St. Albans Basketball celebrated the last day of classes before winter break by putting on a three-point shooting display that would rival any holiday light show in the area. Five different STA shooters hit a total of ten threes, many of them from well beyond the arc, that energized a festive home student cheering section. Sophomore Landon Mills led the blitz with four three-pointers, Miles Hicks hit three, and Caden Diggs, Jack Sabel and Kendall Weaver each had one.
Both teams took some time to find their offensive games early as STA led 11-9 at the end of a low-scoring first quarter. The Grasshoppers livened things up in the second with high flying drives to the rim punctuated with some thundering dunks. The red-clad Bulldogs tightened their defense midway through the second and started to find their touch offensively. Mills and Miles Hicks each hit their first threes of the night and Caden Diggs asserted himself with several strong drives to the basket including one with two seconds left that got him to the foul line where he sunk both free throws to send the game into halftime tied at 25.
The third quarter was closely contested for the first four minutes as both teams opened up their transition games and traded highlight-reel dunks and long-range shots. STA Trailed 37-33 with 4:30 left in the third when Mills was fouled on a three-point attempt. He made all three free throws to move the Bulldogs to within one point then, after a missed GDS three, Hicks made a spinning drive into the lane and kicked out to Diggs for a three from the right corner. That gave STA its first lead of the quarter at 39-37 and they never looked back. Sabel extended the lead to four with a baseline drive and reverse layup. After the teams traded baskets, Hicks spun into the lane again, but this time hit the shot himself instead of kicking out. After another GDS miss, Diggs hit a long two to extend the lead to six. The Grasshoppers called timeout to slow STA’s momentum but coming out of the timeout the Bulldogs were reinvigorated defensively. After an STA steal Senior Julian Matthews was fouled on a layup and converted the 3-point play with a successful free throw. The Bulldogs turned GDS over again and Matthews converted another layup for STA’s first double-digit lead 50-39. After another GDS miss Hicks hit a 23-footer in transition on the left wing and Mills followed that with a three from the right corner. Sabel finished the Bulldogs’ third quarter scoring with a layup in transition to give them a 58-45 lead. Hicks and Diggs fueled the 34-point third quarter outburst with 7 points each and Mills and Sabel added 6 points apiece.
Mills dashed any GDS hopes of a comeback with back-to-back threes to open the fourth quarter. The slippery sophomore used a Matthews screen to free himself for a 22-footer in the right corner on the opening possession. After a GDS miss the Grasshoppers fouled Junior Luke Razi in transition and Coach Johnson called a 30-second timeout to draw up an inbounds play. Implementing their coach’s instructions Kendall Weaver set a screen for Mills at the top of the key and Razi found him with a perfect pass from the baseline. Mills drilled a 25-footer that brought down the house and put the Bulldogs up 64-45. With no quit in their game, GDS fought throughout the quarter and got the lead down to 8 at 78-70 with 1:11 left. But Diggs hit an acrobatic layup off the press break while being fouled and made his free throw. Sabel hit two more free throws to provide the final margin. Diggs scored seven points in the quarter for a game-high 18, Hicks hit a three to give him 16 on the night, Mills finished with 15 and Sabel had 14. Matthews and Elliott Eaton complemented their strong low post defense with 7 and 6 points, respectively. The Bulldogs are 4-1 on the season and come right back to Martin Gym Saturday afternoon for a 1:45pm tipoff with Bard Early College.
Located in Washington D.C., St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.