Vienna The Madison High boys’ basketball team snapped a four-game losing streak with a 52-38 win at Liberty District opponent Stone Bridge High in Ashburn on Jan. 20. Then, in their next game three days later at district rival McLean, the Warhawks nearly pulled off an upset victory in a 54-53 loss to the sizzling hot Highlanders.
That heart-breaker loss to McLean was followed by a low-scoring 39-35 district home loss to Marshall High last Thursday, Jan. 26. With that setback, Madison had an overall record of 8-9 and a district mark of 3-7.
Madison, going into this week, had four more district games remaining on the regular season schedule before the start of the postseason with the Liberty District Tournament. Warhawks’ head coach Chris Kuhblank said he has seen improvement from his hard-working, defensive oriented team and hopes that will lead to several more wins over the next two weeks leading into districts.
“We are playing hard, playing very good defense, and most nights are very efficient on offense and looking and taking good shots,” said Kuhblank. “At the half way point [of the schedule] in districts, we have started playing much better. We beat Stone Bridge by 14 points in Loudoun [County]. We lost at Mclean by one point at their place. [Down by one in the closing seconds] we held for the last shot but didn’t execute the shot. We did play badly in a home against Marshall and lost. But overall we are playing hard and competing with everyone.”
THE JAN. 20 WIN over Stone Bridge was the second Madison victory over the Bulldogs in two meetings this season. The Warhawks had also beaten Stone Bridge, 53-46, in a home game on Dec. 13.
In last week’s win over the Bulldogs, Madison received a balanced scoring attack with senior wing Nate Favero (12 points), senior forward John Adam (10), and senior post player Jason Mann (10) each finishing in double figures, while senior guards Christian Prince and Dwayne Rumber both contributed eight and six points, respectively.
Madison worked its way to a 14-10 lead after one quarter, then put down the defensive clamps in the second quarter when it outscored Stone Bridge 12-4 to take a 26-14 lead into the half.
The Bulldogs (5-12 overall, 3-7 district) got their offense going in the third quarter, outscoring the Warhawks 20-17 before Madison, once again, held the home team to just four points in the final quarter to earn the win.
In the one-point loss to McLean (15-3, 8-2), Madison trailed the Highlanders 30-29 at halftime before carrying a 40-39 lead into the final quarter. McLean tallied 15 points to Madison’s 13 in the final quarter to pull off the down to the wire affair.
Favero led Madison with 14 points while Prince finished with 13. Adam, Mann, and Rumber each added eight points.
McLean High guard Gordon Rogo scored a game-high 15 points while teammate Thomas Van Wazer netted 13. Kevin Lastova and Daniel Lewis both scored nine points for McLean and Sango Amolo had six points.
In the first meeting between the two teams back on Dec. 16, the visiting McLean team had defeated Madison 57-46.
Against Marshall last Thursday, Madison, which had beaten the Statesmen, 50-40, in a road game on Jan. 3, could not prevail at home against the same team, losing by four. It was a disappointing loss for the Warhawks, who built a 13-3 advantage after one quarter only to be outscored by Marshall over the following two quarters, 23-10, to fall behind 26-23 going into the final quarter. The Statesmen held on and won, outscoring Madison 13-12 in the fourth quarter.
Favero, who is 6-foot-3, scored 13 points for Madison. Prince, House, and Mann scored seven, six, and five points. For Marshall (6-11, 1-9), three players – Grant Leibow, Doug Turpin, and Latrell Watkins – each scored nine points.
Madison’s top statistical players this season have been Favero (14 points, 7 rebounds per game) and frontcourt player Mann (8 points, 8.5 rebounds).
In games this week, Madison was set to play district contests versus visiting Jefferson on Tuesday, Jan. 31, and at Langley on Thursday, Feb. 2.