By Kevin O’Rourke
Friday night was senior night at Northwest and the Jags ended their regular season with a victory over the Blake Bengals, 62-58.
In a game of two evenly matched teams, the Jags came in with a 9-11 record and Blake came in with a 9-8-1 record, the difference was defense. After trailing by six at halftime the Jags came out and played staunch defense allowing Blake to score just 10 points in the third quarter while posting 20 points in the quarter to take a four point lead. Jag’s junior Tyrell Richardson had nine of his 11 points in the third quarter. However, it was the defensive efforts of seniors Jamar Wilson, Donnie Gaines, and Reagan Zamenda, and junior Tim Biakapia.
The Jags were led by junior Tim Biakapia, who had 15 points, and made five-of-eight from the foul line. Senior point guard Jamar Wilson helped spur the second half comeback with 14 points in the game, 11 in the second half. The Jags were 22 for 30 form the line and converted 73 percent of shots from the charity stripe.
The third quarter was the turning point in the game. With 6:28 remaining in the third and the Jags down 22-28, Northwest began a 13 point run. Blake led until 5:05 remaining in the third quarter when senior Donnie Gaines intercepted a pass and sped up-court, split defenders and gave Northwest the 30-28 lead on a finger-roll. The Jags would lead 35-28 with 3:34 remaining in the third quarter.
Northwest Head Coach Robert Smith praised his seniors after the game, “Our senior leadership, Jamar, Quincy, Reagan and Donnie did a fabulous job handling the ball pressure at the end. Blake is a good team, they fall back and play defense.”
Blake was led by Jamal Nganga who had 15 points, three field goals, a three-pointer and was six-for-six from the line. Blake’s Kobe Colston was also six-for-six from the line and with two three-pointers to finish with 12 points. Blake shot very well from the foul line, 22 of 24 for a 92 percent conversion rate. Six Blake players made all of their foul shots.
Northwest started the game with an all senior line up. “The seniors did a fantastic job tonight,” said Smith. “They all started and did a great job. It was nice because every senior got into the game and they did a nice job.”
The Jags finish the regular season with a 10-11 record overall, but 3-7 in the 4A West Division. The Jags will need to keep up the defense and continue to shoot well in the playoffs as they will face either 11-9 Clarksburg, 13-6 Quince Orchard, or 15-5 Gaithersburg. The Jags split the season series with Clarksburg 1-1, but were swept by both Quince Orchard and Gaithersburg. Magruder sits atop the division with an overall record of 17-3, 10-0 in the division, and Wootton is at the bottom of the division at 4-15 overall and 0-10 in the division.
Top: Northwest senior guard Donnie Gaines (11) intercepted a Blake pass and took it to the hole to give the Jags the lead in the third quarter.
Next: Jags senior point guard Jamar Wilson (3) lays in two of his 14 points, during Northwest’s third quarter run to take the lead.
Next: Northwest senior Quincy Ofori (5) drives to the basket for two of his six points in the Jags 62-58 victory over Blake.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.