The Monticello boys basketball team gave its fans a spark and Albemarle a bit of a scare with a spirited first quarter effort. However, the Patriots played next to flawless in a second quarter that included a 22-0 run. In the second half, the Mustangs couldn’t muster up much of a comeback and the visitors were able to coast. For Albemarle, the 69-39 win came as a sigh of relief after a shaky start.
“We played one great quarter but we weren’t ready in the first quarter and we were sloppy in the second half,” said Patriots coach Greg Maynard. “That quarter was just so good we got a comfortable lead. We won and I’ll always take a win on the road against a cross-county rival, but I was only pleased with the one quarter. Some of that was their defense, what they did to our guards so give Monticello credit. And they made every shot they took in the first too. They made it tough there. But we have to come out ready.”
With a 6-0 run to open up the game, as Dean Lockley, Ukari Brooks and Malik Barbour came out attacking the basket, the Mustangs had the gym alive with hopes of a major upset. The Patriots responded with Jake Hahn, who carried the team in the first quarter with 11 of his teams 15 points in the first. Still, with Monticello’s offense clicking the defense keeping the rest of the Albemarle offense from getting on the scoresheet, it was 16-15 heading into the second frame with the Mustangs out in front.
What ensued from there was a show of force from Hahn and Katstra. With Hahn knocking down 3-pointers and finishing underneath, Katstra got the job done at the free throw line. The duo had 23 points combined in the second quarter alone, accounting for all but four points which came from Daniel Starr. Hahn had 23 points in the first half and with the Patriots’ defense holding the Mustangs to just three points in the second, the game looked out of reach at halftime at 42-19.
“It wasn’t anything special,” Hahn said of his big first two quarters. “That was just finding open spots, catching and shooting, having confidence in my team. I was just catching and shooting. There wasn’t too much to it.”
The second half saw Albemarle take a 55-30 lead into the fourth quarter, and midway through that frame, the Patriots bench came in. Maxx Jarmon led things from there and allowed Albemarle to wrap up the win at 69-39.
“We were a little asleep to begin with, but we woke up,” Hahn said. “I think we have to play a complete game even though we won (this one) by a good amount. Against the really good teams we’ve got to play the whole 32 minutes to make an impact.”
On the night, Hahn led all scorers with 29 points. Katstra had 20 points. Jarman chipped in seven points, all of them coming in the fourth.
Monticello got a solid 18-point effort from Ukari Brooks, who connected on a trio of 3-pointers. Lockley finished with eight points. Barbour had six points.
Albemarle’s game Saturday with Landstown is postponed and it will resume play with a home game with Orange County on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Monticello hosts Charlottesville on Friday at 7:30 p.m.