For the second year in a row, the Seneca Valley Screaming Eagles will play in the 3A West Regional Championship game, but this year they will play on their home court in Germantown.
The Eagles dispatched the Oakdale Bears Wednesday night with a 62-50 victory earning the second-straight to the regional championship appearance.
After a first quarter in which both teams played pretty evenly, as they traded four- and five-point runs to finish the first eight minutes with Oakdale leading by two, 11-9, the Screaming Eagles settled in and began to feed “Q.”
Seneca Valley senior Quentin “Q” Twyman lead his teammates on a 17-7 run in the second quarter. Twyman had eight of his 22 points in the second quarter. “Quentin came out focused on and on fire,” said Seneca Valley Head Coach Brian Humphrey. “We were patient tonight, especially from the second quarter on, we really worked the ball inside to ‘Q’ and he delivered.”
Twyman has been owning the baseline for the Eagles all season and Wednesday night was no exception. He would post up, get a feed from a teammate and use his size and power to move to the hoop. “I had to keep posting up strong for my team,” said Twyman. “My teammates were looking for me and I was getting good looks. I wasn’t trying to force anything. I feel comfortable along the baseline. I know where I am, it is my sweet spot.”
Twyman and junior Brandon Simpson have been trading off being the leading scorer for this Seneca Valley team all year. In Monday’s 2nd round playoff victory over Westminster, it was Simpson scoring 23 points, Wednesday night versus Oakdale it was Twyman leading with 22 points.
The combination of feeding “Q” and good team defense has been a winning one for the Eagles this season, but Coach Humphrey believes it all starts with stops, and he preaches team defense. “I was up until about 2:00 am Monday night watching tape of Oakdale after our Westminster game. I watched three Oakdale games, and we went over their plays in great detail yesterday, so that everybody knew exactly what their plays were. When we can play defense the way we did tonight and frustrate teams – and they are a great offensive team – it leads to our success on the offensive side.”
That defense held the Bears to just two free throws and one field goal for 7:40 seconds of the second quarter. Had it not been for a late three-pointer from Oakdale’s Sean Jodrie Seneca would have taken an 11 point lead into halftime. Jodrie would lead the Bears with 18 points. He would have help from Tyler Horning, who had 17 points including two three-pointers.
Seneca had three players in double-digits, besides Twyman’s 22 point effort, juniors Simpson and Kareem Matthew added 11 points each.
Last March, Seneca fell to Linganore in the regional title game. Now, the 20-4 Eagles will host Frederick County’s Tuscarora High School at 7:00 pm on Friday, March 4. Tuscarora defeated Linganore 58-45 Wednesday night.
The Titans will come to Germantown with a record of 20-4 and the knowledge that they’ve already beaten their hosts once this year. The two teams met over the Holiday Break in the Montgomery County/Frederick County Challenge Holiday Tournament on December 28, 2015, and the Titans came out on top 64-57.
“Anytime you’ve seen a team before, and you have film on them it helps,” said Humphrey. “But, they have really gone on a run since we played them in December.” Tuscarora has won 12 of 14 games since playing Seneca Valley and is riding a four-game winning streak since losing to Quince Orchard on February 18.
However, Seneca's Simpson says Friday will be different. “When we played them earlier we didn’t play our regular game. I didn’t play well. Kareem [Matthew] was our big scorer. Q and I didn’t play well. It was basically just Kareem playing one-on-five, we didn’t have his back, but we will have his back it this time,” said Simpson.
Top: Seneca Valley’s tight defense can lead to higher offensive output. Seneca’s junior Brandon Simpson (3) and sophomore Triston Price (12) collapse on Oakdale’s Sean McGaughey (34) as he drives for a layup.
Next: Working from the sweet spot, Seneca’s Quentin Twyman (11) goes baseline and scores two of his 22 points in the victory.
Next: Junior Kareem Matthew (4) skies for two of his 11 points in Wednesday night’s playoff victory over Oakdale.
Next: Senior Terry Milburne (23) puts back a rebound. He would finish with seven points.
Next: Junior Brandon Simpson (3) with the reverse layup for two of his 11 points.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.