Sterling, Va. – After a strong core of seniors graduated from Dominion in the spring, the Titans had their work cut out for them to establish that last season wasn’t a fluke. They helped solidify their case, rolling past the Heritage Pride, 76-48, on December 29 in Sterling.
The win comes on the heels of a last second loss to Tuscarora just a week before.
“It was definitely a wake up call for us,” Dominion head coach Anthony Eifler said of the loss on December 23. “Our guys really took it to heart, and today they came out ready to go.”
Dominion came out strong right out of the gates, exploding for 27 first-quarter points and sharing the scoring load amongst the whole roster. In just the first quarter alone, seven different Titans got in the scorebook.
For the Pride, they leaned on senior guard Max Jannes—an All-LoCo honorable mention from last season. Jannes is a big, 6-foot-3 guard, and the Pride leaned on his mix of size, ball-handling, and scoring ability to keep them in the game.
“Max [Jannes] is a really great player,” Eifler said. “Our plan to stop him was really just team defense. We just wanted to force the ball out of his hand and not let him be the one to beat to us.”
Dominion was able to hold Jannes to just 6 first-half points, which was a big reason the Titans held a nearly 30-point lead heading into halftime.
In the second half, it was more of the same for the Titans. Their offensive attack was led by senior big men Justin Mann and Colby Matheny.
“Last game, we didn’t do a good job of getting enough paint touches,” Mann said. “But today Colby and I were really able to use our size against a smaller team.”
Mann finished with 17 points, while Matheny finished with 12 of his own. Jannes led the Pride with 12.
Due to COVID-19, the loss to Dominion was the Pride’s first game of the season, having had just two team practices before their opening night.
“We haven’t practiced in 14 days,” Heritage head coach William Hatchett said. “So because of that, I’m not worried about how we played tonight. We’ll continue to get better.”
Heritage will look to close out 2020 with a win against Leesburg-rival Tuscarora while Dominion will look to close out its 2020 with a win at Broad Run.
“This is such a great group of seniors this year,” Eifler said. “At the end of the day, we think we’re the best team in the division, and we want to continue to play like it.”