Huguenot’s boys basketball team used a series of game-altering scoring runs and suffocating defense to blow past Deep Creek 69-53 in the Class 4 State quarterfinals at the Arthur Ashe Center.
The Falcons (17-7) were led by junior guard Lance Monteiro Jr., who had 20 of his game-high 23 points in the second half. Senior forward DeShawn Ridley had 21. Seven-foot center Eric Restin was his usual force on the defensive end for the Falcons, altering and blocking shots, rebounding and creating second-chance opportunities for teammates.
Junior forward Caleb Butts paced Deep Creek (14-11) with 21 points, including 14 in the final two stanzas.
By then, the game was nearly decided as Huguenot went on a 17-5 scoring charge in the second quarter to grab a 15-point lead (32-17). The Falcons showed the depth and diversity of their lineup during that run, with sophomore swingman Kevin Gayles contributing six points, while senior guard Rayvon McCoy and Ridley contributed four apiece and Monteiro had three.
Turns out Monteiro’s best was yet to be. Owners of a 10-point lead at intermission, Huguenot’s defense locked in right away and Monteiro was the beneficiary in the scoring column, scoring the Falcons first seven points of the second half to widen the Falcons advantage to 39-25.
The closest Deep Creek got in the second half was eight (45-37) after it scored seven unanswered points in the final two minutes of the third quarter, with Butts registering eight points in that stretch. But Monteiro quelled any hopes for a comeback, nailing an important three-pointer with less than a minute left in the third quarter to swell Huguenot’s bulge back to double digits (48-37).
The Falcons defense never let up and allowed them to get out and run, as well as play with pace and in space, outscoring the Hornets 7-2 to open the fourth quarter to balloon their lead to 16 points. The Falcons were flying, with Rustin anchoring their defense by swatting away shots and giving Deep Creek drivers plenty reason for pause in deciding whether or not to attack the basket. Too, Ridley’s speed and athleticism was a factor in forcing the Hornets into tough shots.
“I’m ecstatic. We thrive on defense. They had difficulty scoring because of our ‘bigs’ in the paint. Our rebounding got better in the second half,” said Huguenot’s first-year coach Ksaan Brown.
In the semifinals that will be conducted either Monday or Tuesday, Huguenot will face the winner of the Monacan versus Lake Taylor (23-1) tilt scheduled for Saturday.
“I think we’re playing great. I think we have a great shot—a really good chance,” Brown said. “We’re coming together at the right time.”