The Chantilly Chargers boys basketball team is 12-1 following a convincing 58-41 Monday night win at Oakton, continuing their recent trend of second half surges. Following a 24-point fourth quarter to beat Westfield convincingly last Friday night, the Chargers had another big second half to pull away from the Cougars and move to 2-0 in the Concorde District. Oakton fell to 7-6, 1-1 in the Concorde District.
The Chargers took a 26-23 hafltime lead and quickly extended it in the third quarter thanks to pressure defense that created turnovers and transition points, as well as the continued scoring onslaught of Brian Sydnor (20 points, 2 3-pointers) and DeAndre Harris (15 points, 3 3-pointers).
The Chargers jumped to a 7-0 lead to start the game, but Oakton got on track thanks to the 1-2 punch of guard Robert Bacon (17 poins) and big man Michael Fradette (11 points). In addition, Chantilly’s shooters went cold in stretches of the first half against Oakton’s 2-3 zone.
It wouldn’t matter, however, as the Chargers forced the tempo in the second half and their depth and energy level was too much to overcome. Tyler Femi had another solid game at point guard for the Chargers with 9 points and solid decision making, and Sean Huelskamp, Mark Aanstoos and Trey Coates were able to contain Fradette defensively. The Charger defense held Oakton to just 18 second half points – not a good formula for victory.
Frustrations boiled over for Oakton late in the game. The Cougars were assessed an intentional foul in the backcourt, and also committed a hard foul on a Sydnor breakaway that could have caused a serious injury. Sydnor shook off the foul and sank both free throws as the game wound down.
Over the past several years, referee shortages in the D.C. area have forced teams and districts to rotate to occasional Monday-Thursday game schedules, rather than the traditional Tuesday-Friday slate of games. Because of the scheduling quirk, both teams had only a Saturday practice and quick turnaround to prepare. Each were coming off big Friday night wins, with Oakton beating Herndon 56-46, as well as the Chargers 67-53 win over Westfield.
Chantilly comes home Thursday night to take on Herndon, which features the Northern Region’s leading scorer in Will Ferguson. The Chantilly-Herndon boys basketball rivalry is one of the Northern Region's strongest, and they have had some classic showdowns in recent years. While the Hornets have struggled at times this season, they are 9-4 and have two of the region’s top players in Ferguson and junior forward Dorian Johnson. Ferguson and Johnson are averaging 21.5 and 17.6 points per game respectively. Thursday’s Herndon at Chantilly tipoff is set for 7:30 pm.