In a dramatic change of pace from its Stuarts Draft barn burners, William Monroe fought off Strasburg to win its Bull Run District opener 54-44.
“(Strasburg) reminded me of playing against Western Albermarle — they slowed it down, except Western’s a better at that,” said Dragons coach Mike Maynard said. “We didn’t play well to start, but did a lot better job in the second half.”
Trailing 21-18 out of the break, Monroe saw Gary Morris get hot in the second half as he helped his team dominate the third quarter and take a five point lead into the fourth. The Dragons held serve behind Morris and Markel Faulkner in the fourth. The Rams resorted to fouling midway through the fourth to fight back into it, but Monroe hit 10 of it’s 13 free throws in the finish.
“We did our job in the fourth, made free throws down the stretch,” Maynard said. “It was a totally different game from what we’ve played earlier.”
Jordan Gentry had another strong night from beyond the arc to lead his team with 15 points behind a trio of 3-pointers. Morris had 12 points, all of them in the second half. Faulkner had 13 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Lamar Nelson had seven points. Markel Williams talied seven rebounds. Austin Batten finished with four assists and dour rebounds.
The Dragons (4-1, 1-0) jump into a tough stretch when they play at Manassas Park on Thursday, then play host to Charlottesville Saturday and then travel to Madison County on Tuesday.
“It’s a tough road ahead,” Maynard said. “It’s not going to be easy.”