The game was slipping away. In the first three minutes of the second half, the Falls Church High School boys varsity basketball team had seen their two-point halftime lead over Mt. Vernon turn into an eight-point deficit as the Majors lit off on a 12-2 run. After a three-pointer by Mt. Vernon’s Shameek DeLancey with 4:49 left in the third, Falls Church Head Coach Antonio Harris had seen enough. He called time out, huddled with his players and then watched as they stormed back to claim a thrilling 49-46 home victory last Tuesday night.
After the time out, the Jaguars went on a 7-0 run on the strength of four points from senior David Acosta and a three-pointer from sophomore Kyle Gotcher. The Majors threatened to pull away again, after a Marquel DeLancey three pushed the margin back to four, but an Acosta jumper with 30 seconds remaining in the quarter brought it back to two, then a layup by Evan Hansen to start the fourth tied the game at 39.
After the Majors again pulled ahead by three, a three-pointer by Antonio Harris Jr. with 5:20 remaining knotted the score at 42. With the teams trading baskets down the stretch, a layup by sophomore William Ford tied it at 46 apiece, and then with 2:10 to go, Falls Church snagged its first lead since halftime on a layup by Hansen from the blocks.
Clinging to that slim two-point lead, the Jaguars defense made the margin stand up against a final push by the Majors — a push made possible by four missed Falls Church free throws in the final minute. A foul shot by Ford with 48.9 seconds remaining extended the lead to three, and after a final flurry by the Majors ended with a missed three-pointer by Marquel DeLancey, the Jaguars came away with the victory.
The win by Falls Church (4-9, 1-3) is the first over a National District opponent this season, with the Jaguars coming off losses to Wakefield and Washington-Lee. This win certainly stands out on the season for a young Falls Church team that features three sophomores and a freshman in its regular rotation. The Majors flaunted a record of 9-3 coming into the game and were 3-1 in the National District.
Gotcher led the Jaguars with 13 points, nine of them from behind the arc, while Harris Jr. was right behind him with 12. Acosta rounded out the Jags scoring in double digits with 11 points.
Marquel DeLancey led the Majors with nine points.
The Jaguars next face Edison at home this Friday night. Tip off is at 7:45 p.m.