When the final buzzer sounded on Lake Braddock’s 78-71 win over South County on Monday night, Bruins players stormed the middle of the court at Robinson High in Fairfax County before sprinting and jumping off cement walls on their way to the locker room.
As Coach Brian Metress walked toward that locker room after the Virginia Class 6 boys’ basketball semifinal matchup, Lake Braddock players chanted “I believe that we will win” inside.
“I’m sure they’re jumping around like maniacs in there,” Metress said.
Lake Braddock uses an up-tempo style that only a few coaches across all levels implement, and the Bruins transitioned that on-court energy into their celebration after qualifying for the program’s first state championship game.
The Bruins will face Landstown at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center on Wednesday night in Richmond.
“It’s unlike anything you can ever imagine,” guard Sam Grable said. “It’s been amazing.”
A chaotic style has this high school team topping 100 points — and driving opponents crazy
With a small squad two years ago, Metress began to implement his new approach, which includes constant pressing on defense, a bevy of three-point attempts and frequent substitutions. With Lake Braddock (26-3) adding size this season, the system has become more versatile.
South County (19-8), the defending Class 6 champion, is familiar with Lake Braddock’s scheme. Monday was the fifth time the Fairfax County foes met this season, with the Bruins winning three of the previous four.
The Stallions played at Lake Braddock’s pace most of the game, but guard Quentin James helped the Bruins pull away as he finished with 29 points.
“I like playing fast,” he said. “It allows me to be more free. What other high school are you going to go to where everyone on the team has the green light?”
Wet from a locker-room water-bottle shower after the raucous celebration, Metress began thinking about Wednesday’s matchup in Richmond.
“The circus,” he said, “is coming to town.”