Leesburg, Va. — After quickly falling into a deficit, the Loudoun County High School boys basketball team knew what they needed to do to claw themselves out of trouble. By halftime the Captains had tied the game at 32-32, and by midway through the third quarter, they had really started to settle in.
Despite a tremendous shooting effort by Briar Woods, the Captains used four double-figure scoring performances to outlast the Falcons, 66-56, on December 1 in Leesburg.
“Briar Woods is very well coached. I respect the heck out of Derek Butler and the way he goes about his business,” Loudoun County head coach Mark Alexander said. “They were shooting lights out, so we were just kind of hoping we would get in a groove and that they wouldn’t keep hitting everything.”
The Falcons got going early as senior shooting guard Brayden Fetterman and senior small forward Javier Curry-Arregui connected on two threes apiece in the first half, and for some time, it felt like Briar Woods wouldn’t miss.
However, in an effort to change up their looks, the Falcons started to attack the paint, where Loudoun County senior center George Mwesigwa made his presence known, loudly blocking three shots in the first half.
“Our coaches were just telling us to pick up our effort and be more aggressive on defense,” Mwesigwa said. “Defense wins games, and I’ve always loved playing defense and blocking shots.”
To start the second half, the Captains made an effort to play better defense, take better shots, and get the ball in the hands of Mwesigwa more on the offensive end. After scoring just three points in the first half—on the Captains’ very last possession—Mwesigwa factored heavily in the second half as he added 11 points to his 14-point, 11-rebound double-double.
“George is a dominant big man, and he doesn’t get tired a whole lot,” Alexander said. “We always want to feed him; we fed him at one point and they triple teamed him. But he’s going to get that attention which should open things up for our perimeter shooters.”
Mwesigwa’s presence inside allowed the Captain shooters to find a rhythm as junior point guard Braxton Griffin, junior shooting guard Jack West, and senior shooting guard Brendan Boyers all found themselves in double figures scoring. West—who finished with a game-high 18 points—also played a major role on the defensive end of the floor with 4 steals.
The Captains (0-0, 2-0) are still finding their bearings—while awaiting the return of senior point guard Jimmy Daughtrey—and will rely on their early wins over Class 5A Woodgrove and Class 5A Briar Woods as experience games for their less seasoned players through the meat of their season.
“I’m hoping by the holiday tournament, we’re feeling good about where we are,” Alexander said. “I like these early season 5A challenges; standings-wise they don’t mean a lot, but this game is going to do a lot for us come January with this experience.”
Loudoun County Stats
Briar Woods Stats