By Adam Ayalew / Special to Scrimmageplaycva.com
Albemarle’s boys basketball team has fought and scrapped and clawed all season. They went out in similar fashion Friday night.
The Patriots traveled to Rock Ridge High where they faced Potomac Falls in the Class 5 state quarterfinals and fell 69-47, stuck clawing out of a 16-point hole by halftime.
Before the game, Albemarle coach Greg Maynard said the key for the Patriots would be neutralizing the two-best players from Potomac Falls, Landon Hawes and Jalen Coker. By the end of the first quarter, the Patriots had executed the game plan perfectly. The score was tied at 11 and the Patriots had forced five turnovers.
The second quarter proved to be decisive though as Potomac Falls scored 17 straight points and took a 29-13 lead heading into halftime. Hawes and Coker were responsible for scoring 15 of those points.
The game appeared to be all but over, but Albemarle’s offense got a boost from Cameron Johnson. The senior guard scored 7 of his 11 points in the third quarter. That kept the Patriots within striking distance as they trailed 49-32 heading into the fourth.
Albemarle defended with tenacity in the fourth quarter as they had all game long. They ultimately forced Potomac Falls into 16 turnovers but were not able to capitalize on the offensive end. The Patriots shot just 3-for-16 from behind the arc while Potomac Falls chose to attack the rim where they were able to convert efficiently or get to the foul line.
Hawes and Coker led the Panthers with 30 and 23 points respectively while the Patriots were paced by Dasaun Taylor who scored 12 points and dished out six assists. Justin Murkey, who scored 11, was the other Albemarle player who reached double figures.
The loss ends the prep careers of seniors Taylor and Johnson who’ve both been multi-year contributors for the Patriots.