After last Friday’s thrilling opening round playoff victory — the first postseason win for Northwest in six years — the Jags had the tough assignment to defeat one of hottest teams in Montgomery County in the second round. The Jags lost the 22-1 Richard Montgomery Rockets on Monday.
The Rockets were flying high riding a nine-game win streak as they bested the Jags by a score of 63-47 in Rockville on Monday night. When the two teams met in Germantown back in January, RM squeaked past the Jags in a one-point victory, 47-46.
“I thought we had a good year,” said the Jags first-year head coach B.J. DeBuchananne, “a lot of close games that could have gone either way. We won the first playoff game in six years at Northwest and we have a lot of talent coming back. Our junior class is led by Marcus Stubbs who averaged 16 points and six rebounds this year.”
Stubbs was the Jags’ leading scorer in both playoff games getting 20 points in last Friday’s 60-55 playoff victory over Clarksburg and 19 points in the second-round game against Richard Montgomery.
“We had two freshman, C.J. Lee & Benito Cala, and two sophomores, J.C. Harris and Srikar Gosakan, on varsity that got a lot of experience that will benefit them greatly moving forward. We will also add some JV players that will have an opportunity to carve out a role next year. I think the future is bright and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes together.”
The Jags’ first-round playoff game was a thriller against their neighbors to the north, the Clarksburg Coyotes. The Jags opened up a nine point lead at halftime, but a strong 23-point third quarter performance, including 10 points from sophomore Nunu Taylor allowed the Coyotes to cut the lead to just one point, 43-42, going in to the fourth quarter. Tayor led all Coyotes with 20 points in that game. Clarksburg had two other players in double-figures, junior Kendall Smith with 14 points, and sophomore Ryan Prather added 12 points.
In a thrilling fourth quarter, which saw the lead change five different times, the Jags managed to keep the Coyotes in check thanks in part to senior Tyrone Mayer Jr.’s ability to hit free throws in the late stages of the game to get Northwest the four extra points to advance to the second round. Mayer finished the game with 14 points, on four field goals, and six points from the foul line. Fellow senior Shahab Mastori also scored in double-digits sinking four buckets and three foul shots to for an 11 point total. The Jags won 60-55 in front of a raucous home crowd in Germantown.
Northwest could not maintain the momentum going in to the next round as Ricard Montgomery proved to be too much for the Jags. Northwest had two players in double-digits, Stubbs’ 19 and Mastori with 10 points, Mayer added nine points in the 61-47 loss.
The Rockets had three players in double-digits, led by senior Miles Gally with 16 points and senior Djordje Orcev with 15 points, while sophomore Ryan Cornish added 11 points. RM would go on the defeat Gaithersburg, 55-53 in overtime on Thursday night. They will face 16-6 Walter Johnson on Friday in the Regional Championship game and the right to go to the 4A Final Four at the University of Maryland.
Top: Northwest’s Marcus Stubbs Jr. (3) with the drive and layup during the opening round playoff game against Clarksburg.
Next: The Jags’ senior Shahab Mastori (1) shoots from the corner. He finished last Friday’s game against Clarksburg with 11 points to help Northwest to its first playoff victory in six years.
Next: Clarksburg’s sophomore Nunu Taylor (30) dives to the hoop. He had 20 points in the playoff game.
Next: Northwest’s sophomore John “JC” Harris (4) fights for a rebound with Clarksburg’s Nunu Taylor (30) and Daequan Mcadams (5) during the fourth quarter of last Friday’s playoff game.
Photos by Germantown Pulse