- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
After host North Point jumped out to an early seven-point lead in the first period, head boys basketball coach Jimmy Ball called a timeout when visiting Westlake came to within 10-8 with 3 minutes 34 seconds left.
Out of the timeout, Eagles senior forward Naim Muhammad got back-to-back dunks that helped spur an 8-0 run.
North Point (8-1 overall) would end the first on a 12-2 run and it never looked back in the convincing 94-60 nonconference victory in the first of a boys and girls basketball doubleheader on Friday night.
For the second time in seven days, the North Point girls defeated Westlake, earning a 58-31 victory. Last week, the Eagles top the Wolverines 84-36 for the Waldorf Holiday Hoops Classic championship, also on its home floor.
In the boys contest, senior point guard Marquis Wright led all scorers with 23 points, dished out seven assists, grabbed six rebounds and had three steals. Wright also was 6 of 7 from the free-throw line.
Muhammad’s first dunk was a one-handed flush off one leg and the second was on a alley-oop from Wright.
”Coming out the timeout, the coaches said that we had to pick up the intensity, and Naim’s dunks really got us going,” said Wright, who scored 13 points of his team’s 21 second-quarter points, outscoring the Westlake team by one point.
”Many wonder why Naim is not starting, but he gives us a great lift off the bench and he sees the same thing that I see,” said Ball, who was a former frontrunner for Westlake before coming to North Point.
Senior forward Matt Bonds scored 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter, while senior guard Anthony Williams added 11 points in the win.
”We just had a little of excitement because it was our county rivals,” Bonds said. “So once we went on the run, we got back to playing North Point basketball. It was a big crowd tonight and every game we play is a learning experience that will help us in the playoffs.”
With North Point leading 22-12 after the first quarter, it exploded to a 43-24 halftime lead and took a 71-43 advantage to the fourth.
By the fourth quarter, Ball had the reserves in to finish the game. Muhammad scored 14 of the team’s 30 bench points, knocking down 6 of 8 from the free-throw line.
“We played well at the beginning, but we panicked on their full-court pressure,” Westlake head coach Edward Mouton Sr. said. “When North Point went on the first-quarter run, we started rushing and you can’t do that versus this team. We were down two at one point, and I look up at the scoreboard we were down 16.”
It was a special game as Mouton was a former assistant on Ball’s staff for the last few years during North Point’s Class 4A state tournament runs.
”I wish him the best, I coached with Jimmy for a long time,” Mouton said. “I wanted to win, I hate losing against him and I‘m sure he felt the same way. But it was a good experience playing versus him.”
Ball added, “[Mouton] is family and always will be. He’s building a program, his boys play hard and have won seven of their first 10 games of the season. I always get jacked up to play Westlake. Mouton has a great junior varsity team and that program will do very well in a couple years.”
Westlake (7-3) had three in double figures as senior Philip Jackson had a team-high 18 points, junior Desi Wiseman had 17 points and junior Chris Craft added 10 points. Westlake also hit five threes in the game.
Eagles girls win
Over in the girls contest, Westlake (6-3) was without junior guard Shanea Butler because of a left knee sprain. Things didn’t get any better as turnovers, rebounding and depth were advantages that helped North Point to Friday’s victory.
However, North Point head coach Michael Serpone was not happy.
”Our performance was unacceptable,” Serpone said. “We didn’t finish [layups] and we played sloppy. You got to give credit to Westlake, they hustled and were physical. They got into our heads and took us out of our game. I was happy that we got the win, we just have to go to the drawing board.”
North Point (9-0) raced out to an 16-8 lead after the first quarter and took a 30-12 halftime lead.
Westlake head coach Ardell Jackson was pleased with how his team was able to hold the Eagles to only 58 points this time, but it just could not knock down shots.
“The girls felt like that they could play with North Point,” Jackson said. “The main focus was getting kids game experience in tough situations, so we wanted to let the chips fall where they may. We couldn’t buy a basket and we just have to cut down on our turnovers.”
The Eagles built a 46-19 lead after three quarters to secure the victory.
Senior guard and Syracuse commit Tasia Butler led all scorers with 16 points, while junior forward Khalia Prather had 10 points. Westlake junior guard Damira Banks had a team-high 11 points.
Westlake defeated McNamara of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference in Prince George’s County on Monday, ?-?. It will travel to Patuxent at 6:30 tonight. North Point will take on host Chopticon at 6:30 tonight.
”Westlake always play aggressive,” Butler said. “We got very complacent in this game and we were lazy at times. We want to improve on our defense and get better each game.”
The North Point boys will host Chopticon at 7 tonight, while Westlake will host Patuxent at 6:30 p.m.