Playing their seventh basketball game in eight days, St. Anselm's boys won a hard-fought, 64-59 victory over Colonial Beach last night, proving Coach Brian Murphy has to worry more about his dwindling wardrobe than the possibility of fatigue affecting his team.
"I've definitely run out of clean shirts," Murphy said.
His starters, whom Murphy calls "the iron five," bounced back from losses to Model and Georgetown Prep on consecutive days to improve to 6-4 (5-2 in the seven-game stretch). Tri-State rival Colonial Beach suffered its second straight loss after streaking to a 7-0 start.
In a fast-paced first half, St. Anselm's center Patrick Landers awoke from a zero-for-five shooting slump in the first quarter and scored seven straight baskets to close his team to 32-30 at halftime.
The 6-foot-4 senior finished the game with 28 points on 12-for-26 shooting, including a crucial layup and two free throws with less than 30 seconds to go that sealed the victory.
"It took me a little while to warm up," Landers said.
"I knew it would be a tight game," said Murphy. "If you're not careful, Colonial Beach will take your shoes."
Panthers guard Eric Dickman chipped in with 14 points, including three three-point goals.
The Drifters were impatient with their shot selection, shooting three-point attempts when they could have waited for an opening under the basket. When they did get inside, they controlled the offensive rebounding.
Center Corey Payton grabbed 12 rebounds while low-post partners Larry Lucas and Dexter Beverly hauled in 12 and 10, respectively. Despite this success inside, Colonial Beach made it to the foul line less than 10 times and made only three free throws in the game.
Beverly, the versatile forward, had 17 points but only four in the second half. When he had the ball, he found seams with creative, slashing ballhandling, but his team stuck with the long ball, which effectively took Beverly out of the game.
Payton, a senior, had 16 points.
"We try to keep the score down," said Murphy. "If we keep the score in the sixties, we're okay."