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Reigel keeps Kettle Run out of hairy situation against Fauquier boys basketball

Thursday, Feb. 11 | By Jeff Malmgren
Grayson Reigel's glorious hair is gone. --Fauquier Times Staff File Photo/Randy Litzinger
Kettle Run won by a haircut.

During the Cougars' 68-58 victory Thursday over the Fauquier Falcons, Grayson Reigel gave Kettle Run the edge by going 6-for-8 on 3-pointers, which continued a hot shooting streak he has been on since his hairstylist mistakenly mangled his traditional top about three weeks ago.

A quasi-afro had been Reigel's signature look for almost two years, but recently he has had to sport a significantly-cropped style. At least that cut has corresponded with some hair-raising displays from behind the 3-point line.

“He's been shooting the ball a lot better since he got his hair cut,” Kettle Run coach Troy Washington said. “So maybe the hair is out of his eyes.”

Reigel scored a game-high 24 points against Fauquier and incredibly made 75 percent of his 3-point attempts, including a 3-for-3 streak in the second quarter that helped Kettle Run build a 34-26 halftime lead.

“Any time we made a run it seemed like he just stuck one on us,” Falcons coach Wayne Brizzi said. “I don't think he forced anything. He just let it come to him.”

Kettle Run led only 15-14 at the end of the first quarter, in which Fauquier led by as much as four points. Then Reigel began the second period by scoring eight consecutive points with a layup and a pair of 3-pointers. That gave the Cougars a 23-14 advantage, and Fauquier never led again.

“He does a real nice job of reading his screens and finding the open spot,” Brizzi said of Reigel's 3-point shots.

Reigel, a junior guard, credited sophomore forward Tyler Trimble for often setting him up with good looks at the basket.

“He sets a lot of screens for me and gets me open a lot,” Reigel said. “It's all about the screeners and the ball-handlers getting me the ball when I'm in rhythm to catch-and-shoot.

“I just got hot,” he said, “and my teammates just kept finding me.”

Reigel has only once had more 3-pointers in a game. He made seven earlier this season during a win over Brentsville, which also happened after he lost his head sponge to a hairstylist.

“I went to get it trimmed,” Reigel said. “But the lady, I guess, didn't understand what I wanted, so she just shaved the entire back of my head.”

The top of his head still appeared acceptable, though, so he went home without declaring disaster.

“I didn't really understand, but my dad was like, 'That looks really bad,'” Reigel said. “I was like, 'I think we can try and fix it.' I just didn't want to accept that I was going to have to shave the rest of it.”

By having his hair cut, Reigel spoiled a pact he had made with Max Lilek, Kettle Run's point guard. They planned to let their hair grow from the Cougars' first football game in August until the end of the basketball season in February or March.

“He was pretty mad at me when I showed up to practice and it was cut,” Reigel said of Lilek.

So only Lilek still has long hair, which lays flat, unlike Reigel's hair. Regardless, Lilek also played a phenomenal game Thursday. He finished with 11 points, seven assists, five steals and five rebounds.

He also blocked a Fauquier 3-point attempt with 35 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, which ended momentum for the Falcons after they had composed an 11-2 rally to narrow their deficit to only 63-58.

“He's the heartbeat of us,” Washington said of Lilek. “There was something about the momentum when Max came in that just really got us juiced up. … He plays hard on every possession.”

Trimble also played exceptionally well Thursday. He scored a career-high 16 points and had five rebounds while filling in as a starting forward for Noah Goins, who sat out with a concussion suffered Tuesday against Eastern View.

“He's been working really hard in practice and I think it showed tonight,” Grayson said of Trimble. “He's been working on his post moves and challenging Noah, and I think that's just made him better.”

Trimble's performance helped the Cougars improve their record to 11-8 overall and 4-3 in Conference 22. So now they have the opportunity to earn the No. 2 seed in the upcoming conference tournament. A victory Friday over Liberty (4-3) would give Kettle Run that No. 2 seed and a home game in the semifinals while a loss would drop it to No. 3 with a road game.

“It's a pretty big difference,” Reigel said. “A home game would be awesome to get a crowd helping us to hopefully get a win and go to the region” tournament.

John Champe (7-1) is locked in as the top seed in the conference while Freedom is currently fourth at 4-4. Fauquier, meanwhile, will not play in the conference tournament after finishing fifth in the regular season standings at 0-8. During seasons past, every conference team made the tournament regardless of record.

“You've got to win it to make it” now, Fauquier senior Ardeshir Tabrizi said. “It's unfortunate, but it's reality.”

So the Falcons' season ended Thursday with a 3-14 record overall.

“Three wins, that's really no fun,” Brizzi said. “But competing with these guys and the way they worked, believe it or not, it was fun. It really was.

“When you have a season like this, every little thing can be magnified,” he said, “and [negative] emotions could run deep. But not with these guys. They just stayed with the ship.”

The Falcons lost 14 games but did have a chance to win many of those.

“We were definitely close in almost all of our games,” Tabrizi said. “But all I'm going to remember is hanging out; and eating right before games; bus rides; all that stuff that makes us a family.”

Tabrizi had nine points against Kettle Run on three 3-pointers, and he took a pair of charges defensively. Fellow senior Travis Croson had nine points and five assists while junior John Smith had 10 points and seven rebounds. Junior Grant Keithley scored a team-high 15 points.

“I wanted to lead my team to a win,” Tabrizi said. “Unfortunately, I couldn't.”

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