- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Since falling to DeMatha of Prince George’s County by three points in December at the DMV Tip-Off Classic at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr, High School in Upper Marlboro, the North Point boys basketball team has been on a rampage.
With its swarming defense and fast-paced style, the Eagles overwhelmed host McDonough 108-57 on Monday night in a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference contest, hitting the 100-point plateau for the fourth time this season.
It was the ninth straight victory for North Point (12-1, 3-0 SMAC), who scored the second most points ever in program history with the highest being 109 points in the season opener in a 61-point onslaught at La Plata on Dec. 7 in a nonconference game.
North Point head coach Jimmy Ball earned his 100th win with the program in Friday’s 101-27 victory over host Patuxent. Win No. 101 came the next night in an 89-57 win over T.C. Williams (Va.).
After his team’s third win in four nights with Monday’s victory over McDonough, Ball mentioned that last year’s 65-63 heartbreaking loss to Eleanor Roosevelt of Prince George’s County in the Class 4A state semifinals at the University of Maryland College Park’s Comcast Center and the early loss this season to DeMatha have spurred heavy motivation for the team.
“When we lost last year to [Roosevelt] and to DeMatha this year brought us back down to Earth,” Ball said. “The guys are starting to come together and we still have a lot of work to do.”
North Point surged out to a 22-9 lead after the first quarter and took a commanding 49-25 halftime lead. It outscored the Rams 59-32 in the second half to close out the game and made 10 three-pointers versus the McDonough 3-2 zone.
North Point senior point guard Marquis Wright led all scorers with 26 points, shooting 8 of 13 (62 percent) from the field, had six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Senior forward Matt Bonds scored 15 points and grabbed seven boards.
The Eagles, who are averaging 91.5 points a contest, will host Northern at 7 tonight.
“We wanted to come out with a lot of intensity,” Wright said. “Coach Ball told us to attack and they [McDonough] got in foul trouble. Defensively, we played very strong and that created our transition offense.”
Senior guard Steven Cole exploded for a career-high 18 points off the bench for North Point, connecting on four threes to help break open the contest.
“I was fired up before the game,” Cole said. “McDonough kept packing in the zone early and I just let the game come to me. Coach Ball told me to keep shooting and from there we just kept on attacking. A lot of teams are going to zone on us, so we just have to prepare for that.”
North Point scored 47 bench points and shot 30 of 45 (66.7 percent) from the free-throw line, while McDonough made just 14 of 27 (51.9 percent) from the line.
“Steven finally got his opportunity and when his number was called, he was ready,” Ball added on Cole. “When he shoots like that, he really opens up the floor for us.”
McDonough (6-6, 0-3), which are on a three-game losing streak and is hampered by injuries, was led by senior guard Muhammad Sulemana with a team-high 18 points off the bench. Senior Rashad Kennedy added 12 points off the bench for the Rams and senior Nick Lee, a starter, scored nine points, all coming on three pointers.
McDonough led 2-0 and 4-3, but it was all North Point after that as the Rams had four players foul out of the game and had numerous turnovers.
“Congratulations to North Point,” McDonough head coach Eulo Regala said. “I wish them well in the playoffs.”
McDonough will travel to Patuxent for a contest at 6:30 tonight.
Wright led the charge in Saturday’s win over T.C. Williams with 23 points and six boards. Senior Naim Muhammad scored 20 points and had four boards, while Bonds had a double-double with 15 points and 10 boards.
North Point girls stay undefeated
The North Point girls also won three games in four nights.
After an 80-20 victory on Friday night versus Patuxent, the Eagles cruised to a 63-44 win over T.C. Williams as senior guard Tasia Butler game-high 21 points and senior Ebane Mainor added 10 points.
On Monday night, the Eagles improved to 13-0, 3-0 SMAC with a 83-17 win over visiting McDonough as senior Chalise Greenwood scored a game-high 18 points, Butler had 16, and junior KanDeon Niravahn added 13.
McDonough senior Robin Heard scored 15 of the team’s 17 points on the night.
North Point will be at Northern, while McDonough will host Patuxent at 6:30 tonight.