"It's All About The Game"
PG Championship snatched by 4A
Ron Bailey, Publisher
Big division schools take crowns.
This year, the big guys on the block, 4A schools took both the girl's and boy's crowns; Roosevelt dominated Largo in girls action, while the boys saw Wise edge Potomac.
Kalia Charles, patting the rock.
Up 32-24 at halftime, Roosevelt put the pedal to the medal, pressing, driving and scoring Largo into submission. Largo would only score 11 points in the second half, while ER racked up 39 points.
"When we were in the locker room, we had a nice locker room talk" recalled sophomore guard Kalia Charles after the game. "It motivated us, we were like we have to turn it if we want to win. We didn't want to lose the game like we did last year, so we got on the court and did our thing".
Charles and freshman forward Octavia Wilson poured in 26 points apiece for Roosevelt, unbeaten on the season, winning 21 games overall, 17 in the PG 4A.
Largo was paced by junior guard Alexys Long's 11 points. The Lions have won all 15 of their games in conference, going 15-7/15-1.
Luckily for the packed crowd at Wise High School, the boy's game was more entertaining, as Wise, playing the role of visitor squeezed out a 68-64 victory over uber-talented Potomac, a school with five players talented enough to play Division 1 college ball.
Senior point guard Justice Sneed (22 points) stepped up and hit a series of free throws with under two minutes to play, icing the game. Sneed noted of his charity strip shots, "They were very important. They helped us get the win. Without them, we wouldn't have won".
Indeed, as Potomac (18-4, 15-2) used a sagging man defense to outscore Wise 23-11 in the third quarter.
Justice Sneed and his coach, Rod Garner, enjoy a championship moment.
Repeatedly that scheme produced stops - via turnovers or causing Wise to launch from the perimeter - which Potomac capitalized on by pushing for fast break and scatter court buckets.
"They are a very good transition team. We know that's what they keyed on" said Sneed. "So that sag, you know, with us putting up quick shots, allowed them to run out".
His coach, Rob Garner admitted Potomac's sagging man "hurt us", as did his team settling for "quick, one pass jump shots" against it. But "Once we settled down, moved the ball a bit and got the tempo in our favor in terms of trying to execute".
Wise (19-2, 17-9) was able to turn a 54-53 deficit with 6:38 to go into its 62-57 advantage three minutes and 18 seconds later.
To start the game it was Wise's work against Potmac's 2-3 and then 3-2 zones that was key, including a successful high-low attack. Senior forward Micah Till did much of his 18 point damage then, as did senior guard/forward Lavonte Sanders, who slashed and finished with 14 points.
Potomac's senior guard Dion Wiley got on track during the Wolverine's third quarter run, finishing with 17 points. His sophomore backcourt mate Randall Roddie (14 points), was more successful in the first half. Their teammate, junior Anthony Smith paced Potomac with 20 points. Senior center Quadree Smith finished with 13 points.
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