ROCKVILLE – Magruder extended its winning streak to 31 games in Monday’s 69-44 home victory over archrival Sherwood.
Magruder senior point guard J.J. Epps led four Colonels in double figures with 17 points. Justin Witmer scored 14 points and Nick Griffin added 13 points. Brian Coleman finished with 12 points.
Magruder (5-0) outscored Sherwood in each quarter and led 36-20 at halftime. The Colonels held the Warriors to 24 points in the second half.
“Our defense was great tonight,” Magruder head coach Dan Harwood said afterward. “We had unbelievable defense.”
Sherwood (2-3) suffered their third consecutive loss after opening the season with a pair of wins. The Warriors were led by Joey Destefano who scored a team-high 10 points in the loss. Ellis Dozier and Brandon Loiocono each finished with eight points for the Warriors.
Griffin, a George Washington signee, finished with three 3-pointers and Matt Ricketts added a pair of treys for the Colonels. Magruder travels to Springbrook on Wednesday.
“I know Springbrook is a big team and they’re competitive,” said Griffin, who recently surpassed the 1,000 point plateau and became the school’s all-time leading scorer, “so we’re just going to try to come and practice tomorrow and prepare the best we can and try to get the win on Wednesday.”
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However, the 6-foot-4 forward scored ten points after intermission to help Damascus cruise to a 54-38 road victory over the Jaguars in a battle of unbeatens.
“She’s definitely one of the best players in the county and she’ll be one of the toughest we face all year,” Northwest second-year head coach Todd Ostrom said afterward. “
Northwest junior guard Kendra Meredith scored a game-high 21 points for the Jaguars.
Meanwhile, Sam Day led Damascus with 15 points and Lauren Derby added 11 points in the victory that helped the Swarmin’ Hornets improve to 3-0.
Day, the team’s leading scorer, suffered a knee injury late in the fourth quarter and left the game. She missed last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Prange, a Division I prospect, scored the game’s first basket after halftime to stretch the Damascus lead to 33-20 early in the third period. She also used her height advantage to grab several rebounds.
“I’m one of the bigger pieces in the puzzle and so I definitely have a more bigger role [than last season],” said Prange, who holds scholarship offers from American and George Mason.
Damascus was able to use their height advantage to outmuscle the Jaguars inside the paint.
Northwest (3-1) returned four starters from last season’s team that finished 20-5 and reached the Class 4A West Region final where they fell to eventual state champion Gaithersburg.
Ostrom said his team has a difficult week ahead with games against Churchill, Gaithersburg and Walter Johnson.
“[This] week is going to be big for us and hopefully we’ll come out on top,” he said.
“We get great crowds, the music playing, all the students standing up so it’s a good atmosphere,” said Magruder head coach Dan Harwood, “but I really appreciate [DeMatha head coach] Mike [Jones] coming out here and they handed it to us last year.”
The Colonels avenged a 17-point loss to the Hyattsville private school powerhouse in last year’s season opener with a solid defensive effort against DeMatha’s 6-foot-9 center BeeJay Anya.
In last year’s contest, Anya finished with a game-high 20 points but the
“Our defensive effort was fantastic tonight and we were all over BeeJay,” said Harwood. “He killed us last year. We weren’t ready for him.”
The Paul VI Panthers got off to a slow start in Monday night’s scrimmage against the Magruder Colonels but in the end their spirit and athleticism prevailed and earned them three winning periods to Magruder’s two.
“We started off a little bit flat,” said Paul VI Head Coach Glenn Farello. “We need to be a little bit more disruptive defensively.”
The Colonels held fast against the Panthers in the first two periods, keeping the ball in their court and playing impeccable defense despite their disadvantage in height. Senior point guard J.J. Epps played unrelentingly, stuffing offenders several heads taller than him and driving fast and furious layups. Senior Nick Griffin put the ball in the net often and kept his team’s momentum going.
“They really brought it to us,” said Farello. “They’re a really great team, that’s why we wanted to come up here tonight. Coach Harwood’s team always does a really great job of moving the ball. We were a step slow, but fortunately in the second half the kids picked up their intensity level. In the end we were able to get our size and our running game going a little bit and we were a bit more disruptive defensively.
The Panthers rapidly stepped up the pace in the third period and went on to win the last three. Quadree Smith and Jamall Robinson were unstoppable with the drives, and Kevin Dorsey nailed several shots from outside the three point line.