* Brentsville 56, Manassas Park 44
The Brentsville boys' basketball team prides itself on its defense and its trusty backdoor cuts on offense, a combination that has inspired Bull Run District coaches to liken the squad to another group of Tigers, those of Princeton.
During a 56-44 win at Manassas Park on Tuesday night, it appeared Brentsville has added speed and shooting to that repertoire.
"In the past, we would walk the ball down and stop and then set up our play," Brentsville Coach Doug Poppe said. "I know the kids know that, and I'm sure everyone else knows that. So we're trying to speed up and look for the open shot."
After an evenly matched first half in which Brentsville led 31-29, the Tigers relied on their fierce half-court defense to create scoring opportunities. Led by senior guard Sam Huff, the Tigers limited Manassas Park senior point guard Sidney Welch to four of his team-high 15 points in the second half.
"I think a big part of this victory was putting Sam Huff on their man Welch," Brentsville senior guard Brian Owen said. "We knew he was their top scorer, and once Sam started putting pressure on him, that slowed their team down."
Owen took advantage of Brentsville's more open offensive system by scoring a game-high 21 points, including four three-pointers.
On Monday night, Brentsville (8-5, 4-0 Bull Run) had a five-game winning streak snapped at home against Fauquier, a member of the AA Northwestern District, which Brentsville will join next year.
Manassas Park (5-8, 2-3) has lost four straight games. The Cougars are looking for more consistent shooting, especially in the low post.
"I think that Brentsville's defense has a lot to do with our loss, but we definitely missed a lot of shots, like those 10-foot chip shots and layups," Manassas Park Coach Bob Schaul said. "This is our fourth [loss] in a row, which is tough. We are at a hump, but we still here and we have to take the positive."
In the fourth quarter, the positive for Manassas Park was sophomore forward A.C. Fitchett, who scored seven of his nine points and helped take pressure off Welch.
But Brentsville also excelled on the boards. In the middle of the third quarter, sophomore forward Jacob Lavely (17 points) responded to a 6-0 Manassas Park run by coming up with two defensive rebounds and four points on the other end. That put the Tigers up 43-37, and Manassas Park got no closer.