South Lakes 56, Oakton 44
Depth and balance have been the trademarks of the South Lakes boys' basketball program for 19 years under Coach Wendell Byrd. Last night at Oakton, the Seahawks displayed those attributes and demonstrated why they are consistently among the Northern Region's elite teams.
Sophomore Ryan Scott (team-high 14 points) and fellow senior starters Bo Taylor (14 points), Doug McLaughlin-Williams (10 points) and Anthony Lansdowne (nine points) took turns providing offensive sparks as South Lakes defeated Oakton, 56-44, in a Virginia AAA Concorde District game in Vienna.
South Lakes (7-2, 1-1), which employed a patient half-court offense, built a 28-14 halftime lead and was hardly threatened thereafter.
McLaughlin-Williams, a 6-foot-7 forward, said the win will help the Seahawks regain confidence following a tough district loss to Herndon two weeks ago.
"We know what we can do," McLaughlin-Williams said. "They went with a man defense the entire game. We are more athletic than they are. We wanted to take advantage of that. We let the game come to us. We know that when we don't worry about how many points each of us scores, we'll do okay."
Oakton (4-5, 0-1) was coming off three straight losses last week during a holiday tournament in Orlando. The Cougars also are working themselves into basketball shape, having received the bulk of their starting lineup from a football team that reached the state final.
The Cougars, who appeared to grow tired in the second quarter, came out revitalized in the third. Junior forward Jared Kubin (game-high 19 points) scored six field goals from close range, helping to twice cut the deficit to six points.
But Taylor keyed a 12-2 run that carried over into the fourth quarter, putting South Lakes ahead 51-34 with 3 minutes 7 seconds remaining.
"Our players are seeing that basketball is a fun game, especially when they play unselfishly," Byrd said. "Fortunately, we have quite a few weapons in our lineup."
Kubin, whose team started 0-7 last season before riding a hot streak all the way to the region final, said Oakton is a "work in progress."
"We know its more important how you finish than how you start," he said.