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McLean boys basketball teams wins Fairfax Hoop Fest

Highlanders score final 25 points of the championship game

Overall, the McLean Highlanders finished 3-0 to win the Fairfax Holiday Hoopfest with victories in three different manners – the first on a last-second shot, a solid 13-point semifinal triumph, then a blowout in the championship game.

The eight-team, three-day boys competition was played at Fairfax High School Dec. 28-30.

In the final, McLean (8-4) defeated the host Fairfax Lions, 61-34, by outscoring the team 25-0 over the final 9 minutes and 30 seconds. Fairfax (7-3) did not score in the fourth quarter.

Isaac Bell scored 25 points (two three-pointers) for McLean and had eight rebounds and three assists in the final to lead the way, and Caffery Eaton (three threes) had 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Reece Bower scored six, Jeremy Fuchs had five points and two assists, and Max Mullen scored four with four steals.

"We executed well offensively in the three games, knocked down big shots and we played hard on defense," McLean coach Mike O'Brien said. "Isaac Bell led us in the final with a big game."

McLean shot 48 percent from the floor in the championship game.

The title contest was close until McLean amassed that 25-0 run to finish the contest. There were seven ties and eight lead changes in the first half and four more lead swaps in the third period. McLean took the lead for good at 34-33 in the third quarter on a jumper by Simas Kacerauskas.

Bell was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the Hoopfest and Eaton and Fuchs were chosen to the all-tournament team.

Bell scored 17 points in McLean's 66-53 semifinal win over Robinson and eight in a first-round 54-51 win over Princess Anne, when Fuchs made the game-winning three-pointer in the final half minute.

Fuchs scored 18 against Robinson, Mullen added seven and Eaton six. Mullen scored 14 against Princess Anne, Bowser scored nine and Kacerauskas seven.

"Our scoring has been well balanced so far," O'Brien said. 

NOTE: Fuchs suffered a shoulder injury with 3:20 to play in the second quarter of the championship game and did not return. The senior missed all of last season with a knee injury. He has been a leading scorer this season. "Jeremy has really been playing well for us," O'Brien said.