Ashburn, Va. — The 6-foot-5 point guard watched his Rock Ridge Phoenix jump out to a big lead early before Stone Bridge cut the lead to just 2 points before the end of the first quarter. He watched as the Phoenix once again took a double-digit lead to have the Bulldogs cut it to 2 points again at the half.
Greg Spurlock had seen enough.
As the second half started, Spurlock took matters into his own hands. After Stone Bridge briefly took the lead, Rock Ridge senior forward Nick Ondrus scored on an and-one layup to retake the lead.
Ondrus missed his free throw, collected his own rebound, and swung the ball to Spurlock on the right wing, where he hit a three to extend the Rock Ridge lead to 36-32. On the very next Phoenix possession, Spurlock hit a step-back three from the top of the arc. Two possessions later, Spurlock took his man off the dribble and got to the hole. On the very next Rock Ridge possession, Spurlock again beat his man off the dribble and finished at the rim.
In less than a three-minute span, Spurlock went on a 10-2 scoring run, which gave Rock Ridge a 45-34 lead after three quarters—a lead Rock Ridge would not rescind in their 60-59 win over Stone Bridge on January 12 in Ashburn.
“Greg’s just so dynamic. He hit back-to-back threes in that quarter and continued to get to the rim,” Rock Ridge head coach Jason Geyer said. “He was outstanding for us again tonight.”
While Spurlock added the spark and cushion Rock Ridge needed in the third, it was Ondrus who carried the Phoenix home in the fourth, when he added 8 of his 14 points to fend off a late Bulldogs rally. Ondrus who broke his finger at the end of last season—and was back in the gym the very next day getting shots up—has been instrumental in the Phoenix’s success this year.
“I can’t say enough about Nick Ondrus. He’s been huge for us this season,” Geyer said. “In the fourth quarter when they were denying and doubling Greg, Nick found lanes to the hoop and made them pay.”
Despite the efforts from Ondrus, Spurlock, and the rest of the Phoenix, Stone Bridge would not go away. Led by senior center Dayvon Faulk, senior guard Jacob Thomas, and junior guard Dylan Hundertmark, the Bulldogs rallied from down double digits three different times throughout the game, cutting the score to 54-51 with just over a minute to play. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs—who hit an uncontested three at the buzzer to make the final score look closer than it was—Rock Ridge knocked down enough of their free throws late in the game to hold off the late rally.
“Stone Bridge is good. They are good offensively. When we went on a run, they always had an answer,” Geyer said. “We tried making some adjustments, but it came down to us trusting our defense and focusing on our fundamentals on the defensive side. Fortunately, we got enough stops to win.”
Rock Ridge (5-1, 5-2) and Stone Bridge (6-1, 6-1) remain on top of the Potomac District standings, having split their season series, but the Phoenix know the road to the district championship is still very much up for grabs.
“We approach every game the same way. I think we have confidence each game. But, when you look at our schedule in the Potomac, you can’t take any nights off no matter who you are,” Geyer said. “It’s been like that since we jumped to 5A. You have to play well every night or you’re going to get beat.”
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