Jags Renew Acquaintances With Generals


Kristian Gutual holds a potential triple threat while being defended. (Photo by Danny May)

Sean Clary, Staff Writer

The 2015-16 sports season has provided Falls Church with a new set of conference opponents as the Washington-Lee Generals, Hayfield Hawks, and Yorktown Patriots have moved up to the 6A Liberty District.  The Generals’ boys varsity basketball team proved why they are worthy of the upgrade on Monday, December 7, as they handed their old rivals an 80-48 loss at Washington-Lee High School.

The Generals are a good passing team that is very physical down low and out on the perimeter.  The Jags started off the game on a good note leading 6-5 halfway through the first quarter.  Junior guard Connor Stephens scored 4 points in the first quarter, including two free throws.  W-L went on an 8-0 run to close out the first quarter, but the Jags didn’t give up, drawing the score to a relatively close 26-22 advantage for W-L with 2:15 before the half.  Unfortunately, in the second half, the Generals continued to pull away, despite the best efforts of the Jag boys.  Even though they trailed by double digits late in the fourth quarter, the Jags showed a lot of heart, and even tallied a brief 5-0 run in a half-minute span with only 3 minutes left to play.

In the end, the Jags were not able to overcome the athleticism and talent that the Generals had brought to the table and even though the score may not have been in the Jags favor, it was a dog fight in the paint for the entirety of the game.  Whistles were blowing as both teams played with a lot of aggressiveness and physicality and each team frequently went to the line to shoot free throws.  Jags Stephens, Tyler Reynolds (11), Patrick Gutual (10), Adrian Collins (11), and Fuad Koroma (9) sunk eight foul shots in an effort to keep the game competitive.  The Jags were making a majority of the uncontested shots, but the problem was getting open and away from the tough General defense.  The Jags also helped their cause by hitting six 3-pointers; shots were made by Stephens, P. Gutual, and Daniel Nguyen (12).

The Jags offense was carried by Stephens’ 19 points.  “I had a good night and I’m just looking to uplift my team to get over this rough start,” Stephens said about his performance in the loss.

Although the Jags haven’t started the season off the way they would have liked to, many games remain on the Jags’ schedule, providing plenty of opportunities for the team to succeed down the road.