North Point boys fend off West­lake

Ea­gles win fifth straight game to end reg­u­lar sea­son; An­der­son scores 45 as War­riors beat Spar­tans

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

In a game that was domi- nated for 3 1/2 quar­ters by the North Point boys bas- ket­ball team, Fri­day night’s South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Po­tomac Divi- sion con­test ul­ti­mately came down to free throw shoot- ing, ball se­cu­rity and get­ting stops de­fen­sively.

Lead­ing by as many as 22 points to end the third, North Point’s back­court of se­nior Jalen Gibbs and sopho­more Ma­lik Lawrence each fin­ished with 19 points apiece, hit­ting a com­bined 8 of 10 free throws in the fourth, as the Ea­gles held off a fu­ri­ous late rally by vis- it­ing West­lake for a 71-66 vic- tory on se­nior night.

Gibbs, who was one of six se­niors to be hon­ored be­fore the game, con­nected on 6 of 10 free throws for the game, in­clud­ing 5 of 6 in the fourth. Gibbs is the state’s lead­ing scorer at 28.4 points a game to go along with 10.2 re­bounds per game.

“This was a spe­cial win for us and it shows that we are ready for the play­offs, we are learn­ing how to ex­e­cute in the end,” said Gibbs, who has scored 1,480 ca­reer points. “We gave up a 20-point lead, but to hold West­lake off for the win means a lot.”

North Point (13-9, 8-4 SMAC Po­tomac), aveng- ing a 75-71 road loss to West­lake on Jan. 25, ends the reg­u­lar sea­son on a five-game win streak as it gears up for the Class 4A East Re­gion play­offs next week.

“This win wasn’t easy we were up by 20 [points] at one point and West­lake made a hell of a come­back and just ran out of gas and we were lucky to come away with this one,” North Point head coach Jimmy Ball said. “This was a gut check for us and Jalen, whose been for me for four years, stood tall and helped lead us to this win.”

West­lake (16-6, 9-3), the Po­tomac Divi­sion cham- pion, caps off the reg­u­lar sea­son on a two-game los­ing skid. The Wolver­ines travel to Hunt­ing­town, the Ch­e­sa­peake Divi­sion cham­pion, for the SMAC cham­pi­onship game, sched­uled for 6:30 p.m. Wed­nes­day, be­fore pre­par­ing for the post­sea­son in the 2A South Re­gion.

“We know this is al­ways a ri­valry game and North Point brings their best and they were de­ter­mined tonight,” said West­lake head coach Ed­ward Mou­ton, whose team outscored the Ea­gles 31-14 in the fourth. “Be­cause of our slow start we put our­selves in a hole and it was hard to get out of, so credit to them. They ex­e­cuted their game plan at the be­gin­ning. We cut it to two points late, but when they got in the dou­ble bonus free throws were the dif­fer­ence.”

North Point got out to a quick start, tak­ing a 21-8 in the first quar­ter and led 37-25 at half­time. The Ea­gles pushed the lead to 57-35 af­ter three and led 59-40 with four min­utes re­main­ing in reg­u­la­tion.

The Wolver­ines did not go away, ex­plod­ing for a 13-0 run that was capped by a three-pointer from ju­nior Jai­mon Cheek to cut the Ea­gles deficit to six points at the 2:45 mark.

The Wolver­ines came to within 60-58 on pair of free throws by ju­nior An­thony Davis with 2:06 left.

On the en­su­ing pos­ses­sion, Gibbs scored a layup on a feed from sopho­more Satchell Ball (12 points), who had four threes in the game, to push the lead back to four with 1:45 to go.

The Ea­gles took a 6458 lead with 1:37 left, but West­lake an­swered back to come to within 64-62 on an Amir Lawrence (game­high 21 points) with one minute to go.

Af­ter Ma­lik Lawrence pushed the lead to 66-62 on a pair of free throws, West­lake se­nior guard Jeff Sim­mons (20 points) was fouled on a three-point at­tempt and nailed 2 of 3 free throws to bring the Wolver­ines to 66-64 with 40 sec­onds re­main­ing.

Lawrence came back with two more free throws to give North Point a 68-64 lead with 35.4 sec­onds left.

West­lake came to within 68-66 with 26 ticks left on a bucket by ju­nior Jonathan Barnes, but did not come any closer as Gibbs made three of four free throws to seal the win.

The Ea­gles made 16 of 22 (72 per­cent) free throws for the game. Ju­nior for­ward Micah Camp­bell was a force in­side with 13 points on the night.

“The se­niors came in with a lot of emo­tion and we wanted to get some re­venge from los­ing to West- lake the first time,” Ma­lik Lawrence said. “We are on a five-game win streak to end the reg­u­lar sea­son and now we are ready for the play­offs.”

La Plata boys edge St. Charles

The War­riors pulled off a 73-69 over­time up­set of the vis­it­ing Spar­tans in Fri­day night’s SMAC Po­tomac Divi­sion con- test to cap off the reg­u­lar sea­son.

Lead­ing the of­fen­sive charge for the War­riors was ju­nior Justen An­der­son, who led all scor­ers with a ca­reer-high 45 points in the victor y.

La Plata (6-16, 3-9) snapped St. Charles’ eightgame win streak.

The War­riors trailed the Spar­tans by 13 points en­ter­ing the fourth quar­ter, but An­der­son drained a three-pointer with 25 sec­onds left in reg­u­la­tion to put the hosts ahead by 61-59.

With three sec­onds left, St. Charles (16-6, 8-4), which was with­out lead­ing scorer Shiloh Beale tied the game at 61 on a pair of free throws by Der­rick Carter to force over­time.

In the over­time pe­riod, La Plata outscored the Spar­tans 12-8 to se­cure the win.

PHOTO BY WAL­LACE BAR­RON

North Point se­nior Jalen Gibbs shoots a floater in the lane in Fri­day night’s SMAC Po­tomac Divi­sion boys bas­ket­ball con­test. Gibbs fin­ished with 19 points and seven re­bounds in the Ea­gles 71-66 vic­tory.

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