Boys Varsity Basketball
|Fairfax High School||50|
The new look Rebels (roster-wise, and pace-of-game-wise, not to mention sartorially-wise) opened the season with a tidy 50-40 home court victory over long-time, though-not-so-much-recently, rival Annandale. Coach Barbee has 6 sophomores on the roster and tonight 5 of them saw significant playing time, including the 3 who were in the starting lineup. Fairfax came right out of the chute with defensive pressure, utilizing all those young legs to try to trap and harass the Atoms into ball-handling errors. It took a while before the efforts began to bear fruit and the 1st period ended in a 10-10 tie. Sophomore starter Chase Ackerman hit his 1st trey attempt of the season, along with a 2-pointer to lead the team with 5 points in the period. One thing that hadn't changed from last year, at least not at the outset, was the Rebels' penchant for fouling, and senior co-captain Jacquez Napper was soon re-assigned to a different vantage point, that being a court-side seat, though this was not one of those high profile celebrity seats you see on TV. Senior Kalvin Vannavong and sophomore newcomer Ryan Pelczynski both played solid minutes in the period.
The second period went much better with the Rebels more clearly in control and assuming a 27-17 lead at the break, thanks to a 17-7 advantage in the period. During this stanza, the defensive pressure applied by the Rebs was much more effective and a number of baskets came as a result of Atoms' turnovers. Sophomore marksman Josh Abtew knocked down 3 of 6 3-point attempts in the period, though he couldn't make good on either of his uncontested foul shots - go figure - and newcomer, say-it-with-me-now, sophomore Ricky Peters hit a couple of nice buckets as well.
The third period was more of the same and the Rebels' advantage grew to 16 points, 41-25, by the end. Ackerman once again hit a hoop of each variety, Peters got the crowd on their feet with a posterizing jam off his own steal in the frontcourt and Buy-a-vowel Pelczynski had a more down-to-earth layup off his own steal in the frontcourt as well.
In the 4th period, those young legs grew a bit weary and those young minds wandered a bit and the Atoms made a nice comeback to get within 7 points at one juncture. But the Rebels hit some free throws (the team was a decent 9-14 for the game) and held off the opponent's bid to finish with the 10-point victory.
Peters, in one of the most impressive Rebel debuts in program history, tied for game-high scoring honors with 14 points (including a perfect 6-6 from the stripe) to go along with his 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals (mention will not be made however of his 8 turnovers - oops). Ackerman and Abtew both set new career scoring highs with 14 and 12, respectively, while Vannavong established personal career marks with 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Daniel (can you guess what grade he's in?) Mbangue also exceeded career marks with his 5 caroms and 3 helpers. All told, the team had 14 steals and took 3 body blows from charging Atoms. The coaches gave senior co-captain Aziz Abousam the defensive player-of-the-game F-chain while he enjoyed his post-game ice-down.
Next up for the Rebs is a game against Dominion HS on Friday in the Jefferson tip-off tournament. Study up, there may be an entry exam to gain admittance. Hope they give me a pass!