Thursday, January 24, 2008

Basketball Notebook

Northern Region Court Report
A Lot on the Line
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post

When the Langley boys' team travels to McLean tomorrow, the game will match two of the top scoring threats in the Virginia AAA Liberty District, and it might decide more than neighborhood bragging rights.

Langley and McLean also are in the hunt to host a district tournament playoff game. Each entered the week tied for third place in the district.

The scoring threats will play a primary role: McLean senior Tarek Ammoury averages 22.3 points; Langley senior Ryan Davenport averages 18.3 points.

"Our goal is to host a playoff game at McLean," Ammoury said. "That spices it up a little bit."
"A lot of times, the game is just a rivalry game, and neither of us have had a great record going [in]," Davenport said. "It used to be a game between neighborhood rivals. Now it's a game that both teams have to win."

Since 2000, Langley has posted a 13-2 record in the rivalry; however, McLean beat Langley, 50-48, Dec. 21 on a last-second three-pointer.

"These games are always tight," said Davenport, who is Ammoury's AAU teammate with Nova United. "It's a really big game for both teams."

Free Throws

Entering Tuesday's matchup with West Potomac, Annandale had posted a 3-3 record in games in which 6-foot-5 guard-forward Erik Etherly (17.6 points per game) led the team in scoring.
The Northeastern-bound senior scored 26 points and hauled in 20 rebounds in a 91-76 loss to T.C. Williams on Jan. 4.

After that loss, Annandale went on a four-game winning streak and moved into second place in the Patriot District by getting more production from its supporting cast.

In Friday's 80-64 win over Lee, five players scored in double figures, including senior Jay Washington (13.1 points per game) and junior Alan Stalp (12 points per game).

Washington and Stalp have led the Atoms in scoring in each of the past two games, making Annandale 4-3 when someone other than Etherly leads the team in scoring.

Heading into Tuesday's game, six players were scoring at least six points per game.

"Last year we didn't have that balance," Atoms Coach Anthony Harper said. "It's all about making that extra pass and getting those kids that aren't our top three scorers involved." . . .

Longtime Washington-Lee assistant basketball coach Jim Hatch died Jan. 15 from pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease.

Hatch, 75, spent 52 years in coaching, including most of the past 25 years as an assistant basketball coach at the Arlington County high school. Hatch also spent time as an assistant at Bishop Ireton.

"It's very important not to forget what he stood for and what he expected of you as a player and you as a person," said Washington-Lee Coach Bobby Dobson, who had been assisted by Hatch for the past 10 years.

Washington-Lee held a ceremony in Hatch's honor before Friday's 58-52 loss to Wakefield.
"Each player came up and hugged me and told me not to give up," said Hatch's wife, Patricia.

A funeral will be today at 9:30 a.m. at St. James Catholic Church in Falls Church.

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