Out of respect for FCPS decision makers, the report on tonight's game against the school currently known as James Ewell Brown Stuart High School, whose mascot/nickname is the Raiders, but whose name is soon to be Justice High School and whose mascot/nickname is TBD, will be brought to you by The Unknown Comic (you're all too young, so look him up on YouTube).
For their 1st contest of the new year, the Rebels took to the road to take on Stuart, coached by former Rebels head man PJ Kelly. And basically, except for a good deal of the 2nd period, the game was all Rebels all the time. The Rebels jumped out to a 7-0 lead en route to a 13-2 lead by the end of the first period. Josh Abtew knocked down the 1st of his career-high 5 3-pointers, along with both of his free throws, and classmate Chase Ack-Ack, operating more and more on the interior as the season progresses, found pay dirt on a couple of insiders.
The Rebels pressing and trapping D was a problem for the FITB's in the first period but not nearly as much in the 2nd, as the Rebs and the FITB's traded scores in the period. Ab-three again led the hit parade for the men in gray, making good on all 3 of his beyond-the-arc-ers, while Rack-em-up garnered 6 more points himself on a coupla buckets and a coupla freebies.
Coach B and staff didn't like the execution in the 2nd period, so they used nearly the full allotment of time in the locker room to provide his charges with some gentle "reminders". It worked too, because the Rebs immediately went on a 9-0 run to start the 3rd period, pushing the lead to 40-20. With only a minute elapsed in the period, Coach K called a time out and gave the FITB's a few "reminders" of his own, and they won the rest of the period, 9-6. Didn't matter though, the die was cast. Along the way, Leapy drove the lane off a steal, Quez and Chaz both mimicked him and KC finally found his voice, scoring on an offensive put-back.
The 4th period saw a few more Rebels get in on the boxscore action, with Christian Lewis making a manly move to the rack for his score and "Klein" Vannavong scoring on a designed inbounds play. Ab-five hit for 5 more before retiring to the bench for the remainder of the evening. After the dust settled down, the Rebs came away with a 57-37 victory and a happy bus ride home. Nothing but tough conference games for the rest of the way, however.
Statistically speaking, Josh-by-Gosh led all scorers with 22 points, breaking his career single-game mark, while Frackerman split the lane several times on his way to 12 markers. The J-Man hit 5 of 8 J's from the great beyond and 5 of 6 from charity range; Chaser matched that accomplishment with his style of insider trading. 8 other Rebs had at least a bucket, led by Mbangue with 3 of them. And while Mr. Conductor (do you remember Ringo Starr as Mr. Conductor on "Shining Time Station"?) struggled again to match the ball with the twine, he still controlled the game with his 11 rebounds (5 offensive), 9 assists and 3 steals. Ryan Pelczynski picked 3 pockets as well.
So the record stands at 8-4 as the men in gray dip their toes into the icy waters of conference play, starting with a road show visit to battle the Spartans of West Springfield on Friday, Old Man Icee Ice permitting. Keep your engine block warm so you can make the trip.