Fairfax The three-point shot is arguably the most satisfying in basketball. When coupled with aggressive defense, it can make a team virtually unstoppable. The Woodson High boys’ team connected on seven 3-pointers and buried visiting Patriot District opponent Lake Braddock defensively to win 73-50 last Friday night, Jan. 27.
After missing his first two shots, Woodson junior Tommy Stepka settled down and finished the evening with a team-high four 3-pointers and 17 points.
“I didn’t lose my confidence and kept shooting until it went in,” said Stepka. “I kept getting more confident as the game went on.”
The Cavaliers outscored the Bruins 26-7 in the third quarter to avenge their 68-52 loss to Lake Braddock on Jan. 3.
“They shoot the ball pretty well. We knew we couldn’t get into a 3-point shooting contest with them. We did and we lost,” said Bruin head coach Brian Metress. “They hit those corner threes and just kept stretching the lead.”
BRUIN SENIOR Dylan O’Connor scored 21 points in his team’s win over Woodson earlier this month, but the Cavaliers held him to just eight points Friday night. Dismal shooting from the free throw line plagued the Bruins as the team went 18-of-28 and struggled to find consistency.
“We only made two 3-pointers all night; we turned the ball over and got outrebounded,” said O’Connor. “Every win in the Patriot District is tough. Beating them at their house is hard to do.”
Woodson freshman Eric Bowles Jr. forced a turnover on the first possession of the game and the Cavaliers maintained a disruptive up-tempo brand of defense for the duration of the contest.
“Our coaches really stressed going aggressive but being under control and taking the right shots,” said Cavalier junior Alfred Carr, who finished with 13 points. “We really did that and Tommy hit the threes to open up the middle and I got the chance to work inside.”
The win was Woodson’s ninth in the Patriot District and seventh consecutive. Head coach Doug Craig says none of it matters if his team can’t produce similar results in the upcoming postseason.
“We’re trying to be consistent and keep getting better,” said Craig. “We’re winning games now but we want to be the best team in February and March.”