Fauquier boys continue district climb with win over Kettle Run
Jay Jay Roberts scored 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter to lead Fauquier over Kettle Run, 60-53, Friday in Warrenton. --Times-Democrat Staff Photo/Randy Litzinger
Jeremiah Blackwell didn't think twice about shooting the 3.
It ended up being the dagger in the Kettle Run Cougars during a 60-53 victory for Blackwell's Fauquier Falcons at home in Warrenton on Friday.
Fauquier coach Wayne Brizzi thought about the timing of that 3-pointer a bit longer than Blackwell.
"He was a little iffy about my shot," Blackwell said with a smile. "I wasn't thinking about anything. … I was open so I might as well shoot it."
The Fauquier junior took that shot with 40 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter despite his team leading by two points. It was a situation in which the Falcons would typcially try to run time off the clock.
"You force him to take that shot, thinking, 'Hey, that's not a great shot," Cougars coach Troy Washington said. "But he knocked it down and that's a heck of a swing."
Kettle Run had scored four consecutive points to narrow its deficit to 55-53 with 1:48 remaining in the fourth. But then Blackwell caught the ball in far corner and converted an open look that expanded Fauquier's lead to 58-53, sealing the win with less than 40 seconds remaining.
"I think he just caught it in rhythm and went with it," Brizzi said. "But we shot a couple shots that I thought we shouldn't have shot."
Kettle Run's man-to-man defense limited the effectiveness of Fauquier's motion offense much of the night, forcing the Falcons to take a lot of jump shots off the dribble. They made just enough.
"I don't think we got back-door layups until two in the fourth" quarter, Brizzi said. "They put a lot of pressure on us and caused us a lot of problems."
Nevertheless, Fauquier (7-9 overall) improved its record to 3-1 in Evergreen District play and moved ahead of Kettle Run (5-9 overall, 2-1 district) in the standings.
"It's awesome," junior Jay Jay Roberts said. "We started off kind of bad with a loss to Liberty. We knew we had to pick up our defense. Now we're 3-1."
"It definitely gives us some confidence," Brizzi said.
The Falcons will next take on district-leading Liberty (8-9, 3-0) on Jan. 25, while Kettle Run will play Liberty on Tuesday.
"Every loss worries me," Washington said after falling to Fauquier. "Liberty is one up on us now [in the standings], but our goals are still obtainable."
Kettle Run's rematch with Fauquier will be Feb. 8 in its regular-season finale.
"We're definitely going to get them next time," Cougars junior Brendan Deliee said. "Play hard like we did tonight, we can pull out some wins."
The return of leading-scorer Rashawn Latimer should help. Latimer did not play Friday and was on crutches after twisting his ankle Wednesday, Washington said.
"It kind of felt funny," Blackwell said. "We wanted to go against him."
"We know that definitely hurt them," Brizzi said. "That puts you out of synch. … We feel a little fortunate."
The Cougars hope to have Latimer back before the district tournament begins in early February.
"He's definitely a big part of our team, but … we're going to fight without him," Deliee said.
Kettle Run did just that Friday. The Cougars led 14-12 at the end of the first quarter and never trailed by more than the final seven-point margin.
Fauquier held a 27-26 lead at halftime and Kettle Run tied the score, 41-41, with the opening field goal of the fourth quarter.
That final period was a battle between Roberts and Deliee. Roberts scored 11 of his 14 points in the fourth to give Fauquier the edge.
"He played solid," Brizzi said. "Taking care of the ball a little bit more. … As the season's gone on, he's become more confident offensively."
Deliee countered in the final six minutes of the game by scoring six of his 14 points and contributing an assist.
"Brendan did a great job of penetrating," Brizzi said. "There were times I thought they were just going to take over. You could kind of feel their energy."
Kettle Run kept the score tied, 49-49, with 4:45 remaining in the fourth, but then Roberts gave the Falcons a 55-49 cushion with a 3-pointer less than 90-seconds before Blackwell's icing 3.
Blackwell finished with a game-high 17 points, while Caleb Lantz, who has come of the bench since yielding his starting spot Jan. 4, added 11 points. Dillon Tapscott (six points) led Fauquier with four assists and four rebounds, while Roberts had a game-high three steals.
For Kettle Run, Danny Mattson had 12 points and Travis Williams had 10. Deliee, Williams and Eddie Benton each had five rebounds too.
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