McLean The opening scene of Garrett Collier’s career-best performance featured the senior guard knocking down a pair of 3-pointers as the Langley boys’ basketball team built a 15-point first-half lead against the South Lakes Seahawks.
After South Lakes trimmed the lead to five late in the third quarter, Collier’s finale included a buzzer-beating jumper that spelled the beginning of the end for the Seahawks.
Collier’s jump shot beat the third-quarter buzzer and sparked a 14-2 Langley run as the Saxons pulled away for a 49-33 victory on Dec. 14 at Langley High School. Collier scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed five rebounds as the Saxons improved to 6-0, including 2-0 in the Liberty District.
“I started to make some 3s early,” he said, “and I thought I got my confidence up.”
Langley opened the game on a 12-2 run and held South Lakes without a field goal for the first 5 minutes, 39 seconds. The Seahawks hit a pair of 3-pointers toward the end of first quarter, but each time Collier answered with a 3-pointer of his own.
“[Garrett Collier] shot the ball well. He was a football player, so he’s just kind of getting his basketball legs back. If he can shoot like that every single night, we’ll be all right.”
--- Langley boys’ basketball coach Travis Hess
After a 13-point first half and pair of field goals in the third quarter, Collier buried his third 3-pointer of the evening midway through the fourth quarter, giving Langley a 45-30 lead.
“He’s such a scrappy kid,” Langley head coach Travis Hess said. “He doesn’t even know who [former NBA player] Stacey Augmon is. We call him the ‘Plastic Man’ (Augmon’s nickname) sometimes because he gets his hands on loose balls, he baits kids into throwing that wing pass … and picks it off and takes it the other way.
“… He shot the ball well. He was a football player, so he’s just kind of getting his basketball legs back. If he can shoot like that every single night, we’ll be all right.”
Xavier Ryan scored seven points for Langley. Justin Galiani scored six points and grabbed eight rebounds, Brad Dotson finished with six points and five rebounds and Philip Novacki had three points and seven boards.
South Lakes struggled to score against Langley’s zone defense. The Seahawks finished the contest with 12 field goals and 28 turnovers. The Seahawks made only six of 21 free-throw attempts.
“It’s a different game if we make free throws,” South Lakes head coach Andrew Duggan said. “Free throws, unforced errors --- we’re just throwing the ball away. It’s the right idea with some of the passes we’re trying to make, especially against that zone, [but] we just threw the ball away too many times without much pressure on us.”
The 33 points allowed by Langley were a season-best for the Saxons and a season-low for South Lakes. Sophomore point guard Brandon Kamga led the Seahawks with 11 points.
“Defensively, I couldn’t be happier with holding them to 33 points,” Hess said. “Offensively, I thought we could have taken care of the ball a little better, I thought we could have executed a little better, I thought we could have finished in transition a little better, but to hold a team to 33 points in a high school basketball game; you’re going to win a lot of games if you can do that.”
Through six games, Langley is limiting opponents to 39.7 points per contest.
The Saxons will host Westfield at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 18.