Ashburn, Va. — When Potomac Falls senior shooting guard Hayden Hawes came off the bench against Briar Woods early in the first quarter on January 31, he buried a corner three on his first trip down the court. Less than 30 seconds later, Hawes connected on a second three – from the exact same spot.
“We thought they were going to come out in a zone, so our main focus was to move the ball and get some open looks,” Hawes said. “We did a really good job of that to start.”
A few minutes later, Hawes slid around to the other wing where he drilled another three to add to his game-high 17 points. Potomac Falls was in complete control from that moment on and never looked back, as the Panthers clinched the regular season Potomac District title and handed the Falcons their first home loss of the season on senior night, 86-55.
“We put a lot of stock into the fact that they hadn’t lost at home this year. We knew that, and we played that up hard,” Potomac Falls head coach Jeff Hawes said. “We knew something was going to give tonight: either they were going to lose at home or we were going to lose for the first time. We didn’t want it to be us.”
Thanks to the scoring effort of Hayden and his brother and junior forward Landon Hawes, Potomac Falls took a six-point lead into the second quarter.
“Hayden came in ready to play. You get a guy like H come in off the bench, and what’d he have? 17?” Coach Hawes asked. “To be able to bring that kind of energy of the bench is incredible.”
The Panthers dominated the next six minutes of play, going on a 20-5 run, which included a barrage of threes from Landon and senior guards Damien Harrison and Peter White and a couple put backs by senior forward Ian Anderson – who scored 17 points and added 9 rebounds – to take a 43-21 lead into the half.
“I don’t want to jinx us, but there are so many different ways we can score right now,” Coach Hawes said. “Inside, outside, even our wing players are scoring tough around the bucket. We’re a tough match up right now.”
Boys Basketball: Potomac Falls cruises past Briar Woods. Ian Anderson with 17 points, 9 boards. Hayden Hawes 17 points, 4 boards. Landon Hawes 13 points, 10 boards. @PFalls_Bball 86, @BWHSBoysBball 55 FINAL #LoCoHoops @LoCoSports
— Owen Gotimer (@BigO_Gotimer) February 1, 2019
Coming out of the half, Briar Woods found some offensive momentum, spreading the ball around to eight different scorers in the quarter as junior guard Will Shin added 7 of his 12. Senior shooting guard Hunter Auch also added to his game-high 18 points.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, the Panthers shooters were too good, and Potomac Falls continued to dominate the glass, outrebounding Briar Woods, 45-21.
“Any time we can get a second look offensively or defensively, we hold them to one shot, it’s definitely a game changer,” Anderson said. “A team that outrebounds the other team comes out on top a lot. Obviously, that was true tonight.”
As the final minutes wound down, Hayden Hawes continued to add to his team-high 17 with another three and a pair of free throws as the Panthers clinched the Potomac District regular season title.
“We gel really well. On the court, we’re really sharing the ball. A lot of guys are getting open looks because of the way we’re sharing the ball. That’s key for us,” Hayden said. “We just come out hungry every night, knowing that if we play our game, not many people can stop us.”
Following the win, No. 1 Potomac Falls (12-0, 18-0) makes a trip down to Deep Creek High School on February 2 to battle with Bishop Catholic Sullivan. Meanwhile, No. 2 Briar Woods (7-4, 12-7) looks to hold onto second place in the district when the Falcons travel to Broad Run on February 4.
“These kids are the trademark of our program. They’re playing really unselfishly. They’re playing with a lot of confidence right now,” Coach Hawes said. “But we always preach February. How good are we going to be come February?”
Potomac Falls Stats
|Potomac Falls||Points||Rebounds||Assists||Steals||Blocks||Free Throws|
Briar Woods Stats
|Briar Woods||Points||Rebounds||Assists||Steals||Blocks||Free Throws|