By Kevin O’Rourke
The Northwest boys basketball team has played two straight games that have come right down to the buzzer, but with different results.
On Dec. 30, the Jags beat Severn on a buzzer beater to earn their fourth victory, and on Thursday night the Jags were beaten on a buzzer beater, falling to Springbrook 58-55.
It was a game that Coach Robert Smith called a “tough loss” on Twitter. A game that the Jaguars lead by 12 midway through the fourth quarter. Ultimately, some careless ball handling and aggressive defense by the Blue Devils lead to Springbrook’s senior guard Donovan Walker putting up a three-pointer as time ran out.
The Jaguar faithful thought they had the game in hand after Springbrook played slow and ran 20 seconds off the clock before calling timeout. Springbrook lost possession on a back-court violation. Northwest ball with 23 second left, but Wilson’s jumper would not go and after a scramble for the ball between Northwest’s Reagan Zamena and Springbrook’s Vincent Brown, the refs called Springbrook with possession with 10 seconds remaining.
The Blue Devils worked the ball down court to Walker, who almost lost the ball after it was swatted by the Jags Justin Woodward, but Walker gathered the ball and with time running out hit a clutch jumper from beyond the arc with Woodard and Wilson in his face to win the game and break the Jags hearts.
The Jags lead 27-23 at halftime and as the third quarter ended the Jags were able extend their lead with an 12-point run to lead 51-39, but Springbrook’s Walker had nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, including the three-point buzzer beater. Walker’s effort was aided by junior forward E.J. Dyson who had seven is 18 points in the fourth quarter.
Jaguar senior Reagan Zamena and junior Tim Biakapia’s each had 12 points to lead the Jags. Senior point guard Jamar Wilson contributed 10 points, but went down in the fourth with a leg injury and missed some time. Without, Wilson’s sure-handed ball skills and lightning quickness, the Jags struggled and could only muster 10 points in the final stanza. Wilson would return late in the game.
The win improves Springbrook’s record to 5-1 and drops the Jaguars to 4-5 for the 2014-2015 campaign. Thursday night’s game was originally supposed to be the Jaguars’ season opener but it was rescheduled since it coincided with Northwest’s 4A championship football game in early December. As a result, the Jags will be right back at it on Friday, as they travel to face a 5-3 Macgruder team which defeated Clarksburg 59-56 on Wednesday night.
Top: Jamar Wilson (3) drives to the hoop for two of his 10 points in Thursday last second loss to Springbrook.
Next: Senior Tim Biakapia shoots one of his five field goals. He was also 2-2 from the free-throw line and finished with 12 points.
Next: Junior Nick Pinto drives for a fourth quarter lay-up.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.