A recent increase in man power should go a long way towards helping the Lake Braddock Secondary boys’ basketball team in setting a right course for itself in the early stages of the season.
The Bruins (1-1) played their first couple of games without several players who, up until two weeks ago, were still competing as members of Lake Braddock’s highly successful football team which won the Northern Region Div. 6 championship before seeing its season end with a state playoff game loss to Battlefield High on Dec. 4.
On the hardwood, Lake Braddock played its first two games short-handed – a 56-50 home win over Centreville on Dec. 3, and a 68-40 home loss to Herndon on Dec. 7.
“The team is still in flux with the football players coming off the state semifinal,” said Bruins’ basketball coach Brian Metress. “Our football players missed the first 20 practices. They practiced for the first time last Friday and Saturday and we still had kids trying out on Saturday, Dec 11th. We went ahead and played our out-of-district games with Centreville and Herndon with only eight varsity players in uniform but pushed our W.T. Woodson game back because it was a [Patriot] District game.”
Lake Braddock was set to play three games this week – at Westfield on Tuesday, Dec. 14, the re-scheduled Patriot District home game versus Woodson on Wednesday, and a contest at local rival Robinson this Friday night (Dec. 17) at 7:30.
In the season-opening win over visiting Centreville, the short-handed Bruins played excellent defense most of the night, allowing just 15 points total over the first half and 27 through three quarters. Lake Braddock held a 37-27 lead going into the final quarter and went on to get the hard-fought victory.
Three Lake Braddock players, in the win over Centreville, scored in double figures – senior forward Ibrahim Wehelie with a team-leading 18 points, senior center Bobby Freedman with 12 points and junior guard Brendan McHale with 10. Alec Boyer, a senior forward, added eight points.
Lake Braddock, however, could not keep up with a talented Herndon team four days later, as the Bruins fell to the 3-1 Hornets by 28 points. Freedman led the Bruins with 15 points in the lopsided loss, in which Lake Braddock fell behind 19-2 early on.
Lake Braddock will use its pre-holiday schedule to become a more cohesive group on the floor in preparations for the bulk of the district schedule following the start of the New Year.
“The goal for us right now is just solidifying a group of 12 guys, incorporating our football guys and establishing what we do,” said Metress.
Lake Braddock will host the Glory Days Grill Tournament of Champions holiday tournament 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 LEE LANCERS</b> boys’ team (0-2) will be looking for their first win when they host W.T. Woodson this Friday night at 7:30.
Lee, under longtime head coach Michael Harris, opened its season with an 84-70 loss at local rival Edison on Dec. 7. Three days later, in their home opener, the Lancers lost a Patriot District game to West Potomac, 68-51.
In the season opening loss to the Eagles, Lee’s Maseer Ghorab, a junior guard, led the Lancers with 22 points. Also in double figures for Lee that night were senior guard Jalen Boswel (14 points), junior guard C.J. Lewis (13) and junior forward Danny Sapp (12).
Lee’s top scorers in the loss to the Wolverines were Ghorab (18), Sapp (13), Lewis (10) and Boswel (9).
Along with hosting Woodson this Friday, the Lancers will also be playing at home next Tuesday, Dec. 21 against Oakton.
<b>THE SPARTANS</b> of West Springfield High are 1-4 in the early going of the season. The team, under new head coach Jason Eldredge, opened the season with a loss at Centreville, 51-41, on Dec. 1. Then, at the Herndon Tip-Off Tournament, the Spartans went 1-1, defeating Briar Woods, 58-56, on Dec. 3 before losing to Middleburg Academy, 74-52. Last week, West Springfield lost at Westfield, 67-37, on Dec. 7, then fell to district opponent T.C. Williams, 69-34, at home.
Ali Kazmi, a senior guard/forward, scored 17 points to lead the Spartans in the loss to Middleburg.
In games this week, the Spartans were scheduled to play at Robinson on Tuesday, Dec. 14, and they will host defending Northern Region champion Chantilly this Friday night at 7:30.
Eldredge, the Spartans’ new coach, was the head girls’ basketball coach at Freedom High in South Riding the past five years where he led the Eagles to two state titles the past two winter seasons.