Langley 69, Fairfax 59
With its 69-59 home victory over Fairfax last night, Langley's boys' basketball team crept above .500 and remained unbeaten in the Virginia AAA Liberty District. But that was far from the best news of the evening for the Saxons (6-5, 3-0).
Four minutes 34 seconds into the first quarter, senior Michael Housman entered the game to a warm ovation from the crowd. It was the 6-foot-6, 235-pound center's first action after dislocating his left kneecap in a preseason practice.
"He's a great kid, and when he went down in practice that night, everybody's hearts just sank," Langley Coach Brian Doyle said. "So I'm thrilled for him. He just got the news today that he was cleared to play."
Housman immediately made an impact with a blocked shot on his first defensive situation, and finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks.
"It feels great to be back. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time," said Housman, who will play for UMBC next season. "I just wanted to come out and help the team as much as I could."
While Housman shook off some rust, Langley senior Will Monica continued to shoulder much of the scoring load. Monica made his first five shots and finished with 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the floor, including 3 of 5 from three-point range, and 5-of-5 shooting from the free throw line.
In the last four games, Monica has averaged 29.3 points. "I had a couple good games in our tournament in Richmond, and it's been carrying over ever since," said Monica, who added six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
After three quarters in which there were 16 lead changes, Langley and Fairfax (8-2, 1-1) were tied at 46. The Saxons, however, opened the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run. Monica started it with a three-pointer from the right corner, Housman followed with two free throws and junior Charlie Freligh buried a jumper to give Langley a 53-46 lead it would not relinquish.
Fairfax, led by senior Gabe Young (team-high 22 points), crept within four twice but could get no closer. The Saxons, who committed 20 turnovers in the first three quarters, gave the ball away just four times in the fourth and hit 7 of 10 free throws in the final 1:34.