North Point, Westlake compete in DMV Tip-Off Classic
St. Mary’s Ryken boys tops Westlake; push win streak to five
Less than 24 hours removed from a 66-65 win over Bishop Ireton in a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference contest, the St. Mary’s Ryken Knights came to the fifth annual DMV TipOff Classic at North Point High School on Saturday looking to maintain their momentum.
In their matchup with the Westlake Wolverines on Saturday, the Knights continued to show they are steadily on the rise, cruising to a convincing 77-59 win over the Wol- verines.
It was the fifth straight win for Ryken (6-1 over- all), which has proven that they have taken a big step forward in the past years of the program.
Thus far the Knights, who has already knocked off defending D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association champion H.D. Woodson this season, have shown they could be a key contender in the WCAC.
Behind suffocating team defense and balanced scoring, the Knights set the tone early on by jumping out to a commanding 22-9 at the end of the first quarter and didn’t look back. The lead stretched to 38-22 at halftime and 56-35 after three quarters.
“After a grueling win the night before I was really proud of our energy and effort. We knew it was going to be a challenge and the guys were up for it,” said St. Mary’s Ryken head coach Patrick Behan. “We were able to come back and stay mentally focused.”
Westlake (3-1), which suffered its first loss of the season, dug itself a huge hole in the first quarter and struggled from the field as the Knights held the Wolverines to just (19 of 62) 30.6 percent shoot- ing.
A much-improved St. Mary’s Ryken squad from a season ago was in full gear on Saturday as junior guard Wynston Tabbs, who was named the game’s Most Valuable Player,paved the way with 16 points. He scored 14 in the first half on penetration and effective outside shooting.
“We wanted to put pressure on the ball and get out in transition,” said Tabbs. “We do shell everyday in practice and go at each other, so we bring it in the games. We have a good variety if different people that do different things.”
Sophomore Mekhi Long showed his versatility, finishing with a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds.
“No matter who it is as long as we play within ourselves we can run with anybody,” said Long.
As the Knights delivered with 24 bench points in the game, having key
contributors to help carry the load will be a big plus as the season goes along. Nine players reached the scoring column in the win, including sophomore Jahmir Young with 12 points. Only one starter is a senior on the team.
The Knights shot 30 of 55 (54.5 percent) for the game and outscored Westlake 42-22 in the paint to go along with a 16-2 advantage in points on the fast break.
Despite playing without senior Everett Mouton since the start of the season, recovering from a knee injur y, Westlake was able to get production from seniors Jeff Simmons and Amir Lawrence, each of whom finished with 16 points.
“This was a test for us and helps us down the road when we face a tough team,” said Westlake head coach Edward Mouton. “We were forced to play at a higher level and teams in the WCAC play a style of basketball that will prepare us. We just came out too slow in the first quarter and it is hard to come back from. We have to get use to this type of stage.”
Westlake senior forward Amir Lawrence goes up for a layup over several St. Mary’s Ryken defenders in a nonconference boys basketball contest at Saturday’s DMV Tip-Off Classic at North Point High School. The Knights defeated Westlake 77-59.
Junior guard Wynston Tabbs of St. Mary’s Ryken goes up for a left-handed lay-up eluding the defense of Westlake’s Amir Lawrence in Saturday’s DMV Tip-Off Classic. Tabbs finished with 16 points and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.