When Park View Coach Bruce Henthorn inserted junior forward Alex Ondrejik into the starting lineup before the Patriots' game at Stone Bridge on Jan. 7, he had no idea that the move would jump-start Park View's season.
Starting with a 51-50 victory that night, Park View has won five of seven games with Ondrejik playing a significant role on offense and defense. He is averaging 14 points in the seven games, after totaling 28 in his first seven games, during which Park View was 2-5.
"I went to him and asked, 'What do I need to improve?' " Ondrejik said. "He said I was one-dimensional, that I only played defense. He gave me a chance to work on my [offensive] game and taught me how to get open. Now, it definitely comes more naturally to me."
Ondrejik's improvement has provided the Patriots with an offensive option in addition to senior forward Kemper Jones. In the same seven-game span, junior Roscoe Johnson has boosted his scoring to nearly 10 points per outing.
In Park View's first seven games, a player other than Jones scored at least 10 points five times. In the next seven games, that has been done 14 times.
"The first few games, we weren't playing as a team," Ondrejik said. "Now, we're flowing a lot more."
The Patriots flowed their best last Tuesday in a 49-48 road victory that ended the Falcons' 14-game winning streak.
Park View outscored the Falcons in the fourth quarter, 17-6, thanks to terrific perimeter defense. With Fauquier leading, 48-47, in the final minute, senior guard Bralen Ellis made a steal at midcourt and passed to Jones for the go-ahead layup. Fauquier set up for a final last shot, but Ondrejik rebounded as time expired.
Park View, which won 12 games in the past two seasons, has matched last year's victory total.
Bulldogs' Pearson Holds Scoring Lead The area's leading scorer does not tower over defenders on the perimeter like Broad Run's 6-foot-6 Ryan Koppel or Fauquier's 6-4 Kevin Kelley or soar above opponents like Liberty guard Davon Deans.
Entering Friday night's game against Potomac Falls, Stone Bridge's sweet-shooting senior Eric Pearson was pacing area players with a 19.2 scoring average and three three-pointers per game. He has scored at least 15 points in all but three games.
Unlike the aforementioned trio, though, Pearson's points have not been enough to lift the Bulldogs out of the bottom half of the Dulles District. Broad Run, Fauquier and Liberty all have other viable scoring options to soften defense against its leading scorers.
Senior forward Derrick Navas is the only other Bulldog averaging more than 5.6 points per game.
"A lot of teams seem to key on me like with a box and one, but I can't let that hurt me," Pearson said. "I challenge a team to play me straight up."
Falcons' Streak Comes to End Fauquier's loss to Park View on Tuesday ended the area's longest winning streak since the Falcons won 19 during the 1996-97 regular season en route to the Virginia AA semifinals. Last season, Broad Run won five in a row twice. . . .
Entering Friday's games, Broad Run was the only team with more than two players averaging at least 10 points per game. Four Spartans score in double figures -- Koppel (18.7 points per game), Kirk Melvin (15.4), Ryan Ball (11.1) and Nader Alhooie (10.2). Each has had at least one 20-point game.