West­lake boys trounce Gaithers­burg

Three other Charles County teams fall

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

On the open­ing day of the Hol- iday Hoops Clas­sic at West­lake High School, the first three Charles County teams to take the floor all tasted de­feat. So it was up to the Wolver­ines boys squad to sal­vage a hint of dig­nity for the county teams in the fi­nale by trounc­ing Gaithers- burg, 77-61.

West­lake (5-1) has re­lied pri­mar- ily on Jeff Sim­mons for of­fen­sive pro­duc­tion through the early stag- es of the sea­son and on Wednes- day evening the Wolver­ines se­nior scored 16 points in the first half and fin­ished with 21. But in the sec­ond half he got am­ple help from Amir Lawrence, who also fin­ished with 21 points.

“I thought we did a good job mov­ing the ball around tonight,” said West­lake coach Ed Mou­ton. “When we move the ball and pass as well as we did tonight and at­tack the basket, we’re pretty tough to beat. We got plenty of scor­ing in the first half from Jeff and then in the sec­ond half we kept at­tack- ing the basket and got some easy buck­ets.”

Sim­mons, who is av­er­ag­ing near- ly 23 points per game for the Wolver­ines this sea­son, set the tone in the first half by hit­ting two three­p­oint field goals in the first quar­ter and then an­other in the sec­ond. With the Gaithers­burg de­fense now fo­cused on lim­it­ing Sim­mons from the perime­ter, Lawrence and his Wolver­ines team­mates were more adapt at at­tack­ing the basket.

“I felt pretty con­fi­dent in the first half,” Sim­mons said. “When I hit my shots from the out­side, ev­ery­thing started to open up in­side. I fo­cused more on pass­ing the ball to my team­mates in the sec­ond half. Amir and the other guys did a great job at­tack­ing the basket. When we play like we did tonight, we’re not con­cerned about any­one.”

In the girls game that pre­ceded

it, the host West­lake girls dom- inated the first half against Chan­cel­lor (VA), but the Fred- er­icks­burg team owned the sec­ond half. Af­ter the Wolver- ines lim­ited the Charg­ers to a mea­ger 14 points in the first half, Chan­cel­lor matched that pro­duc­tion in the third quar­ter to get within three points and then lim­ited West­lake to a grand sum of five points in the fourth quar­ter en route to a 4836 victor y.

“They just wanted it more than we did,” said West­lake (33) coach Marvin Bin­ion. “We did not do a good job on the boards. They beat us to ev­ery loose ball. We did not want it as much as they did. They dom­i­nated the boards. They got the of­fen­sive re­bounds and sec­ond chances. We didn’t re­bound and we set­tled for too many out­side shots.”

West­lake ju­nior Jas­mine Ghol­son led the Wolver­ines with 12 points de­spite be­ing held score­less in the fourth quar­ter. Af­ter­ward, Ghol­son grad­u­ally lost her com­po­sure while speak­ing about a game that her squad al­lowed to slip away. In­stead of fac­ing Calvert in Thurs­day’s fi­nal, the Wolver- ines would get McDonough in the early con­so­la­tion.

“We didn’t play our best,” Ghol­son said. “They def­i­nitely played harder. They got the re­bounds and we didn’t. They got a lot of sec­ond-chance bas- kets. We didn’t run our of­fense in the fourth quar­ter. We have to re­group and come back. We need to win [the con­so­la­tion] to get our con­fi­dence back.”

In the open­ing game of the day on Wed­nes­day, the Mc- Donough High School girls bas­ket­ball team forged a 26-21 half­time lead over Calvert. But the Cava­liers outscored the Rams 13-3 in the third quar­ter to take a four-point lead into the fi­nal frame and the Prince Fred­er­ick school even­tu­ally de­parted with a 49-43 victory.

Calvert’s Tatyana Jones led the Cava­liers rally with 13 points, while Jalaysia Weems added 12 and Alexis Com­modore had 10. McDonough’s Madi­son Tomp­kins led all scor­ers with 16 points, while Rams team­mate Jordan Mc- Duffie added 11 in a los­ing cause. Calvert was slated to face Chan­cel­lor in Thurs­day’s cham­pi­onship game, while McDonough would play West­lake in the con­so­la­tion.

In the other boys game on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, St. Charles (4-2) was also caught in a de­fen­sive strug­gle with Maine-Endwell (N.Y.) and the Spar­tans even­tu­ally fell, 47-43. While Maine-Endwell ad­vanced to Thurs­day’s cham­pi­onship game against host West­lake, St. Charles would re­turn to face Gaithers­burg in the boys con­so­la­tion game.


West­lake High School se­nior Jeff Sim­mons, right, scored 21 points on Wed­nes­day to lead the Wolver­ines to a 77-61 victory over Gaithers­burg in one of two Hol­i­day Hoop Clas­sic semi­fi­nals.

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