North Point boys fend off Westlake
Eagles win fifth straight game to end regular season; Anderson scores 45 as Warriors beat Spartans
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.
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.