- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
It was hard to determine who the shooter was among the two boys teams when there were so many arms reaching for air. The girls teams displayed a lot of defense as they opened the doubleheader Tuesday night.
A fast-paced boys game took place at Grace Christian Academy in Waldorf when it hosted a Maryland Independent Schools Athletic League doubleheader against Perry Street Prep of Washington, D.C.
On the boys side, Perry took a 29-19 lead into the locker room and later captured a 62-50 win over Grace (15-4, 8-1 MISAL).
For the girls, Perry dominated the first quarter, 12-0, took a 22-9 lead at the half and won 54-20 over Grace (3-11, 0-8).
The contests were scheduled to be held at Perry, but those match-ups will now be played Monday.
Perry head boys coach James Brown said he knew he was meeting with one of the best teams in the league.
“We knew that they were undefeated in the league, so we were looking at this game as a possible championship-type game,” Brown said. “It was a 12-point game, so it was definitely competitive. I want them to continue to strive for more.”
Brown said that Towson University, North Carolina Central and Potomac State (W.Va.) are giving some of his seniors attention, with hopes of them going on to the collegiate level. Christopher Bell has already been accepted to Penn State.
“This is the other best team in our conference,” Bell said. “I was excited, real anxious for the most part. More than likely, we’ll get them again in the postseason, so I’m looking forward to that. They’ve been preaching team unity all year. There’s room for improvement, but it’s getting better. I just need to personally work on my jump shot and my timing.”
Both squads came out ready to play, but it was Perry that maintained a lead throughout. Grace came within two points on a few occasions but never took the lead.
Perry senior Daren Long hit a three-point shot to put his team up 22-15 late in the second quarter, while teammate Daqvan Brandon connected for a three just before halftime. Preston Saunders came alive in the second half for the Knights, cashing in on a few putbacks to finish with eight points.
Perry senior center Gregory Carrington was the game-high finisher with 20 points.
Grace’s Jonathan Kinyanjui was the team-high scorer with 15 points. Khari Dickson added 11 points with three three-point goals. Dickson brought his team within three points on two separate occasions midway through the third quarter.
Grace first-year head coach Brian Deschaine said his entire team has improved over the season and he wants them to take this time to embrace the challenge they just faced.
“I want them to enjoy the opportunity to compete against a quality team,” Deschaine said. “I think we could do a better job of embracing the challenge. A lot of the guys [are improving]. Jonathan has improved, and Trey [Roberson] has really improved as a point guard. Khari used to be more of a specialist, but he’s evolved into an all-around player. Preston always competes. You can always depend on him.”
Dickson gave Perry a lot of respect.
“They’re a good team, definitely,” Dickson said. “I feel like we can compete with them, so I’m looking forward to playing them next week. Coach is instilling good Godly values this year. He’s doing a great job.”
Kinyanjui said he thought tougher defense would have gotten the job done.
“We just need to concentrate and box out and get rebounds. I felt like our team didn’t give our best effort in the last minute and 20 seconds,” Kinyanjui said. “We stopped competing, and we need to work on that in practice.”
Perry girls successful
A sophomore assisted in leading the Perry girls to victory. Deandre Mickle finished with 17 points, with center Jamia Tyree as the game-high scorer with 21 and Emoni Narce with a season-high eight points.
Perry head coach Samantha Koonce said that Mickle started as a freshman and displays leadership on and off the court.
“They’ve been putting in a lot of hard work in the gym and in the classroom,” Koonce said. “They take full advantage of the free time that we do have, and they’re able to come out to the court and perform well. Emoni played a great game, and we’re really excited for her.”
Mickle said her team is hardworking and they just love to play basketball.
“Jamia pushes me when she brings energy on the court,” Mickle said.
“They look to her leadership out there when we’re challenged.” Koonce added regarding Mickle.
Senior Samantha Boland led Grace with 10 points, three of those being from the three-point perimeter. Boland is new to the team and to the sport.
Kelly Bruce finished with seven points and was a presence on the floor for the hosts. Megan Jiggets added three points for the Knights.