For all that talk about Lake Braddock’s prolific offense, it was defense that won the Bruins a Patriot District Championship Friday night.
Down 67-63 with 2:45 left after the Stallions’ Cody Kellem drained a three, the Bruins did not allow South County to score again en route to a 70-67 victory. Known for its scoring, it was a remarkable series of defensive stops that won the day for Lake Braddock. The last stop was incredibly impressive to Braddock coach Brian Metress.
“At the end of the game they were trying to go to Kellem and [Andre] Speight and I thought Quentin James and Nick Margraf did an unbelievable job,” he said. “They ran three sets to them and they never got the ball to ’em. Unbelievable. Then the ball was loose and they picked it up and we [Nick Margraf] blocked it.”
Watch the final sequence and Margraf’s block here:
At least that time South County (17-6) got a look at the hoop. After Kellem’s three that was one of the few times they did. Meanwhile, James provided the offense down the stretch with a lay-up in which he went through most of the South County defense, plus two free throws. Sam Grable also found Jimmy Anderson for a three-pointer in the 7-0 game-ending run.
Lake Braddock (20-3) was led by James’ 21 points on the night. Grable added 13 and freshman center David Solomon had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Bruins had a sub-par night shooting, however. They shot 23% from three-point range and 46% from the free throw line. In the end that didn’t matter as the Bruins’ defense, as the old adage says, won them a championship.
“We played them the first time and it was 100-97,” Metress said. “The second time it was 80-77, tonight it was 70-67. They got us in their type of slower game but, hey, every game has come down to a bucket. This time the defense was unbelievable.”
all stats are unofficial
|Threes: James 2-4, Mennes 2-7, Anderson 1-5, Margraf 1-5, Ellis 1-5, O’Grady-Walsh 0-1, Grable 0-4|
|Threes: Kellem 2-5, Wilson 1-1, X.Myles 1-3, Picott 0-1, Latta 0-1, Bullock 0-2, D.Myles 0-2, Speight 0-2|