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Perseverance and Tough Defense Allow Jags to Upset Gaithersburg

Tuesday may have begun with a two-hour delay, but Northwest and Gaithersburg’s boys’ varsity basketball teams showed no signs of a weather-related letdown.

The 5-5 Jags prevailed 53-51 over the visiting 11-2 Trojans, courtesy of a last-second buzzer beater by senior point guard Shahab Mastori.

“Even when plays weren’t going our way, we just stayed in it, kept plugging away, [and] kept giving ourselves a chance to win,” Northwest head coach BJ DeBuchananne said. “[We] got a couple of stops late and that gives the opportunity for somebody to step in and hit a big shot, and that’s what happened.”

Despite most of the game being neck-and-neck between the two teams, it was Gaithersburg who started the first quarter in the driver’s seat, taking a 14-8 lead through the first eight minutes and making four of five free throws in the opening period.

The Jags struck back in the second half, putting up 17 points and playing strong defense against the fast-paced Trojans to give themselves a 25-22 halftime advantage.

Both teams put up double-digit point totals in the third quarter, including seven from junior point guard Marcus Stubbs, yet the score was deadlocked at 38-38 heading into the final period.

Gaithersburg shooting guard Jordan Hawkins and point guard Jao Ituka, both sophomores, continued to light up the scoreboard as they had all game long. They would finish the game with 22 and 21 points, respectively.