"It's All About The Game"

After early challenges, Montrose is making it happen






Ron Bailey, Publisher

Mustangs have made up for early condition.

February 4, 2014 - When Montrose Christian School made a coaching change after last season, many thought the Mustangs would fall into the abyss of high school basketball, no longer commanding a name for themselves amongst the pre-collegiate elite. A recent look at the program disproves that.

Now headed by Bryan Bartley, MCS (13-5) has basically risen from the ashes, as under his stead they've contended with a vastly depleted infastructure; the prior coach, Stu Vetter, left and according to sources outside the program with him went all the underpinnings necessary for a basketball program - basics such as workout equipment, jersey's, warm ups and even basketballs. Bartley's cupboard was spare.

Justice Bartley, scoring around the tin.

The Mustangs suffered some predictable early losses - for instance their close, NHSHF loss to nationally recognized Our Savior New American (NY) and a local fall to Takoma Academy (MD). A new roster, coaching staff and program takes time to jell. Recently the school has started to take off, with last month's 115-43 pasting of Grace Christian Academy (MD) a prime example.

MCS had their way with a Knight side that wasn't as talented, yet was not beret of it. Mustang sophomore center LeAndre Thomas led all scorers with 23 points, followed by senior forward Ray Doby's 18. Junior guard Allonzo Trier followed with 17 points, and senior guard Josh Ajayi had but four, but provided energy, effort and defensive pressure.

Jordan White dropped 15 points for Grace, afterwared 2-4 on the season. The Knights faced a MCS blitzkrieg, going down 35-7 after the first quarter, 65-10 at halftime.

MCS, one of the most talented teams in the DMV, having since beaten Maret 61-42, Trinity Christian 64-40 and Palotti 77-50, travels to West Springfield (VA) February 11th.

Player Notes:

Thomas, the 6-9, 240 pound pivot from St. Petersburg, Florida is "Getting better" shared Bartley. "It's taken a lot of time. The expectations for him are very high".

Strong and fairly agile, Thomas will run the floor, rebound and defend. This Sunshine State guy said of his back to the basket game "It's getting better. I need to spend more time in the gym" perfecting it. Brantley indicated Thomas has not received any offers, but Florida schools are sniffing.

The team is led by all-everything Trier, a guy that shoots, drives and finishes, seemingly at will. "He means a lot to our team" said Bartley. "He's our leading scorer and has elite ability".

His coach wants Trier to "work on his mid-range" shooting, and believes the well-traveled basketball wunderkind will, as "He wants to be the best player in the country".

Trier does not want for recruiting love, as teams from the BIG EAST, ACC, Pac Ten and Big 12 have all offered.

Radford, Mount St. Mary's , Longwood and others covet Justice Bartley. The 6'7", 215 pound guard is aggressive and athletic. Expect him to work on dribbling in traffic and shooting out past mid-range in college.

From South Carolina hails Jarrell Brantley, a rugged 6'6, 210 pound forward that loves finish, run the floor, rebound and defend. Niagara has offered Brantley, while Longwood is showing interest. An increased focus on midrange and long distance shooter will help his game.

Standing 6'0" and weighing around 165 pounds, Ajayi, a local player from Beltsville, insisted he's a solid shooter, but admitted more consistency in that department will be helpful. He loves to pressure the ball, and will find teammates for scores.

Ajayi, Brantley and Bartley are all Class of 2014 guys.


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