Knapp does it all to lead Lions to win
JEWISH DAY 76, SANDY SPRING 65
Just when it seemed as if Bryan Knapp had done everything, as if there was nothing more he could do to win a basketball game, he planted his right foot into the hardwood and took off.
For 31 minutes Knapp was a scorer, a defender, a distributor and a rebounder for Jewish Day. But for this critical play, with the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference hanging in the balance, he was a wide receiver running a fly pattern into the open floor. Nadav Kalender lobbed the pass, and Knapp caught it over his shoulder and converted a layup through contact to put the Lions permanently ahead in a 76-65 win over Sandy Spring in Rockville on Saturday night.
Knapp, who is signed to play at Cornell next year, finished with a game-high 40 points. The Wildebeests (24-7) were led by Malakai Parker’s 27 points, but they weren’t enough to edge Jewish Day (24-3).
“It means everything. It just really means everything,” Knapp said. “We worked so hard for this, and I just couldn’t be happier for this win for all the seniors and the whole team.”
Knapp started a bit slow but had 23 points by halftime. He collected them by rising up off the dribble, cutting into open space and canning catch-andshoot threes. But the game was still tied at 31 at intermission, in large part because of Parker’s four first-half threes, and Knapp challenged his team at the break.
“I told them that we were playing horrible and that it was still tied,” Knapp said. “So if we just fixed our stupid mistakes, we’d be able to win the game.”
His teammates responded by involving themselves in the offense. Daniel Zweben scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, Kalender netted 10 of his 14, and Knapp applied the finishing touches.
Holding a one-possession lead in the final minutes, Knapp danced around Sandy Spring defenders to kill time. Then he deftly cut backdoor for a reverse layup, converted off Kalender’s football pass and added two more points at the buzzer for good measure.
After a hoard of Jewish Day fans mobbed Knapp at midcourt, Lions Coach David McCloud pulled his star player into a bear hug by the team’s bench.
“You did it,” McCloud said, leaning close into Knapp’s ear. “You wanted it, and you did it.”
McLean girls beat Oakcrest
Sydney Lewis crossed to her left, crossed back to her right and then euro-stepped through the lane before banking a layup off the backboard and into the net.
After the game, the freshman had no clue she had scored 16 points. And she couldn’t explain where the move came from. All Lewis was sure of was that McLean School had won the PVAC championship in its first visit to the title game. The Mustangs did that with a 47-39 win over Oakcrest as Jessica Baskett added a game-high 16 points.
Oakcrest (15-8) was paced by 12 points from Colleen Beatty and 11 from Julia Rudy. But the Chargers could not overcome airtight defense by McLean School (21-2) in a fourth quarter in which the Mustangs held a 20-10 advantage.
“This game showed how tough we are,” Lewis said. “We were down, we were up, but we stuck together, and I think we all knew we could do this from the start of the season.”