Boys Freshman Basketball
|McLean High School||81|
After three weeks of practice and 2 dominant scrimmages against Annandale and Fairfax, the 2017-18 McLean High School boys freshman basketball team was anxious to play a game that actually counted in the regular season standings. The Highlanders shook off an early sluggish start with 52 second half points en route to an 81-66 opening night road win over the Oakton Cougars in Vienna. It was the second straight opening night win for the McLean freshman at Oakton, following a 54-42 win a year ago.
Aaron Bremser led the Highlanders with 19 points, and hit his first 11 free throws to pace McLean. Lucius Overby shook off fever-like symptoms with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Point guard Jaz Bisset had 13 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals, and Zaven Malik had 14 points and 6 rebounds. Bisset had several beautiful no-look passes that resulted in easy baskets that even the large and spirited Oakton crowd appreciated.
After a sluggish early start likely due to opening night jitters, McLean got going early in the second quarter with Bisset scoring in transition and knocking down an open 3-pointer, while Ivan Maric nailed a corner 3-pointer and converted a nice drive on a back cut and feed from center Ethan Hale, who finished with 6 points and led the game 8 rebounds.
After taking a 29-22 halftime lead from the balanced McLean attack, the pace picked up even more in the second half. Oakton’s freestyle perimeter-oriented offense often resulted in long 3-point attempts and the Cougars’ 12 conversions from beyond the arc kept them within striking distance. Down 6 going into the 4th quarter, however, Oakton began to unravel. Following an Oakton foul that resulted in 2 free throws for McLean, the Cougar bench picked up a technical foul. That meant 2 more attempts from the charity stripe for the Highlanders, as well as McLean possession. By midway through the fourth quarter, McLean had built up a 17-point lead. Some long-range bombs from Oakton let them hang around, but 10 points in the final stanza from Malik and Overby, and Bisset's offensive control at point guard sealed the deal for the Highlanders.
McLean gets a week off before their home opener next Tuesday, December 5th when they host Marshall for a 4:30 pm tipoff. Marshall was defeated by South Lakes 57-27 in their opener, but will be hungry to bounce back against the rival Highlanders.