Northwest Boys Complete Sweep of Seneca Valley, Girls Avenge Early Season Loss
The Northwest boys and girls basketball teams traveled up Great Seneca Highway to play their cross-town rivals a Seneca Valley on Friday night, and the Jags came away winning both games. With the 94-63 victory over the Screamin’ Eagles, the Northwest boys’ team extended their record to 16-3 on the season to earn their fifth victory in a row, with one more game remaining in the regular season.
Friday’s double-header of Germantown basketball started with the Lady Jags and Lady Eagles continuing their rivalry. The Northwest girls avenged an early season loss to the Lady Eagles by posting a 45-40 victory to improve to 7-14. The loss drops the Lady Eagles to 8-12 on the year.
The Lady Eagles won the first meeting between the teams back on Dec. 15 by a score of 54-47.
The Lady Jags had three players in double-digits, seniors Khienya Benjamin and Thara Janus, and sophomore Laurel Cotton. Benjamin led the Jags with15 points on four field goals, one three-pointer and shot 80 percent from the foul line. Janus and Cotton each added 10 points apiece.
The Lady Jags were able to outscore Seneca Valley in the second quarter putting up 12 points, thanks in large part to a pair of three-pointers by Janus and sophomore Jordyn Herwood to give the Jags a five points lead at halftime.
Seneca Valley would threaten a number of times tying the game at least three times, in the second half, but the Northwest girls would find a way to retake and extend the lead. The Lady Eagles were led by sophomore Jasia Oliver who scored 16 points on five field goals, one three-pointer and shot three-for-eight from the foul line.
Once the boys took the court, it was all Northwest as the Eagles attempted to avenge a loss at Northwest earlier in the season. However, the Jags had other plans. Northwest had four players in double-digits including senior Kolbey Woodard exploding for 25 points in the 94-63 victory. Woodard shot eight field goals and a three-ball and tossed in six-of-nine from the foul line.
Fellow senior Norval Black added 20 points, on seven shots, and made four-of-seven from the charity stripe. While sophomore Marcus Stubbs added 13 points and junior Tyrone Mayor added 10 points.
“Norval is definitely one of our biggest offensive weapons,” Northwest Head Coach Robert Smith, “but this season we have a lot more balanced scoring. Friday night he had 20 points, Kolbey added 25, and we have had another four or five guys scoring.”
“The last two games Adrian Thomas and Kolbey have been our leading scorers mixed in with James Assiongbon having a big game. Junior TJ Mayor has also been big for us. He is typically our 6th man, but with Lameek out he has been starting. He rebounds well and can score around the basket. 10th grader Marcus Stubbs has also been an energizing force on both ends of the court and can shoot as well as anyone in the county. Being deeper this year with multiple guys that could start really helps in tough game situations,” said Smith.
Seneca Valley has been struggling against good teams since losing the services of their star point guard Tristan Price to a torn ACL in a game against Northwood back on Jan. 12. On Friday night, senior Harold Dotson stepped up to attempt to fill that void with 23 points on seven field goals, two from beyond the arc, and three from the foul line.
The Eagles had to more players in double digits, sophomores Mazae Blake and Elijah Hyson both had 14 points in the loss.
The Jags jumped out to an 11 point lead scoring 22 points in the first quarter and hold Seneca to just 11 points. Northwest took a 40-22 lead into halftime, and the Eagles couldn’t recover. Woodard had 13 of his 25 points in the third quarter as the Jags continued to coast.
“This season we knew coming in that it would be different,” said Smith. “This senior class put in the work in the spring last season through the fall to get ready for this winter. Knowing who is in our section along with rival schools, games would be tough. We lost a lot of close games last year, and we were a young team. With that experience back this year and the feeling we have had, we wanted to be better. With one more game, we will clinch the #1 seed on our side, getting a bye and home court is big come playoff time. Our division is extremely tough, and any of those teams can make a run. The way we are playing we need to continue into the next two weeks.”
The Jags have one more regular season game on Friday night when they will travel to play 4-15 Northwood at 7:15 pm. A win will clinch home court advantage in the first round of the postseason.
Seneca will play two more games before turning their thoughts to a third straight run for the Xfinity Center and the State Semi-Finals. The Eagles will play at 11-9 Whitman on Tuesday night and host 10-10 Clarksburg on Friday, Feb. 16.
Top: Northwest senior Kolbey Woodward (3) with the finger roll. He had 25 points during Friday’s victory over Seneca Valley.
Next: The Lady Jags’ Khienya Benjamin (4) drives the lane during Northwest’s victory on Friday night. Benjamin had 15 points in the win.
Next: Northwest sophomore Laurel Cotton (3) and senior Thara Janus (21) defend Seneca Valley’s Jasia Oliver (11). Oliver had 16 points for the Lady Eagles.
Next: Northwest sophomore Marcus Stubbs (30) with the clean steal as Seneca Valley’s Harold Dotson (11) drives the lane.
Next: The Jags’ Norval Black (1) with a jam late in the game.
Next: Marcus Stubbs (30) drives the baseline. The sophomore had 13 points in the game.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.
The photos in this story as well as hundreds of others from both the boys and girls games are available at the Germantown Pulse Sports Photo Shop.