensive stopper down there. He controlled the boards for us.”

For the first three quarters, Brentsville continually tried to get the ball down low, sometimes without success. The Tigers missed a boat-load of layups but still managed to be patient enough to control the game offensively.

One of the few bright spots came from new starters Colin McCarron and Chris Carrico. Carrico didn’t score but dished out five assists and played solid defense against a quick Manassas Park backcourt. McCarron added five points and played solid interior defense in the early going.

The Tigers’ twosome helped make up for a poor offensive showing from normal starter and leading scorer Brian Owen. One of the Tigers’ senior captains, Owen was benched four games ago for not playing consistent defense. On Saturday, he came off the bench with another former starter Louis Spriggs at the 2:19 mark and scored just three points in the first half. Owen finished with 12 points but made just two field goals.

Poppe said McCarron and Carrico are capable starters that can contribute if the team executes like it did in the game’s first three quarters.

“That’s every coach’s dream is to have five guys score in double figures,” Poppe said. “And that’s what we can do if we’re patient and run things, and everybody gets a look.”

Jacob Lavely finished with 11 points and nine rebounds while Ramsey Boyd added 11 points. Sam Huff added six points and six assists. For Manassas Park (7-12, 3-7), Welch had 19 points –18 in the second half –and teammate Reggie Rigaud added 11.

Similar Posts