St. Anne’s-Belfield’s boys basketball team knew Friday afternoon’s clash with Highland was a chance to make a statement.
“Obviously we’re not trying to focus on rankings but the kids know,” said STAB associate head coach Damin Altizer.
The Saints, ranked No. 10 in the latest VISAA D2 poll, rose to the occasion, beating the No. 7-ranked Hawks convincingly 66-50.
Dalton Taylor led the way for the Saints, pouring in 25 points. He scored nine of those points during the second quarter when STAB transformed a 13-11 Highland lead in the first quarter into a 32-21 STAB advantage by halftime.
The Saints’ seniors allowed them to get going during that frame in a big way, both on the floor and from the bench.
“Nic Kent is such a leader by example and then Logan Brady on the bench just has more energy than anybody,” Altizer said. “In timeouts, he’s high fiving everybody and it just goes a long way toward the way we want to play with high energy.”
Jordan Pennix also gave the offense a boost with 11 points on the night. Myles Ward drew the difficult task of contending with 6-foot-8 Highland big man Cam Timmons and helped hold the Hawks’ center to just 11 points despite giving up six inches of height to the Highland junior.
“(Myles is) just so dynamic and we talk attack, attack, attack,” Altizer said. “(Timmons) has to try and guard him on the other end and it’s such a mismatch and then on the defensive end he battles and fights and makes him work. He just does a great job of making him do so much work before he’s ever caught the ball.”
The Saints hit the road to take on Hampton Roads Academy Saturday at 2 p.m.