Long Reach Lightning Varsity Basketball

The Lightning’s Playoff Run

Neal Rodriques, Writer

The Long Reach Lightning varsity basketball team was strong this season, making it a season to remember by playing through the second round of the playoffs, where they lost to Atholton 44-65. 

Long Reach held a record of 12-6 overall and 9-4 against other Howard County teams. Not only were they a good team with a good record, but they were also consistent. The Lightning haven’t lost two games in a row in the entire season, including playoffs. They boasted win streaks of two, three, and four games, with just one loss in between those streaks. They scored the fourth most points in the twelve team Howard County region, had the third highest winning percentage in the region, had the third most wins, and third least losses. 

Junior Shooting Guard Christian Dean was 4th in the division in scoring averaging 13.6 points per game. The Lightning are ranked 16th out of the 48 teams in Maryland Class 3A behind Howard County’s Marriotts Ridge and Atholton. They lost to Atholton in the second round of the Class 3A State Championships. 

The first playoff game was against Wild Lake and it was a 62-59 win for the Lightning. Long Reach’s Christian Dean put up a clean 20 points for the Lightning on 40% shooting. Junior Michael Reid was the only other player on the Lightning with double digit points, having twelve points on four buckets with 36% accuracy. He also made the most three pointers on the best accuracy, making 2 out of 3. Christian Dean added to his twenty point night posting rebound, steal, and assist totals of 10, 6, and 5 respectively; he led the team in all of those categories. Christian Dean also contributed with three deflections and one block, tying for first in both of these categories.

Unfortunately, the team lost against Atholton in round two of the playoffs 44-65. The lead scorers were Caden Walker with 14 on 57% and Cameron Valentine with 11 on 67%. The Lightning had a clear problem on offense, committing 37 turnovers to Atholton’s 18. Their defense was also struggling, giving up 53% of shots while only scoring 38% of shots themselves. The Lightning were also getting peppered with 3s, allowing Atholton to score 12 of 23 three pointers, with an accuracy better than the most elite NBA shooters, although granted, the NBA three point line is a lot farther. The Lightning only got 10 threes off, but still made a good four of those. Atholton had 4 of their players reach double digits, with their leading scorer getting 18 points on 83% accuracy and allowing him to shoot 8 free throws. As a whole, Althoton proved a worthy adversary for The Lightning. 

Despite losing in the second round, the team played their hearts out and took their season a long way—and if the players continue to get better, they will be a force to be reckoned with.