"It's All About The Game"

Parkdale makes it five straight by wanting to






Ron Bailey, Publisher

'Want to' can take you a long way.

February 13, 2015 - Going into last night's game Parkdale (MD) had strung together four consecutive wins and faced an Eleanor Roosevelt (MD) team that beat them 77-47 in early January. Given Parkdale's quartet of straight wins were not against the strongest PG 4A teams - only one had a winning conference record - questions existed if the Panthers would and could make it five 'W's' in a row.

It's settled, they can, and did, scrapping out an exciting, 71-65 overtime win at ER.

"We just came in as a team, wanted to play strong" said senior Panther forward Joe Adedayo (nine points despite playing with a broken thumb) afterward of his team's approach, one fueled by "The last time we came here they beat us by thirty, so we knew we had to come in and fight. So Coach (Tremaine) Price helped us buy in and we got the big win".

How has his team strung together five back to back victories?

"Defense. Team playing together, sharing the ball. Diving on the floor, getting the 50-50 balls, and it's really helping" said Adedayo, as well as "Nobody's doing anything extra. Nobody's doing anything less. We're just playing as hard as we can"

Greg Boyd, attacking the tin.

Speaking of 50-50 balls, those possession securing plays that so often key victory, the Panthers (10-11) garnered two key ones in overtime, one a scrum that consisted of players diving on the floor, the other under the rim. The first resulted in a dunk by senior center Moetaz Ashtar, the other made junior guard Gregg Boyd's layup eventually possible.

Price, when asked about those important plays was obviously proud, labeling them "Keys to victory...Get the 50-50 balls and we win the basketball game".

Roosevelt's first lead came with 5:59 in regulation, an 45-44 advantage, having been down five going into the fourth quarter. Fueling their comeback was a 2-2-1 press that Price admitted his team's issues with it centered on "being hesitant", as "Every time you're being pressured, you have to be in attack mode. And we weren't. We would catch and look instead of dribbling up so we could get them to move and throw over the top".

For the remainder of regular time there were five lead changes, ER's chances at victory being hurt by missing three of four charity stripe attempts. Parkdale's were helped by Boyd's layup and two free throws within the last minute and 20 seconds.

After Boyd's charity stripe makes with just 4.4 clicks remaining, Raider head coach Brendan O'Connell called timeout, setting up the game's most dramatic sequence: Senior guard Christian Wright received the inbounds and raced 82 feet for a buzzer beating layup, sending the home fans into delirium. According to Wright "There was no thought of pulling up...I can get to the basket in like three seconds so I knew I could get to the basket".

OT was Boyd's time - he dropped six of his team best 22 points in extra time, including four free throws, going an impressive 7-7 from the charity stripe in the game.

"Down the stretch, I just took over the game" recounted Boyd. "I had to remain focused...I just had to remain calm and humble, and make clutch plays".

The table was set in part for Boyd's work by senior guard Kaine Wilson (11 points, eight in the first half), who Price acknowledged was "overplayed" in the second half, "opening up lanes for Greg Boyd to either finish or get fouled and make free throws".

Roosevelt (16-3 ), who hosts Northwestern tonight was paced in scoring by senior guard Doyin Fadojutimi's game high 23 points. Ishmael Jobbie had 12 points, while all of Wright's 10 occurred in the second half.

Price summed the win, sharing "I told them, if you all really want it, you have to go get it. They did the 'want to's' today". His team finishes regular season action February 17th with a home date against Suitland.

Special Thanks:

Hats off the schools' stat keepers, Ragiine Henry of Parkdale and ER's Tory Steptoe. Both provided valuable information on players as well as supplied accurate statistics.

Steptoe indicated "I'm not sure" where she'll attend college, but continuing her education is her course of action. Henry is headed to University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, where she will enroll in ARMY ROTC and study a medical discipline.

Both represent their families and schools well.

Recruiting Notes:

Joe Adedayo - 6'3", 215 pound senior forward, Parkdale - Battling a broken thumb, Adedayo still competed, scored in the paint and defended. A strong player, he favorably impacts a team.

Adedayo needs to continue honing his long ball and wiggle off the bounce, as in college he's tracking as a three man.

Ishmael Jobbie - 6'3", 175 pound senior guard, Eleanor Roosevelt - A generalist, Jobbie shoots, defends and drives. Has been a key cog for ER this season.

Going forward Jobbie has to be more assertive at times offensively, as well as become stronger, thereby solidifying an all-around collegiate role.


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