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The Highlander

The Student News Site of McLean High School

The Highlander

The Student News Site of McLean High School

The Highlander

Highlanders outmuscle Washington-Liberty Generals

Mclean Boys Basketball wins physical matchup through persistent defense
The Highlanders get locked in defensively as senior guard Leo Fall brings the ball up for W-L. Fall managed to hit some big threes for the Generals, who kept it close until the 4th quarter.

It may have been frigid outside, but inside the environment was anything but as Mclean Varsity Boys Basketball prepared to take on the Washington-Liberty Generals.

The Highlanders came in hungry after a tough loss, and were faced with a physical matchup in the Generals.

“Our job today is to keep them off the boards, prevent them from getting those second chance points,” Coach Maurice Stokes said.

As the Highlanders approached tipoff they were missing 3 key upperclassmen: senior forward Jeremy Fuchs, junior guard Max Mullen and senior guard Dante Tosado.

Mclean came into the game with an 11-4 record, with a shocking upset loss against rival Langley marking the tone around the team leading up to the game. Coming out, the Highlanders looked hungry, with senior forward Isaac Bell getting a tough acrobatic bucket.

Vicious defense from the Highlanders forced tough shots from the Generals, and Bell attacked the rim relentlessly. The Highlanders were great on the fast break, and dominated the first five minutes. However, constant trapping and lucky deep threes from the Generals turned the tide, but a tough and one bucket from freshman forward Simas Kacerauskas quickly put out their momentum and the Highlanders went on a 6-0 run to end the quarter.

At the start of the second, great defense from the Highlanders led to multiple steals, resulting in several fast breaks and multiple trips to the free throw line. Great poise at the line from the Highlanders led to a 13 point lead, their largest of the game. Bell dominated, getting attacked anywhere near the paint while still getting impossible buckets play after play.

The Highlanders went into halftime up by 17, executing the game plan to perfection and beating the Generals to the boards almost every time.

But the Generals came out of the locker room differently, and changed the flow of things by scoring the first points of the second half. This caused an immediate Coach O’Brien timeout, which unfortunately couldn’t stop the bleeding. Even back to back threes from the Bell brothers couldn’t completely quell the wave of physicality the generals were riding on. Bit by bit, Highlander turnover after turnover, the Generals pulled closer, and after several dubious calls, the Generals had pulled to within 10 heading into the final period.

It was there the Highlanders reverted to their first half form, with the brothers Bell hitting back to back threes yet again to put them up 18. The two teams went back and forth, and the Highlanders maintained a 12 point lead heading to the midpoint of the 4th quarter. By the 2 minute mark, with the Highlanders up by 15, Coach O’Brien took out his starters, signifying the end of the game. The Highlanders ended up winning 56-45, with Isaac Bell accounting for 22 of those points.

“We played really well,” sophomore forward Jake Bell said. “We came out strong in the first quarter, with great defense, [and] we held them to 45 points. It’s really hard to lose when we hold them to 45.”

Both Bell brothers started the game, and contributed with big threes and unabating defensive menace.

“Isaac and I came up big, but we couldn’t have done it without everybody facilitating,” Jake Bell said. “It was a great win, and we’re looking forward to the snow day.”

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