South Riding, Va. — With March Madness just two weeks away, Stone Bridge High School decided on creating some madness of their own, defeating top-seeded Freedom High School in a VHSL Region 5C quarterfinal, 64-53, thanks to their deadly precision from three-point range.
“We live and die by the three-point game,” Stone Bridge senior guard Ben Kling said. “Today, we lived by it.”
The Bulldogs came out of halftime with a nine-point lead over the Eagles, 29-20. Stone Bridge had one thing on their mind and that was to add to the five three-pointers they made in the first half.
Kling kept the three-point game going after he nailed his second one of the game early in the third quarter. This three-pointer helped open the floor up for the other shooters from outside as Freedom’s defense continued to struggle defending the perimeter.
Stone Bridge junior guard Evan Buckley also had a big night from three-point range as he knocked down three three-pointers.
Kling and Buckley combined for seven of the Bulldogs’ eleven three-pointers in the win.
“We came in here and knew we had to get stops and shoot the ball well to come out with a win,” Buckley said. “We got stops early in the game and it helped created a lot of early offense for us.”
As the fourth quarter started, Freedom senior guard Zyan Collins was determined to keep the Eagles’ season alive. Collins – who scored 13 of his team-high 23 points in the fourth quarter – took over in the final frame, starting when he nailed back-to-back three-pointers on consecutive offensive possessions.
Stone Bridge, however, was not fazed. As the clock started to wound down, the Bulldogs took care of business, knocking down 10 of their 12 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Following the win, Stone Bridge will travel to Alexandria to battle with Thomas A. Edison High School on February 22 in a VHSL Region 5C semifinal.
“It feels good to knock off the top seed in the region,” Kling said. “We are all really hyped about it right now.”
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