Long Reach’s Avery Allmond picked the perfect time to have one of the best game’s of his career.
In a game where points were at a premium, the Lightning senior dropped in a season-high 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the way in a 47-32 victory over Marriotts Ridge Friday night. It was the fourth straight victory for Long Reach (9-6, 11-7), which held the visiting Mustangs (8-7, 9-9) to just eight field goals all evening.
The Lightning ended up with four guys with six or more points, with Allmond serving as the catalyst. Coming off a 14-point effort in a win over Glenelg Wednesday, he scored his first basket on the opening possession of the second quarter and never slowed down.
“After that first bucket I started to gain some confidence,” he said. “I was getting fouled, knocking down my free throws, everything just kept going and going. I had that feeling tonight.”
Between the second and third quarters, where Long Reach turned a two-point deficit into a 13-point lead, Allmond was responsible for more than half of his team’s points.
But as critical as his effort offensively was, it was just as important what the Lightning managed to do on the defensive end. Focusing in on Marriotts Ridge’s leading scorer Robert Davis (13 points), Long Reach held the Mustangs without a point for six straight minutes to open the second quarter to help take a 19-14 lead into halftime.
Then, in the third quarter, the Lightning didn’t allow a single field goal and that allowed them to break the game open.
“We’ve been stressing the defense every day in practice and targeting the other team’s top players. Tonight it was Davis and realizing that they want to go through him,” Long Reach coach Al Moraz Jr. said. “I thought Brian (Green) did a great job on him and we really forced someone else to beat us.
“Top to bottom, the kids responded and did a great job.”
For Marriotts Ridge, which actually held an 8-6 lead following the first quarter, the 32 points tied a season low. The shots simply weren’t falling early and things seemed to snowball from there.
“We had trouble executing against the zone. They forced us to make shots and we didn’t,” Marriotts Ridge coach Marcus Lewis said. “We’re not going to beat anyone with eight field goals … it’s just not going to happen. Overall, I thought our defense was good but our offense struggled.”
Aside from Allmond, Long Reach also got big games from Green (10 points) and Jeremiah Hall (7 points, 11 rebounds). The Lightning, despite Davis scoring eight points in the fourth quarter for Marriotts Ridge, never led by less than 11 points over the final 11 minutes.
The four-game winning streak is the team’s longest of the season and keeps them in contention for a top four seed in the upcoming 2A South Regional playoffs.
“We’re trying to keep this thing rolling right now and tonight, obviously, we had a little extra incentive considering they had beaten us the last four times,” Moraz said. “It was time to step up and change the tide a little bit. For county position, setting ourselves up for the playoffs, this was a big one.”
Long Reach 47, Marriotts Ridge 32
LR (9-6, 11-7): Allmond 16, Green 10, J. Hall 7, Brown 6, Kwarteng 4, Neal 4.
MR (8-7. 9-9): Davis 13, Delaney 9, Miller 6, Stringfellow 3, Bryant 1.
Half: 19-14 LR.
River Hill 50, Wilde Lake 45