Un­able to hold on

Ea­gles lead at half, but fall to Mus­tangs in Clas­sic

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MASON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

In the night­cap of the DMV Tip-Off Clas­sic on Satur­day, the North Point boys basketball team were able con­trol the first half as it led by dou­ble dig­its, tak­ing a 38-27 edge to the half ver­sus the vis­it­ing Bishop Mc- Na­mara.

How­ever, the Ea­gles were un­able to main­tain their stance in the fi­nal two quar­ters as the Mus­tangs of the Wash­ing­ton Catholic Ath­letic Con­fer­ence dom­i­nated on the re­bound­ing end and sec­ond-chance points en route to a 69-64 vic­tory over the Ea­gles at North Point High School in Wal­dorf.

It was the first win of the sea- son for the pri­vate school out­fit based in Forestville.

“We’ve played a tough sched­ule so far and we are just try­ing to get the kids ready for the hos- tile en­vi­ron­ments of the WCAC, but we also wanted to sched­ule tough games out of the con­fer- ence,” said McNa­mara head coach Martin Keith­line. “We have to un­der­stand this is a grind process. Our record may not in­di­cate how good we are right now, but we are learn­ing how to win.”

Af­ter outscor­ing the Ea­gles 27-12 in the third quar­ter, McNa­mara led 60-53 with 5 min­utes 27 sec­onds left in the game, but North Point later came to within 61-58 with un­der a minute re­main­ing.

Se­nior guard Jalen Gibbs, who fin­ished with a game-high 27 points, at­tempted a three to tie the game, but the shot hit the front of the rim. The Ea- gles had sev­eral chances to tie the game or cut the lead to one point, but could not come any closer and were forced to foul to stop the clock.

In the fi­nal sec­onds, 6-foot-9 for­ward Makhi Mitchell hit a pair of free throws to seal the game.

“Me and my brother work well to­gether and we com­mu­ni­cate with our team to get the ball in­side to us,” said Makhi Mitchell.

With a start­ing lineup that fea­tured all sopho­mores, the Mus­tangs were spear­headed by twin broth­ers Makhi (17 points, 17 re­bounds) and Makhel Mitchell (12 points, 19 re­bounds), who both de­liv­ered dou­ble-dou­ble per­for­mances.

Guard Johnathan McGriff fin­ished with 14 points, while Gar­rett Kirk­land and Bran­don Joyner with eight points each for McNa­mara.

“At half­time we went back into the locker room and talked and we came out a dif­fer­ent team in the sec­ond half,” said Makhel Mitchell, who fin­ished with five blocks. “We just kept crash­ing the boards and played hard. North Point was a tough team. We just wanted to get some key stops and we did that.”

North Point led 19-16 in the first quar­ter and scored 21 points in the sec­ond quar­ter. Gibbs paced the Ea­gles in the first two quar­ters with 15 points dur­ing that span.

For the sea­son, Gibbs is cur­rently lead­ing SMAC and is third in the area in scor­ing at 31.4 points a game.

“McNa­mara had some size and they were able to get a lot of sec­ond-chance shots,” said Gibbs. “We played a good game. The shots that we were hit­ting in the first half just didn’t go down in the sec­ond half.”

North Point, which dropped to 3-3 af­ter Mon­day’s 79-57 loss to Po­tomac of Prince Ge­orge’s County, shot just 21 of 62 (33.9 per­cent) for the game and made just seven field goals out of 32 at- tempts in the sec­ond half.

“They had too many sec­ond shots and we didn’t close off the mid­dle when they pen­e­trated,” said North Point head coach Jimmy Ball, whose team scored 27 points off of 18 McNa­mara turnovers. “This was a good ball game for us at the be­gin­ning of the year, we just have to learn from it. We have to re­bound bet­ter be­cause we are small, we had some chances to take some charges and we didn’t. Hats off to McNa­mara, but we will get bet­ter.”

North Point’s Ma­lik Lawrence fin­ished with 17 points, while Satchel Ball added 12 points.


North Point se­nior guard Jalen Gibbs drives to bas­ket as Johnathon McGriff of Bishop McNa­mara de­fends in Satur­day’s DMV Tip-Off Clas­sic at North Point High School in Wal­dorf. Gibbs fin­ished with a game-high 27 points in the 69-64 loss to the Mus­tangs


North Point sopho­more guard Ma­lik Lawrence fin­ished with 17 points, nail­ing three three-point­ers in the 69-64 loss to Bishop McNa­mara in Satur­day night’s DMV Tip-Off Clas­sic at North Point High School in Wal­dorf.

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