Marshall Starts New Year With 69-41 Loss To Langley
Watkins scores 13, but Statesmen fall to 1-9
Daniel Dixon scored 19 points for the second straight game and added a game-high seven rebounds as Langley beat Marshall 69-41 Thursday.
The Saxons have won six of eight since starting the season 0-4, and move to 3-0 in the Liberty District. The Statesmen, meanwhile, have dropped six of their last seven and fall to 0-4 in the district.
The Saxons started hot and never looked back, using a 9-0 run to start the second half and give them their biggest lead of the game at 47-15. Langley Coach Travis Hess, who was largely frustrated by his team’s seventh place finish at Westfield’s Bulldog Bash over the holiday break, wouldn’t quite concede that he was completely pleased with the effort, but admitted they’re on the right track.
“It’s about consistency. It’s about putting together a run of wins,” he said. “We’re getting better, and the kids are buying into what we’re doing.”
Hess is quickly proving himself to be one of the best young coaches in the region. He has led the undersized Saxons – whose tallest two players are listed at 6’3 – to three straight Liberty District championships and won district Coach of the Year in 2007, 2009, and 2010.
After the disappointing finish at Westfield, Hess declared he would abandon the zone defense he had been employing for the man-to-man defense with which he is more comfortable. The change has paid dividends, as the Saxons have allowed an average of 48 points in the two games since the switch after allowing 61.8 in their first 10 games. Tonight, Langley allowed only 15 first-half points before going to the bench for much of the fourth quarter.
Dixon and Tristan Evans led a balanced attack in the first half, as the Saxons got to the free throw line 14 times compared with Marshall’s two attempts. Evans finished with 11 points and five rebounds. Brenden Dwyer and Austin Vasiliadis each added eight.
Latrell Watkins did his part to keep Marshall’s deficit from increasing in the second half. The junior scored 12 of his 13 points after halftime, and finished 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Shelton Hardy added nine for the Statesmen, and Axel Boya finished with eight points and five rebounds.
The game was the Saxons’ first at home in nearly three weeks, and they go back on the road against Jefferson and Madison next week before returning home the following week to take on South Lakes and McLean. While Hess said he wouldn’t be deceived by records, Madison joins Marshall as the only other winless team in the district, and Jefferson is 3-5 overall.
Marshall's next game is Saturday when they host the McLean Highlanders at 5:30 p.m.