Rams stay perfect with win over MP
STRASBURG — Strasburg got exactly what it wanted on Tuesday night.
The Rams used a huge first half to pull out to an early lead and coasted to a 56-40 Bull Run District boys basketball victory over Manassas Park.
“I thought we played really, really well in the first half,” Strasburg coach Matt Hiserman said. “I thought we moved the ball well. We made four, five, six passes, making the extra pass, going inside-out against their zone.”
With three big games against tough opponents coming up in the next six days, Hiserman said he was able to give his starters some rest in the second half and try different combinations of players off the bench.
The Rams struggled in the first few minutes against a 2-3 zone by the Cougars, but making a few extra passes helped open things up. The Rams closed the first quarter on a 10-4 run.
“They were roaming the guy at the top of [the zone], and they were trying to trap a little bit out of it,” Hiserman said. “It took us a couple possessions to adjust to it, because it was a little different than just a regular 2-3 zone. Once we adjusted, our kids really got in a flow of moving the ball. One of the things I like about this team is we share the ball extremely well. It doesn’t matter who makes the extra pass or who gets the shot up.”
Strasburg junior guard Jordan Stump gave the Rams a big lift off the bench. He scored seven of Strasburg’s 10 points to end the first period.
“I just try to bring energy to the team and play hard even though I don’t start,” Stump said. “I’m pretty happy with how I played. I shot the ball well. I try to pass the ball around to my teammates and try to get open looks for them.”
The Rams (5-0, 4-0 Bull Run) scored 30 points in the second period, scoring inside and outside. Trevin Howard nailed a 3-pointer to start the quarter. After a basket by Manassas Park, Stump followed with a 3-pointer and a conventional three-point play to start a 27-5 run for the rest of the quarter.
“Jordan has been playing extremely well in practice and then in the last game,” Hiserman said of Stump. “He’s been getting more and more confidence. When Jordan knocks down a couple shots, his confidence level just goes through the roof. Jordan’s a kid that’s getting better and better every game. He plays extremely hard. He’s figuring out where to be on defense. He’s just got a knack for the game.
“He’s becoming a complete player.”
The Rams led 44-15 at the half and shot 53.3 percent (16-for-30) from the floor. The Rams shot 50 percent (6-for-12) from 3-point range.
Senior forward Tyler Brill and sophomore guard Tyler Fincham also gave the Rams a boost in the second period. They combined for 16 points in the second quarter.
“Tyler Brill can really shoot it from the perimeter. When he gets his feet set he’s pretty deadly,” Hiserman said. “Tyler Fincham can do a lot of different things. He can score, take some contact. He can put it on the floor and score the bucket. That’s one thing that our guards can do so well is they can score from the perimeter, but they can get to the bucket and score, too.”
The Rams are playing with confidence right now, and felt really good about the victory over another district team.
“I think we did pretty good passing the ball around,” Brill said. “We did really good. We knocked down a lot of shots, played good on the offensive side and the defensive side.”
Marcus Lawson led the Cougars with 12 points. Stump and Brill each had 13 points, while Fincham had nine points and three assists for the Rams.
The Rams will next play at George Mason in a matchup between two undefeated teams.
“I expect a hard game. The team is real hyped about it because they’re undefeated, as we are,” Stump said. “It’s going to be a tough game, but we have faith.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or firstname.lastname@example.org