The Broad Run High School boys basketball team doesn't have a star player and won't impress anyone with flashiness. The Spartans are, however, a totally different team from the one that lost 22 games last year as a AAA team, and they showed it in a 48-46 win at Loudoun County on Tuesday night.
Broad Run rallied from a 10-point first-half deficit, then withstood a Raiders comeback that ended only when the buzzer sounded, improving to 2-1 in the AA Northwestern District and 2-2 overall.
"We're not going to overmatch anybody," said Spartans junior guard John Costello, who had a game-high 12 points. "But we feel like we're going to play with the teams in this league. We were a bit overmatched in AAA."
Costello also credited his team's improvement to 5-foot-7 junior point guard Bryan Newton, who had seven assists and four steals Tuesday night. Costello played point guard last year, but Newton's emergence has allowed him to shift to shooting guard. Costello made two three-pointers Tuesday night.
"[Newton] does a great job," Costello said. "He moves the ball up the floor. He's the perfect point guard for this team, or for any team."
For Loudoun County, the game was another loss in what has been a frustrating start to its season. The Raiders dropped to 0-5, and Coach Chick Bushrod laid the blame for this loss on missed layups, a familiar problem this season for his team. Tuesday night, Loudoun County's final miss could have changed the outcome of the game.
Broad Run held a two-point lead with 13.1 seconds left, when Costello missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw. Loudoun County pushed the ball up court without calling a timeout, as Bushrod hoped to catch Broad Run's defense off balance.
The plan worked, but Raider senior guard Andrew Kozak missed a 10-foot running jumper. His teammate, freshman forward Jeff Paynter, missed a tip-back, and that ended the game.
"The clock ran out on them, more than it ran out on us," Broad Run Coach Larry Boomer said. "We survived. It's a relief."
Boomer's team finished the game 2 of 5 from the free-throw line, but it was the Raiders who really struggled in that area, making just 7 of 18. On top of that, Loudoun County missed 14 shots from eight feet or closer in the game, according to the Raiders' score sheet.
"It'll be a big awakening for us when we realize that when we make these shots, we can win these games," Bushrod said.
Broad Run (2-2, 1-2)--Johnson 4 2-2 10, London 4 0-0 8, Costello 5 0-3 12, Newton 0 0-0 0, Hiatt 2 0-0 4, Gordy 0 0-0 0, Adams 2 0-0 4, Ott 5 0-0 10. Totals 22 2-5 48.
Loudoun County (0-5, 0-3)--Washington 1 0-3 2, Houseknecht 0 0-3 0, Stocks 3 2-4 8, Ramey 3 1-1 7, Gory 3 1-3 7, Paynter 3 3-4 9, Gawrilow 3 0-1 6, Lozak 3 0-0 7, Poland 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 7-18 46.
Halftime: Loudoun County, 25-22.
Three-point goals: BR 2 (Costellow 2); LC 1 (Lozak).
CAPTION: Broad Run's Christopher Ott (10 points), right, takes a defensive posture against Michael Stocks (eight points) of Loudoun County, which let 10-point lead in first half slip away. Said Broad Run Coach Larry Boomer: "The clock ran out on them, more than it ran out on us. We survived. It's a relief."