Fairfax senior forward Brandon Wood played last night's Virginia AAA nonleague game with a bandage below his right eye covering five stitches he received earlier this week when a teammate accidentally elbowed him in practice.
But it hardly affected his game.
Wood scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 3 of 5 from three-point range, and senior guard Mike Daniels scored seven of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Rebels to a 45-39 victory over Wakefield in Arlington.
"I can see the top of the bandage a little bit, but it doesn't affect me so much," said Wood, who also had four rebounds and a steal.
Fairfax (4-0) trailed through much of the game but took its first lead at 34-32 when David Will put back a missed three-pointer with 6 minutes 31 seconds left.
After a three-point play by Robel Tsegai (15 points, 5 of 8 three-pointers) put Wakefield back up by a point, Daniels made a 17-foot jumper to give Fairfax the lead for good.
"We just knew if we stayed poised and played good defense, eventually we'd come through," said Daniels, who entered the game averaging 24 points.
Fairfax made 10 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter. Wakefield attempted--and made--just one. Two steals in the final minute sealed the outcome.
"We did a great job playing defense," Fairfax Coach Steve Henry said.
"We got some steals and disrupted their offense by switching off.
"We limited them to one shot for much of the game."
Wakefield came out on fire, making five three-pointers in the first 11 minutes.
Fairfax stayed close early by converting all three of its three-pointers in the first quarter, including two by Wood. But a putback by senior center Marko Hamlin gave Wakefield its biggest lead at 24-16 with 3:50 remaining in the half.
Fairfax came back with a 7-2 run to end the quarter and trailed just 26-23 at halftime, despite 53 percent shooting (10 of 19) by Wakefield.
"The last couple minutes of the second quarter we lost it offensively and defensively," Wakefield Coach Bob Veldran said.
"I could sense we lost what we had through the first quarter and a half."
Five quick points by Wood and a free throw by Daniels tied the score at 29 with 3:30 to play in the third quarter. It was the first time the game was tied since 2-2.
"It's kind of frustrating because when a team comes out hot there's nothing you can do about it," Daniels said.
"You've just got to come out, play your game and play the best defense possible."
Said Henry: "At 24-16, we turned up the intensity.
"At that point we could've been blown out, but we hung tough."