Kettle Run boys blow out Brentsville, 82-48
Kettle Run junior guard Danny Mattson matched a career-high with 21 points. --Staff File Photo/Randy Litzinger
Kettle Run unveiled a new post player in posting a blowout win over Brentsville Friday night, although he isn’t really new or a post player.
He’s junior guard Danny Mattson, who matched a career-high with 21 points - almost entirely on inside baskets - as the Cougars opened the Evergreen District boys basketball season with an 82-48 home victory over the neighboring Tigers.
“We’re 1-0 in the district. I don’t remember us winning a district game before,” said Mattson, a statement that hints at Kettle Run’s struggles the last two years and their promise this season.
Kettle Run’s 4-5 record represents its best start since 2009-10 when the Cougars shared the district regular season title and made their only regional playoff appearance.
The Cougars turned the game into a track meet, and played at a pace that made struggling Brentsville (1-11, 0-1) uncomfortable.
Tiger ballhandlers Mason Clark and Khalil McKenzie brought the ball upcourt against a swarming, trapping pressure defense, a tactic that produced turnover after turnover and set the stage for an easy win for the predatory Cougars.
“We want to play like that and create a sense of chaos. At the same time we want to be under control. At times we it may be too fast for ourselves,” said KRHS coach Troy Washington.
While the Cougars committed plenty of turnovers, it could not match the 30 made by Brentsville.
Kettle Run opened up leads of 16-9 after the first quarter and 42-28 at halftime. Kettle Run outscored Brentsville 22-7 in the third quarter to lead 64-35.
The game became an ongoing Cougar layup line, which also helped junior guard Rashawn Latimer score a game-high 30 points, one short of his career high of 31. Latimer scored 18 in the second half as the Cougars expanded a 14-point halftime lead to as much as 36.
But it was Mattson that got the Cougars going early, with 14 in the first half.
Washington said Mattson has been struggling with his outside shot, so “we’re encouraging him to take it to the rim more. It opens up his game.”
Mattson thrived in his role as the consummate finisher. At 6-foot-1 with a sturdy build, quick movements and basketball smarts, Mattson put himself in great position to receive passes under the basket from Brendan Deliee (13 points) and Travis Williams (4 points), resulting in an impressive array of low post conversions.
Brentsville coach Al Ford said his team specifically practiced on beating the kind of helter skelter pressure defense they were going to face, which left him disappointed at their failure to handle it.
“Latimer got better and better as the game went on. He benefited from their great team defense. I expect Kettle Run to be a contender,” said Ford.
Alec Pfleckl scored 20 points to lead Brentsville.
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