Boys’ basketball: Flint Hill discovers its toughness as MAC play begins

January 13

With his team ahead 2-1 in the IAC/MAC Challenge, Flint Hill Coach Rico Reed said he knew the matchup against the IAC’s St. Albans would likely decide the tournament’s outcome.

The Huskies looked to be in control with an eight-point lead at halftime, but they were outscored 42-26 over the final 16 minutes in a 76-68 loss. The IAC would go on to win the inaugural challenge, 3-2.

The unpleasant defeat forced the Huskies to reevaluate their level of toughness as they headed into MAC play.

“After that loss, as a team we felt we played soft,” junior guard Tyler Femi said. “We thought we needed to practice harder and be strong together and everything would be better.”

A more physically and mentally tough Huskies team has translated into a 4-0 record in the conference and first place in the MAC. Flint Hill upset then-No. 14 Maret (10-5, 2-1 in MAC) Thursday, and on Saturday it visited a very noisy Potomac School gym and came away with a win.

The top plays from the week of basketball in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. (Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

“The Maret game was a dogfight,” Reed said. “Coach [Garrett] O’Donnell does a great job of preparing his team, but we did a good job of controlling tempo.”

In Flint Hill’s defeat of the rival Panthers (8-3, 1-2), four players scored in double figures as Femi and senior Britton Anderson combined for 33 points. Femi, a Chantilly transfer, has taken over the ball-handling duties for Anderson, giving him more freedom to float around the perimeter for looks off the ball.

The win was the first for Anderson at the Potomac School, and for the Huskies it was the first road win in the series in nearly three years.

“Any Potomac School-Flint Hill game is big, no matter the records,” Anderson said. “It’s always going to be a packed house and the fans are always going to be supportive.”

Anderson is a major cog of a six-deep senior class on a Huskies team that also features nine juniors to round out the roster. He holds an offer from Division II St. Rose (N.Y.).

Up next for Flint Hill is a meeting with MAC opponent Saint James on Tuesday, and the Huskies will have to continue their strong play if they hope to knock off the talented squad. Flint Hill has been without junior guard Sam Worman (12 points per game) for the last four games after he suffered a concussion at the Charm City Hoop Festival.

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