Junior Jordan Scott scored 23 points to lead South Lakes to its first-ever boys basketball state title.

South Lakes brings first basketball state title to Reston, defeats Patriot 65-39

South Lakes opened in 1978 and has a rich basketball tradition. Now, as of March 9th, 2024, it finally has a boys basketball state championship.

At Siegel Center the Seahawks did everything right against a Patriot team that had defeated them in December by double digits. They shot 55% from the field. They held Patriot, a team averaging over 70 points per game, to under 28% shooting and 33 points below their average.

The result was a 65-39 South Lakes win in the VHSL Class 6 State Championship.

“I’m a little numb right now, extremely proud of our guys,” said South Lakes Head Coach Mike Desmond. “That is a great team we just played and beat.”

The Seahawks defense swarms Patriot’s Dezmond Hopkins. South Lakes held Patriot to more than 30 points below their average scoring output.

Patriot had played in the state title game a year ago, losing to Hayfield, but it was South Lakes that played with more composure right from the get-go. Desmond’s team did a good job early limiting Patriot’s scorers, taking a 15-8 lead after a quarter.

That was a far cry from the team’s first meeting, when Patriot put up 83 points overall and was in part to an adjustment Desmond and his staff made from the first meeting between the two teams.

“So me and Jordan [Scott] switched on defense,” said South Lakes senior forward Aiden Billings. “Jordan guarded Isaiah Vick and I guarded Mekhi Dillard.”

Patriot started to get to the free throw line in the second quarter, with Pioneers senior guard Dezmond Hopkins leading the way. At the end of the second quarter, however, senior guard Brian Kennedy hit a clutch three-pointer to extend the Seahawks lead to 33-23.

“That three gave us the energy we needed going into halftime,” Kennedy said.

South Lakes (26-2) harnessed that energy early in the third quarter, upping its lead to 16. Patriot still fought back to cut the lead to 48-37 going into the fourth.

“You gotta score to win varsity basketball games,” said Patriot coach Sherman Rivers. “We just did not score.”

Patriot (24-5) definitely didn’t score enough in the final quarter, going 0-10 from the field and only getting two points. South Lakes, meanwhile, took its time on offense and got to the rim, shooting at a 68.75% clip in the second half.

There were lots of heroes for the Seahawks, but Scott was, as always, a driving force for Desmond’s team. The junior finished with 23 points to lead the way on efficient 9-12 shooting from the field. In the third quarter, he delivered a monstrous dunk that drove the numerous Seahawks fans that travelled down to Richmond into a frenzy.

Aiden Billings and the Seahawks out-scored Patriot
Aiden Billings and the Seahawks out-scored Patriot 40-16 in the paint.

Kennedy added 16 points, while his backcourt mate, junior Sol Vita, had 10 points. Billings had six points and six rebounds in limited playing time, and senior David Rochester had seven points and six rebounds off the bench.

“They try to stop one of us and somebody else takes over,” said Kennedy.

It was a storybook ending to the season for South Lakes, which out-scored Patriot 40-16 in the paint.

“Our hype squad came out, we had more fans [here] than they did…there’s been a bunch of great players and great teams [at South Lakes] and they’ve never done it,” said Scott of his team’s achievement.

“Can’t believe it’s really happening but it’s amazing.”

–Chris Jollay