Local rivals Herndon and South Lakes met up for an early season girls’-boys’ double-header night of high school basketball last Friday, Dec. 10 at Herndon High School.
In the girls’ game, South Lakes edged Herndon, 49-47. Gabby Schultz led the Seahawks with 18 point while teammate Abby Rendle finished with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Nia Wardlaw added six points and eight rebounds for South Lakes.
Herndon’s top scorer was Deborah Headen, who scored 16 points. Brandi Delgado and Ariana Tolbert both scored 10 points for the Hornets, who played South Lakes, the defending Liberty District regular season champions, tough the entire game.
It was the first win of the season for the Seahawks (1-3), who had opened up the schedule with losses to St. John’s (Wash., D.C.), Paul VI (Fairfax), and T.C. Williams of Alexandria.
Herndon, a member of the Concorde District, fell to 2-2 with the loss. The Hornets opened the season with a setback to Edison before winning consecutive games over Potomac Falls (Dulles District) and Lake Braddock.
In the boys’ nightcap game on Friday, Herndon defeated the visiting Seahawks, 79-64. The Hornets (3-1) received a game-high 26 points from Austin Hamilton. Right behind him in the scoring column was Jonathan Beltran with 21 points. Patrick McLaughlin and Raleigh McKenzie both added 12 points for the Herndon squad.
South Lakes, under new head coach Andrew Duggan, had big games from D.J. Christian (18 points) and Mitchell Dempster (15). J.D. Wallace scored eight points and both Darius Smith and Jordan Francis contributed seven.
Herndon took control of the game in the first quarter when it outscored South Lakes, 28-12.
Another girls-boys’ double-header between the local rivals will take place again this Friday night, Dec. 17 at South Lakes. The girls’ contest will begin at 5:45, followed by the boys’ game.
<b>THE HERNDON BOYS</b> are playing good ball early on this season. The Hornets lost their season opener to visiting private school opponent, Middleburg Academy, 73-67, on Dec. 3. But since then they have wins over visiting Briar Woods (Dulles District), 74-62, on Dec. 4; host Lake Braddock, 68-40, on Dec. 7; and South Lakes.
“We are playing well for it being early in the season,” said Herndon coach Chris Whelan. “The guys are playing extremely hard which is making us a difficult team to play against.”
Herndon will be traveling to Hilton Head (Bluffton, S.C,) for a tournament over the holidays.
<b>THE SOUTH LAKES BOYS</b> are 1-2 thus far. The Seahawks opened the season with a win over visiting Yorktown before losing games at Westfield and Herndon.
Coach Duggan, in his first year as the Seahawks’ head coach, said his team is moving in the right direction.
“Our coaching staff and the players are getting to know each other as we implement a new system,” said Duggan. “It has been a challenge, but we have been making progress. We believe we can be competitive in the Liberty District.”
South Lakes has just four returning varsity players on its roster this winter in Joe Daye, Darius Smith, D.J. Christian and Brendan Galbraith. They are mixing in with some younger players. Christian, a junior forward, has been playing particularly well through three games.
South Lakes, over the holidays, will compete at the Glory Days Grill Tournament of Champions, hosted by Lake Braddock Secondary School Dec. 27-29. The eight-team field will consist of Middleburg Academy, Robinson, Madison, Hylton (Woodbridge), South Lakes, Osbourn (Manassas), Woodbridge and the host Bruins.
Four first round games will be played on Monday, Dec. 27 at Lake Braddock: Middleburg Academy versus Robinson (2:15); Madison versus Hylton (4); South Lakes versus Osbourn (5:45); and Woodbridge versus Lake Braddock (7:30).
<b>THE OAKTON HIGH COUGARS</b> opened the season with a pair of wins – victories over visiting Marshall, 77-39, on Dec. 1, and at host Stuart, 33-30, on Dec. 3 – before losing consecutive road outings at South County, 59-45, on Dec. 7 and Washington-Lee, 70-55, on Dec. 10.
Oakton (2-2) was scheduled to play non-district home games this week against Jefferson on Tuesday, Dec. 14, and Vienna-area rival Madison on Friday night, Dec. 17. Next Tuesday night, Dec. 21, the Cougars, who are coached by David Brooks, will play a game at Lee High in Springfield.
Over the holidays, Oakton will be competing in the annual Mount Vernon Christmas Tournament from Dec. 27-29.
In the season opener win over Marshall, the Cougars had three players score in double figures – senior guard Steele Shemeld (18 points), senior center Adi Hajrovic (15), and senior guard Abdi Barre (10). Oakton’s balanced scoring attack also included good contributions from senior guard Jonathan Morris (9 points), senior forward Zach Fabian (7), and senior center Marshall Dressler (6).
Marshall’s top scorers in the loss were Aaron Aggen (10 points), Shelton Hardy (7) and Mo Samantar (6).
Hajrovic, a senior captain, has been Oakton’s most consistent player through four games. He scored 25 points in the loss to South County and 20 in the setback to the Generals of Washington-Lee.
“He is really our only player who has been putting up consistent numbers,” said coach Brooks.
Oakton, in the game at Washington-Lee, led 17-13 after one quarter before the Generals outscored the Cougars 24-6 in the second quarter to gain control of the game.