The Northwest Jags handed Seneca Valley its first regular-season loss in 30 games, and beat Eagles for the first time in two seasons, with a 69-63 victory on Friday night. The win continues the Jags unbeaten streak this season and ends the Eagles regular-season unbeaten streak at 30 games.
The hard-fought, physical game played by the cross-town rivals had a playoff atmosphere in the Northwest gym with both the home and away stands packed with students cheering on their respective teams.
The Jags found themselves down five at halftime, 34-29. Northwest jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, but Seneca Valley came back from being down 12-4. However, the Jags came back to outscore Seneca Valley by 10 points in the second half.
Northwest Head Coach Robert Smith said the difference was the intensity level of his team defensively in the second half. “They have good guards, and they can move the ball well and shoot. That is what they did in the first half. Early on they wanted it more than we did. In the second half, we came out and switched up our defense which helped us," said Smith.
Northwest senior Norval Black played a tremendous defensive game.
“Norval had a Hell of a game,” said his coach. “His defensive intensity is what stood out, and that is something that we talked about in the locker room at halftime.” He also led all scorer with 26 points, with 12 field goals and two free throws, on the offensive side. Black had 15 of his 26 total points in the second half.
Seneca had two players with 23 points, senior guard Triston Price and sophomore guard Mazae Blake. They each had three field goals, eight free throws, and hit three from beyond the arc to account for 75 percent of the Eagles offensive output.
The game was tight and undecided until the Jags were able to go on a run mid-way through the fourth quarter. “In the fourth, we had that 6-0 run, where we got six points in about 12 seconds which really helped, and the crowd got really involved and pumped us up,” said Coach Smith. The Jags were able to extend the run to nine points and sealed the victory.
“The Seneca Valley v. Northwest basketball game has really become an event,” said Smith. “Coach Brian (Humphrey) has built that program up and everywhere they go they draw a crowd. But, when Germantown is playing each other the crowd is great, and all the kids know each other, it makes for a great game.”
The win improves Northwest to 3-0 on the season and drops Seneca Valley to 3-1. The Jags are in action again on Wednesday as they travel to Rockville to face the 1-3 Rams. The Eagles are also on the road on Wednesday facing the 2-2 Wildcats from Walter Johnson. Both games are slated to be 7:15 pm starts.
The Jags and the Eagles will meet again later this season at Seneca Valley on February 9 at 7:15 pm.
Top: Seneca Valley’s Maurice Whitsett (23) attempts to stop a shot by Northwest’s Tyrone Mayer (32) during Friday’s game. Mayer had seven points in the victory. Whitsett had four points. Northwest won 69-63.
Video: The Jags’ Norval Black (1) with the runner during the first half.
Next: Norval Black (1) jams it home during the Jags’ 9-0 run in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Next: Seneca Valley sophomore Mazae Blake (5) attempts a layup while Northwest’s Anthony Fuentes (2) plays tough defense.
Video: Northwest defeats Seneca Valley for the first time since 2014. The last time Seneca Valley lost to Northwest was a 71-70 overtime game on Dec. 9, 2014.
Photos and video by Germantown Pulse.