Robinson Coach Brian Nelson admits that he doesn’t know who will step up on any given night for the Rams – and that’s not such a bad thing.
“You won’t see much consistency in who leads us in scoring, and I think that makes us a little tough to scout,” Nelson said. “If one guy is having an off night, it doesn’t keep us from competing.”
Such was the case in the Pohanka Chantilly Classic, where the Rams surged to the title game before losing to Mountain View.
In the first round, junior guard Matt Fall came up big, scoring 16 points in a 62-53 win against previously undefeated Wilson. Next, senior forward Nick Bynum paced the Rams, netting 25 points to help offset a big night by South County’s Justin Hampton (36 points, seven three-pointers) in a 72-67 victory. And in the final, junior guard Jared Steen drained five three-pointers to keep the Rams close in a 63-58 loss.
“Matt was big because with him being in his first year on varsity and still somewhat finding his way, he wouldn’t be on most people’s scouting report, so his production was huge,” Nelson said. “Nick put together a good game and played hard, and Jared’s shooting was big. Hopefully it can springboard us into a good season as we enter play in the Concorde District, where anything can happen.”
After starting the season with four games in six nights, W.T. Woodson knew it would take plenty of focus and resolve to succeed during three games in three nights at last week’s Ronald Curry Holiday Classic in Hampton. The Cavaliers passed the test, beating Booker T. Washington, Bethel and Northern Region rival Herndon to clinch the crown and extend their win streak to six games — but it didn’t come without a fight.
In Saturday’s back-and-forth championship battle with Herndon, which got a season-high 37 points from Will Ferguson, Cavaliers sophomore Eric Bowles drained a floater with five seconds left to secure the 63-61 win.
“To win three games in three nights against quality teams is a good accomplishment,” Cavaliers coach Doug Craig said. “Now, hopefully we can get healthy and build on that.”
The Cavaliers have yet to field their whole roster, as senior Alex Boock (31 three-pointers last year) has been sidelined by a broken finger and 6-foot-4, 270-pound senior Patrick Halloran has missed all but one game with an injury. Craig expects both to return within the next couple weeks, boosting a squad that has received balanced production from Tommy Stepka (15.7 points per game), Peter Murray (13.6) and Bowles (9.5).
“I like our depth and the fact that we have different guys who can carry the scoring load on any given night,” Craig said. “I’d like to see us improve our consistency. We still have stretches where we are very dominant but then we sort of fade away and let teams back in the game.”