Mundy’s hot hand boosts Stars to victory

By Jeff Nations

WOODSTOCK — Talk about a case of the Mondays, or in this case Mundy for Massanutten Academy’s boys basketball team.

The Colonels had no answer for Shenandoah Valley Academy’s Daniel Mundy in the second quarter of Monday’s game. Mundy torched Massanutten for five 3-pointers in the period to help the Stars shoot past the Colonels for a 64-42 victory.

Mundy’s hot streak was the start of good things for SVA (5-7), which trailed the Colonels 16-14 early in the second quarter before he connected on his first 3-pointer with 6:16 left in the half. Zachary Siegel’s offensive putback briefly gave the lead back to Massanutten Academy (6-8), but then it was bombs away for Mundy has he didn’t miss from beyond the 3-point arc in the quarter.

“He can do that,” SVA coach Bob Kilgore said. “I’ve seen him do it several times. I can tell by the arc of the ball — it’s a flat shot, but it’s the way he shoots the ball.”

Mundy did plenty of shooting over that span, accounting for 15 of his game-high 20 points in the quarter as the Stars built a 37-25 halftime lead.

“I’ve been streaky the last three games,” Mundy said. “I just took what was given to me.”

The Colonels, facing a severe height disadvantage, had little choice but to try swarm the paint for rebounds against the much taller Stars. It did little good, as SVA’s 6-5 senior shooting guard Elijah Moore (13 points, 10 rebounds), 6-4 center Tambu Abdul-Majid (15 points, eight rebounds) and 6-3 forward Caleb Harris (eight rebounds) helped the Stars finish with a commanding 54-25 rebounding edge.

“These guys are pretty good,” Massanutten guard Joshua Holt said. “They’re big and strong, and we’re more of a smaller group so we kind of expect that. We tried our best to overcome it, but that was a big factor in the game.”

Any hopes of a second-half rally were quickly squelched in the third quarter, as the Stars opened with a 10-2 run to build their lead to 47-27 on Austin Plank’s bucket off a backdoor cut.

It was a much different story than the first meeting earlier this season, when the Colonels pushed SVA to overtime before falling 56-48 on Dec. 5.

“We’ve had a number of close games and we’ve been blown out a few times, so it just depends on which team shows up,” Kilgore said. “We have a lot of talent, but they don’t always play together as a team. They did well tonight, played good defense, which I’d like to have them play good defense all the time.”

Holt led the Colonels with 12 points, and Thomas Lloyd added 11. Those two hit six of Massanutten’s seven 3-pointers in the game as the Colonels hung tough early behind their long-range shooting — that is, until Mundy started answering in the second quarter.

“We didn’t expect that from him — it was kind of a shock because the first time we went over there he wasn’t hitting that much and he wasn’t that much of a factor,” Holt said. “Those five 3s that he made, that was pretty amazing and it probably cost us in the end.”

Massanutten coach Ryan Dowler said SVA’s size was a real matchup problem for his team, and it helped Mundy find all those open looks in the decisive second quarter.

“That’s been our Achilles’ heel all season has been defending the 3-point arc,” Dowler said. “Any team that has a 3-point shooter is going to find some open shots against us. It’s something we’ve got to work on and get better at.

“When you have to focus so much on getting rebounds, you tend to lose shooters.”

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Jeff Nations