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Langley Dominates Centreville in Opener

Head Coach Hess said Saxons will try to capitalize on team’s “beef.”

Langley senior center Brad Dotson had 14 points, seven rebounds and six blocks against Centreville on Nov. 29.

Langley senior center Brad Dotson had 14 points, seven rebounds and six blocks against Centreville on Nov. 29. Photo by Craig Sterbutzel.

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Senior guard Justin Galiani led Langley with 15 points during a Nov. 29 victory against Centreville.

— Six-foot-6 center Brad Dotson and 6-foot-3 forward Philip Novacki, a pair of sturdy, paint-patrolling post players, combined to score 10 of Langley’s first 11 points in the third quarter of its season opener on Nov. 29. Later in the period, 6-foot-4 guard Justin Galiani got the ball on a breakaway and threw down a one-handed dunk, causing Head Coach Travis Hess to get fired up in front of the Saxons bench.

The Langley boys’ basketball team has six players on its roster listed at 6-foot-3 or taller, a luxury to which the Saxons aren’t accustomed, and Hess said the team is going to enjoy it.

Langley defeated Centreville, 54-36, during the first night of the Readers are Leaders Tip-Off at South Lakes High School. The Saxons showed off their size and athleticism, building a 26-point second-half lead. Galiani scored a team-high 15 points and grabbed six rebounds. Dotson scored 14 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked six shots. Novacki finished with six points and three rebounds, and 6-foot-2 guard Garrett Collier scored six points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Langley out-rebounded Centreville, 35-19.

“We’re a totally different team than what we’ve been in years past,” Hess said. “In years past, we’ve kind of been a four-guard or five-guard offense, spread the floor and been more of a finesse team. But this year, we’ve got beef inside and we’re going to take advantage of that. We’re going to try and pound the ball inside and beat people up on the glass and play a totally different style. We’re looking forward to it.”

Dotson made an impact at both ends of the floor. At 6-foot-6, he has the size to be a defensive and rebounding presence. He also has the athleticism to be an offensive force. Dotson will play collegiate lacrosse at Bucknell University.

“In years past, we’ve kind of been a four-guard or five-guard offense, spread the floor and been more of a finesse team. But this year, we’ve got beef inside and we’re going to take advantage of that. We’re going to try and pound the ball inside and beat people up on the glass and play a totally different style. We’re looking forward to it.”

—Langley boys’ basketball Coach Travis Hess

“First of all, he brings a championship mentality and leadership,” Hess said. “ . . . The kids respect him, he’s an incredible leader and he brings a work ethic every day to practice—he forces guys to work hard every day, so that really, really helps.”

Dotson said the Saxons are focused on controlling the paint.

“We want to stay solid,” he said. “If somebody’s beating us inside, we’re not going to win anything. That’s our game.”

Galiani, who will play soccer at Bucknell, is offensive threat with the ability to attack the rim.

“He’s kind of our X factor,” Hess said. “He won a lot of games for us last year. . . . He has a knack for making big plays.”

Galiani’s dunk was part of a 22-6 Saxon run.

“I haven’t really had a chance [to dunk],” he said. “I was trying to break away and I figured it would be a momentum changer; get us fired up, and it led to a good run for us.”

Langley defeated Oakton, 54-49, on Nov. 30 and Potomac School, 38-37, on Dec. 4 to improve to 3-0. Langley will travel to face Woodson at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7.