“This game means a lot to these guys,” said Seneca Valley Head Coach Brian Humphrey. “The pregame speech was short and sweet. They didn’t need a lot of extra motivation to play the cross town rivals.”
Round One in the Battle of Germantown between Seneca Valley and Northwest was won convincingly by Seneca Valley 81-49 in front of a sold out Germantown crowd on Friday night.
Northwest started strong taking an early first quarter lead, but at the 17-to-2 run to end the quarter staked the Screamin’ Eagles to a 23-8 lead and didn’t let up in the second quarter.
The Eagles scored 28 in the second quarter while holding the Jags to just 10 points. Team defense has been one of the hallmarks of Humphrey’s teams for the last two seasons, and it was on display in the first half of Friday night’s game.
“Our defense helps win a lot of games,” said Humphry. “The defense was key to our second quarter run, and that set the tone for the game. Northwest has a lot of talent. They come out strong. We tried to stick with what we were doing, and eventually our defense wore them down.”
The Eagles were hungry to get back to beating Montgomery County teams after falling to Tuscarora 65-50 in a holiday tournament over the break. They came back the following day and beat South Hagerstown 74-60.
Humphrey said the team tried to use the exhibition loss as a learning experience. “If you have the right mindset anything can help you. We try to take a positive aspect and figure out what we can do better, learn from it and move on.”
The Eagles were led by senior guard Brandon Simpson, who had 17 points including two three-point shots, one in the final second of the first quarter to put an exclamation point on a 17 point run.
Humphrey said that Simpson’s desire to be great is something that helps the entire time improve. “He is one of the guys that cares as much as the coaches. He puts in the time in spring, and summer, and fall, and you can see it now. He has improved quite a bit. Several of our players have improved. They push each other every day in practice. Their knowledge of the game, the little intricacies of the game, of defense and offense, has helped their basketball IQ improve. As their IQ has grown their game and the flow at which they play has greatly improved,” said Humphrey.
The Screamin’ Eagles had two other players with double-digits in the scoring column. Senior guard Kareem Matthew had 16 points, seven field goals and two from the foul line. “Kareem has really stepped up,” according to his coach. “He worked his way from the sixth man to starter last year, and in my opinion, he is one of the best players in the county right now. I think it showed tonight and it showed in the games before the break as well.”
The third player in double-digits for the Eagles was senior forward Denard Clyburn who added 13 points, including three field goals and was seven-for-10 from the foul line.
Northwest had two players in double-digits, junior Kolbey Woodard led all Jags with 15 points, four field goals, one three-ball, and he was four-for-six from the line. Fellow junior James Assiongbon added 11 points, four field goals, and a three-pointer.
The 1-7 Jags will host bitter rival Quince Orchard next Tuesday. The Cougars are the hottest team in Montgomery County with 10 straight wins, including victories over Paint Branch, Springbrook, Wootton, and most recently a 67-52 win over Gaithersburg on Friday.
While the Eagles improve to 8-1 and will travel to Watkins Mill on Tuesday, Jan. 10 to play the Wolverines. Watkins Mill is 3-5 and is coming off a 56-54 loss to Poolesville on Friday night.
The Jags will be looking for revenge in round two of the Battle of Germantown which will take place at Northwest on Jan. 27.
Top: Seneca Valley’s Brandon Simpson (3) with the finger roll during Friday’s 81-49 victory over cross-town rival Northwest.
Next: Seneca Valley’s Trey Lucas (1) with the block on Northwest’s Nick Yankum (24). Seneca’s defense is a big part of the reason why the Eagles are 8-1.
Video: Seneca’s Harold Dotson (40) feeds Brandon Simpson (3) for the alley-oop.
Next: Seneca’s Denard Clyburn (25) drives the net. Clyburn had 13 points in the victory.
Next: Northwest’s Kolbey Woodard (3) led all Jaguars with 15 points.
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.