The rowdy, foot-stomping crowd resembled an audience at the roller derby, but the play on the basketball court was more like a chess match as Landon outmaneuvered IAC rival St. Albans, 61-44, in boys basketball last night at Landon.

Landon improved to 11-2, 5-1 in the Interstate Athletic Conference and will try to avenge its league loss when it faces Georgetown Prep in a rematch next Friday. St. Albans fell to 8-7, 4-2.

Both teams tiptoed around the court early, patiently trading high-percentage shots for a 10-10 tie after the first period.

St. Albans guard Anwar McQueen, with six of his team's first 10 points, fought for every one of his team-high total of 15, combating a Bears defense that turned the basket area into a black hole.

"We played with good intensity," said Landon Coach Scott Griggs. "From the start, we contested their shots and our kids were real aggressive."

The Bulldogs, six for 20 from the field in the first half, trailed 21-18 at the half.

Landon loosened up in the second half, taking a 10-point lead on the hot shooting of Ed Burman (21 points), who was eight for eight from the foul line in the fourth quarter, and Lance Archibald (19 points), six for eight from the line down the stretch.

"He's a key player for us," Griggs said of Archibald. "He's not our normal ballhandler {point guard Marvin Bowser missed the game with a sprained wrist}, but he did a great job tonight against their great quickness up front."

The Bears made 22 of 32 foul shots, 20 in the fourth period when St. Albans fouled to try to slow the clock. "We told our kids to spread it out and run out the clock," said Griggs. "I wish it would have run faster at times."