Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Langley Hoops

Davenport Helps Langley Respond Under OT Pressure
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, January 16, 2008; E07

Through the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and for most of the overtime period in Langley's 48-46 victory over visiting No. 20 Madison last night, the crowd was chanting "Pressure . . . Pressure."

And in the high-pressure situation -- which featured two 11-1 boys' basketball teams battling for first place in the Liberty District -- Langley turned to a familiar source of calm: senior guard Ryan Davenport.

"We are either going to win with him or lose with him," said Langley Coach Travis Hess of Davenport, who finished with 23 points. "But [in these situations] we're going to ride him."

Langley rode Davenport last season as the 6-foot-3 guard scored 584 of the team's 1,494 points (39 percent) and led the Northern Region in scoring with 23 points per game. But his team struggled to a 13-12 finish.

This season, with a revived supporting cast that includes transfer Derek Baker (O'Connell), Davenport has taken a backseat in scoring.

The more balanced attack has helped Langley (12-1, 4-1 Liberty District) to its best start "possibly in the program's history," Hess said.

But last night, trailing 32-26 with 5 minutes and 46 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Langley again turned to the Davenport, who scored 14 of the Saxons' final 22 points, matching Madison's 14-point output in the game's final two periods.

"Knowing that your coach has confidence in you and wants you to take the shot helps a lot," Davenport said. "Even if it's not the best shot at times, he's still going to give it to you the next time, and to have that makes you feel relaxed."

Madison dropped to 11-2, 4-1 and had its win streak halted at six.

Langley won its eighth straight and forced a three-way tie for first place in the Virginia AAA Liberty District with W.T. Woodson and Madison.

Langley travels to Woodson (8-5, 4-1) on Friday.

"I don't remember the last time we were the team to beat, and I like the sound of that," said Davenport, who is 111 points shy of breaking the school's career scoring mark (1,204 points). "But it comes with a lot of responsibility. Our goal is to forget about the fact that we are 12-1, but it's kind of hard to do that."

Langley 48 No. 20 Madison 46

Hahn's Solo Performance: Madison's Lucas Hahn was 3 for 3 from beyond the arc, including a three-point basket that put Madison up 37-35 with 3:08 left in the fourth quarter.

Low-Scoring Affair: Both teams entered the game averaging more than 60 points per game. "In these tough district games, you are going to see a lot of tougher defenses," Davenport said.

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