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Jags Beat Walter Johnson in Home Opener

The Northwest boys basketball team defeated Walter Johnson 77-39 in their home opener on Thursday night in the Jagdome, thanks in large part to a 30 point third quarter from which the Wildcats could not recover.

The Jags even their record for the young 2016-2017 season to 1-1 after falling to Wootton in the season opener earlier this week.

“The difference tonight was energy,” said Jags Head Coach Robert Smith. “The first quarter of the Wootton game we came out flat and they jumped on us and got a 20 point lead. Tonight, we made some good progress. We came out strong, and while they came back on us a little bit we stayed tough. We came out in the third quarter after making some adjustments at halftime, and the guys picked it up. In the first two minutes of the third, I think we scored about 20 points. That was the difference. The guys came out with energy, and you could see it.”

Northwest lead by a modest 33-26 at halftime but came out with a flurry of points in the third quarter. The Jags were led by junior Norval Black with 27 points in the game. Black accounted for 13 points in the Jags 30-point third quarter, while holding the Wildcats to just eight points. In the fourth quarter, Walter Johnson could manage just five points as the Jags continued to hit foul shots and extend their lead. The Jags were 15 of 25 from the line, shooting 60 percent from the charity stripe.

“Norval had a heck of a game,” said Smith. “Last year, I tried to nominate him as one of the rookies of the year as a sophomore. You can see the athleticism and his confidence is starting to pick up. He will be a good one for us.”

This year’s Jags team is a young team. While they have five seniors, however, three are brand new to the team and only Noble Nwokoma and Mileke Omar are returning as seniors. Smith’s starters on Thursday were five juniors.

“We start five juniors, and some of the first guys off our bench are juniors. We’re young; we’ll have some bumps, but these guys can fly around and play,” said Smith.

Norval Black’s 27 points, including two three-pointers, led the Jags. Fellow junior starter Adrian Thomas had 11 points, while junior James Assiongbon added seven points coming off the bench.

The Wildcats were led by senior captain Matt Collishaw who had 11 points, and senior Nate Hochberg who added eight points.

The Jags don’t get much rest as they are back in action on the road Friday night against Frederick County’s Tuscarora High School, who are on a two-game win streak easily beating both North and South Hagerstown high schools in back-to-back games Monday and Tuesday.

On the girls’ side, the Lady Jags dropped their second game of the season on the road, 63-59 at Walter Johnson. The Lady Jags were led by Mariah Ellis, Alexis Mack and Jordyn Herwood who combined for 50 points in a losing effort. The Lady Jags will host Tuscarora on Friday night in Germantown.


Top: Junior Norval Black (1) drives the lane for two of his 27 points during Thursday night’s 77-39 victory over Walter Johnson High School.

Next: Northwest junior Ryan Kennington (12) lines up a three-pointer during Thursday night’s victory. He had five points in the game.

Video: The Jags work the ball in the final minute of the first half ending with a layup by Ryan Kennington (12). The Jags led 33-26 at halftime.

Next: Junior Adrian Thomas (25) drives the lane in the second half. Thomas finished with 11 points in the victory.

Photos and video by Germantown Pulse.

All of the photos in this post, as well as hundreds of others from this game, are available for purchase right now at the Germantown Pulse Sports Photo Shop.

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