Boykin and Ea­gles boys fol­low girls’ lead with win

KING’S CHRIS­TIAN 79, GRACE CHRIS­TIAN 71

The Washington Post Sunday - - ALLMETSPORTS.COM - MISAL BAS­KET­BALL FI­NALS BY DAN ROTH dan.roth@wash­post.com

Long af­ter King’s Chris­tian lost to Avalon in the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent School Ath­letic League tour­na­ment in the semi­fi­nals last sea­son, the heart­break lin­gered with An­dre Boykin.

“It was crush­ing,” Boykin said. “I cried and cried for as long as I could cry.”

Ever since, the se­nior had been hy­per fo­cused on one thing: win­ning the MISAL ti­tle.

Boykin poured in 29 points Satur­day night against Grace Chris­tian and added sev­eral key re­bounds, blocks and steals to power the Ea­gles to a 79-71 ti­tle-game vic­tory at Riverdale Bap­tist.

“All I could think about was this mo­ment right here,” Boykin said as he held the trophy in one hand and ex­changed high-fives with the other. “I was ready from the time I woke up. I just knew it. It was mine.”

But it wasn’t all smooth sail­ing for the Ea­gles (18-1). They trailed 22-12 af­ter the first quar­ter, and point guard D’An­gelo Tull, who had scored 44 points to help King’s Chris­tian ad­vance to the championship, picked up three of­fen­sive fouls.

“When D’An­gelo got in foul trou­ble, they told me I had to step up. Me and An­dre had to step up,” said Dee Barnes, who scored 23 points in the game and was named league MVP after­ward.

King’s Chris­tian came storm­ing back via a 28-point sec­ond quar­ter, with Boykin scor­ing 11 and Barnes adding eight to give the Ea­gles a 40-35 lead at the half.

The Ea­gles led by seven af­ter the third, but Grace Chris­tian (14-12) went on a 15-6 run, led by Josh Jones, to open the fourth and take a 68-67 lead.

Jones scored eight in the quar­ter and 21 in the game to lead the charge for the Knights, but the Ea­gles an­swered the surge with an 8-1 run of their own, clos­ing out the game with Tull (17 points) and Boykin go­ing a com­bined 6 for 6 from the line.

Dou­glas helps deny Cougars

The King’s Chris­tian girls had their hands full with a six-player Calver­ton squad that showed no signs of fa­tigue de­spite be­ing un­der­manned in the first fi­nal of the night. The game went down to the wire, but the Ea­gles held on for a 45-43 vic­tory.

Se­nior Olivia O’Brien, who never took a rest un­til foul­ing out with 14 sec­onds re­main­ing, scored 23 for the Cougars, but the Ea­gles (19-7) slowed her down in the sec­ond half. Fresh­man guard Jalen Dou­glas was tasked with guard­ing the Cougars’ point-for­ward for most of the sec­ond half.

“I’ve al­ways wanted to check [O’Brien],” Dou­glas said. “It helps my team a lot if I do my job, and we all had to do our jobs in or­der to win that game, and we did.”

The fresh­man, who played varsity as an eighth-grader, also found her­self at the free throw line in the fi­nal sec­onds with the game tied at 43. She sank the first of two, de­spite a bois­ter­ous Calver­ton (11-7) stu­dent sec­tion.

“They can make all the noise they want, but if I fo­cus on the rim, that’s where I’ve got to be,” Dou­glas said. “It’s [all about] rou­tine.”

Team­mate Elena del Busto, who was named league MVP af­ter the game, grabbed the re­bound off the sec­ond free throw and was sub­se­quently fouled. The se­nior from Spain hit 1 of 2, and Calver­ton couldn’t con­nect be­fore the buzzer sounded.

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