When Bullis Coach Bruce Kelley approached St. Andrew’s Coach Kevin Jones over the summer about the idea of holding an IAC/MAC challenge in early 2014, Jones was immediately on board. It was a no brainer for the third year coach.

Bullis Coach Brian Kelley is fired up for the inaugural IAC/MAC Challenge. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post) Bullis Coach Brian Kelley is fired up for the inaugural IAC/MAC Challenge. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

And when the other coaches began discussions, it didn’t take long before an agreement was reached. Saturday, St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes in Alexandria will play host to the inaugural IAC/MAC Challenge.

Jones’ Lions (9-1) of the MAC will open the tournament against the IAC’s Landon (2-7) at 11 a.m., and four games will follow with St. Stephens/St. Agnes facing Sidwell Friends in the tournament finale at 7 p.m.

“Anytime a coach with Kelley’s respect approaches you, you want to help out.” Jones said. “I was in full agreement since our meeting in the summer.”

St. Andrews is led by all-MAC guard Marcus Adkison who is a scoring machine. The 5-foot-10 senior exploded for 39 points in a Dec. 26 win over Kennedy in the Springbrook Holiday Tournament, and the Lions defeated Springbrook in the tournament final. He’s receiving interest from Navy, UMBC and Radford.

The IAC and the Inter-Academic League, comprised of schools in Southern Pennsylvania, competed in a conference challenge for several years but last year the annual meeting went dormant.

Kelley longed for a meeting with another area conference and seems to have found the perfect fit with the MAC as both conferences have six total teams.

“This should be a lot of fun. These are matchups of teams that you normally wouldn’t see on the same floor,” Kelley said. “I think this could be a great deal moving forward.”

The No. 7 Bulldogs (9-3) defeated No. 9 O’Connell 55-52 in the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. last week as guards Aaron Briggs and Russell Sangster poured in 12 points apiece. They will be matched up against undefeated Potomac School (8-0) at 3 p.m. The Panthers are fresh off their Surf-N-Slam tournament run in San Diego, Calif. where they won three games against California opponents.

Potomac School has three players averaging double figures in points: BJ Sallah (11.9), Logan Samuels (11.6) and Grant Robinson (11).

Below is the full tournament schedule for the inaugural IAC/MAC Challenge:


Landon vs. St. Andrew’s – 11 a.m.

Episcopal vs. St. James – 1 p.m.

Bullis vs. Potomac – 3 p.m.

St. Albans vs. Flint Hill – 5 p.m.

St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes vs. Sidwell Friends – 7 p.m.