Potomac wins season opener

DALE CITY — Despite going the better part of the third quarter without scoring a point, the area’s No. 1 boys basketball team commenced its season with a tough road win on Friday night.

Potomac prevailed at Gar-Field, 56-44, in a game that included 20 first-quarter fouls, just 12 third-quarter points and plenty of missed shots. Sophomore forward Jason Flagler finished with a game-high 18 points as the Panthers beat a Gar-Field team that had gone to Roanoke and beaten William Fleming in its opener.

“We’re good, but I don’t think we’re nearly as good as we can be,” Flagler said. “As the season goes along, hopefully we’ll get better.

“It took us a long time to get our shots going. Once we got them going, we started to play more like we want to play.”

With 6:40 left in the third period, Flagler scored off a rebound of a missed Gary Price shot. That gave the Panthers a 31-22 lead, but they wouldn’t score again until 28 seconds were left in the quarter — on a bank shot from Ian Sumers, whose 12 points made him Potomac’s only double-digit scorer aside from Flagler.

Gar-Field had failed to take advantage, collecting a mere three field goals and missing both its free-throw attempts while Potomac went scoreless. So at the end of the third quarter, Potomac still led 33-28. A 23-point fourth-quarter outburst put the game away, and allowed the Panthers to overcome a four-point quarter.

In all, 48 fouls were called. Gar-Field committed 27 of them, but where the Indians couldn’t keep up was in their foul shooting. They made just 5 of 20 free throws, including none of five in the second half. Potomac converted on 20 of 28 free-throw attempts.

The last quarter salvaged a horrid shooting night for both teams. By making half its shots in the last eight minutes, Gar-Field finished 19-for-53 from the floor (35.8 percent). Potomac went 17-for-56 (30.4 percent).

In a rare shooting spree on this night, Bryan Butler and Reggie Rodriguez made back-to-back 3-pointers to give Potomac an 11-8 lead six minutes into the game. Potomac would never relinquish the lead.

The Panthers extended a five-point lead to 12 in the fourth quarter. Flagler scored on a jump shot and a layup in a 13-6 run that started the period.

Playing in its first season in the Cedar Run District, this was an early test for the Panthers against one of their former Cardinal District rivals. Potomac’s coming off a 16-7 season in which it went 12-2 in the Cardinal. Gar-Field, having lost three double-digit scorers, looks to rebuild after a 26-4, 13-1 season that ended with a loss in the Group AAA state championship game.

Similar Posts