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Lancers Lose in Rough Outing

Cavaliers prevail 68-59 in close match of Patriot District foes.

Robert E. Lee junior Walter Griffin grasped his knee and winced, letting out a small groan of pain. "I came out from a lay-up and fell on my leg," the 6-foot 3-inch forward said. "It was a rough game."

During a routine lay-up, Griffin drew the attention of Woodson defenders whose attempts to block his shot ended with them crashing down on Griffin's body after the play.

Similar plays happened throughout the Lancers' 68-59 loss on Tuesday, Jan. 26, a game chock-full of hard fouls, gritty play and end-to-end action.

"We got banged up out there," Griffin said. "Then the calls didn't go our way. It was just a very physical game for us."

The Cavaliers and Lancers spent much of the game charging hard to the hoop trying to sway momentum in their favor, but a late Woodson scoring surge in the fourth quarter proved to be too much for Lee.

The loss drops the Lancers to 7-7 on the season and 3-6 in the Patriot District. The loss also comes after Lee upset Oakton 77-75 on Jan. 23.

Although disheartened, Griffin, one of the Lancers' top scorers, isn't letting his team’s latest loss cloud his mind.

"If the ball bounced a different way, who knows what happens?" he said. "We're not done. We still have a lot of basketball to play."

Griffin's teammate Deonta Gatlin is hoping the team would use the recent loss to help spur improvement in weak parts of its game.

"In some plays [against Woodson], we didn't take care of the ball," he said. "In others, we weren't ready. Defense has to win games. We've got to work on that."

Head coach Michael Harris noted that his team also is overcoming a lack of experience.

"We have some growing pains," Harris said. "We have three key returners and a lot of new guys."

Despite the up-and-downs this season, Harris is optimistic the team can be a force when the Patriot District playoffs start in mid-February.

"We have a great group of kids and we're in a tough district," Harris said. "As long as we're playing our best basketball come tournament time, we will be OK."

The Lancers return to action with a road game on Jan. 29, at 7:39 p.m., against Annandale (8-5).