Hayfield Alex McFarlane
Thursday night at Robinson Hawks junior Alex McFarlane had 22 points to lead Hayfield back into the state tournament.

Hayfield back in state tournament after defeat of Alexandria City, 73-58

Hayfield underwent a lot of change this offseason, but as we approach March, it looks like things might be…the same.

On Thursday night at Robinson in an Occoquan Regional Semifinal, the Hawks got 22 points from Alex McFarlane and 19 from Andy Ramirez, 13 in the second half, to defeat Alexandria City 73-58. The win put the two-time defending state champions back in the state tournament, as well as qualified them for the Occoquan Title Game versus West Potomac on Saturday.

It was quite an accomplishment for the Hawks, who lost their top six scorers from last year’s championship team, and started the year 4-4, albeit against good competition. This win was the Hawks’ 14th in their last 15 games, their only loss in that span coming to last year’s state title runner-up, Patriot.

Coming out of the gate Thursday night it looked like Hayfield might be in for a lot of trouble against the Patriot District champion Titans, however. Alexandria City had been missing their star sophomore point guard Darius Bivins to a fractured hand the past few games, but he was back in the lineup Thursday. That seemed to fire up Alexandria City early as the Titans raced to a 20-14 lead after a quarter. Titans senior forward Teko Bostick, Jr. started red-hot, scoring 14 points in the first quarter alone.

Hayfield (21-6) soon settled its defense and clawed its way into the lead, 30-29 at halftime. McFarlane was the driving force for the Hawks offense, scoring 11 by halftime. Hayfield also got a lift from Alex’s brother Aaron McFarlane off the bench–he had seven first half points. In an ominous sign for Alexandria City, both Bostick and star senior guard Kye Robinson picked up their third fouls in the second quarter.

Hayfield’s defense did a better job after the first quarter–here Andy Ramirez and Owen Pottenburgh defend Macodou Ndao in the paint.

The foul trouble probably prevented Alexandria City from playing the sort of defense necessary to shut down the Hawks offense and go on a second half run. But even if Alexandria City was able to play tighter defense it might not have mattered once Ramirez got going. The guard, a first team all-district selection, went six-for-eight from the field in the second half with five rebounds and three assists to boot.

Ramirez is starting to be known as clutch guard who delivers late. Last week in the National Final versus Edison, Ramirez delivered 15 fourth quarter points to seal that win.

Andy Ramirez was six-of-eight from the field in the second half, and once again came up clutch late for Hayfield.

“The coach [Hayfield Coach Poindexter] has given me the given me the confidence to shoot whenever I feel open,” said the senior. “I’m not afraid to shoot the ball.”

Ramirez’s solid play on this night was a major reason why the Hawks were able to pull away. But there were many. Alex McFarlane was a constant offensive threat, and Parker Cage added 11 points on efficient shooting. Aaron McFarlane and sophomore Phenix Card delivered key play off the bench, and senior center Owen Pottenburgh did a great job defending the paint.

Aaron McFarlane (nine points) led a contingent of Hawks that played well off the bench.

“We had a rough first quarter…we just played hard and coach said keep it calm, keep your head in the game,” said Ramirez. “And that’s what we did, we played hard, and we executed and played defense. That’s how we came back.”

Alexandria City’s very solid season concluded with the loss. Robinson scored 24 points in his final high school game to lead the Titans (19-7), while fellow senior Macodou Ndao added 17 points and eight rebounds. Bostick did not score after his 14 first quarter points and Bivins gutted out some production, but clearly was not at 100% with his hurt hand.

–Chris Jollay

all statistics are unofficial

CAGE 5-8 0-0  11  1  2
RAMIREZ 7-11 4-6  19  8  3
PAYNE 1-1 3-4  5  0  0
ALEX McFARLANE 8-18 5-5  22  3  4
POTTEN-BURGH 1-2 0-0  2  5  2
Burton 0-0 0-0  0  1  1
Card 0-6 5-6  5  4  3
Aaron McFarlane 3-5 3-4  9  3  0
Payne 0-1 0-0  0  1  0
Judy 0-0 0-2  0  0  0
TOTALS 25-52 20-27  73  26  15
Threes: Ramirez 1-2, Cage 1-3, Alex McFarlane 1-5, Aaron McFarlane 0-1, Card 0-3
BIVINS 1-3 0-0  3  3  0
ROBINSON 5-9 13-15  24  5  3
BURBAGE 0-5 0-0  0  3  4
NDAO 6-12 5-9  17  8  1
BOSTICK, JR 6-12 0-0  14  1  3
Washington 0-0 0-0  0  3  2
Worku 0-0 0-0  0  2  1
TOTALS 18-41 18-24  58  25  14
Threes: Bostick 2-4, Bivins 1-2, Robinson 1-3, Ndao 0-2, Burbage 0-3