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Gwynn Park boys move on to state semis

Posted by Michael Glick at Mar 4, 2016 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
Gwynn Park boys move on to state semis 05 Mar 2016 Written by Sean Farrell, Photo by Michael Smith GwynnPark JustinFaison2BRANDYWINE – The Gwynn Park boys’ basketball team just keeps buzzing along. The Yellow Jackets stung yet another opponent and made a statement by moving into the final four of the MPSSAA 2A state playoffs with their victory over Westlake 79-69. Justin Faison led the way for Gwynn Park by scoring 27 points and was a stinger in Westlake's side for the entire second half. He scored 18 of his 27 points in the final 16 minutes, including 10 free throws. But the win wasn't entirely easy. The game started off close with Gwynn Park holding a 15-14 lead after the first. Isaiah Miles scored eight points in the opening quarter before getting into foul trouble. That allowed Westlake to stay in the game, along with a Stephen Curry-like buzzer beater by Jeff Simmons. The second quarter was when both teams needed a player to step up. Fortunately for Gwynn Park that player was Marlon White. White erupted for 14 second quarter points and helped his team take a 39-31 lead into the break. “Basically I only needed one shot to hit for me to really gain my confidence. Once that first shot went in, my teammates kept giving me confidence and told me ‘keep shooting it, keep shooting it.’ And when I got it I shot the ball with confidence and they started dropping,” White said. The second half was when Faison took over. He made a living at the free throw line by blowing by defenders off the dribble and constantly drawing contact on his way to the rim. “Whenever a person on our team is going off, coach always says that means someone else is going to go off in the next quarter,” Faison said. “Marlon was going off in the first half and I guess the second half was mine, so we kept attacking. “After the Roosevelt game everyone said my shot wasn’t falling, so I got back in the gym and kept working and the practice paid off tonight. I used to have troubles shooting free throws, but my three ball was good. So tonight I buckled down and made sure both of them are knocked down.” The score was 62-52 in favor of Gwynn Park heading into the final quarter and the Yellow Jackets were determined to put the game away. CJ Miller was once again the hero defensively and, like many games this season, took away the opponent's top scorer while adding six points of his own. “I think CJ Miller did a phenomenal job on [Everett] Mouton and that just has to be mentioned. His defense was impeccable,” Gwynn Park Head Coach Mike Glick said. “Our league prepared us for this. The trials and tribulations and battles we have in our league prepared us for this moment. No tougher league. Nobody’s had a tougher road to get here than us.” Gwynn Park is now only two wins away from a state championship and will play Friday at the Xfinity Center in College Park. “All weekend we’re going to celebrate, but starting Monday we’re back in there to get our state championship that we all want,” Faison said. Last modified onSaturday, 05 March 2016 05:23
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Gwynn Park Rallies Past Douglass DMV Elite

Posted by Michael Glick at Mar 2, 2016 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
Gwynn Park Rallies Past Douglass Gwynn Park Eliminates Douglass In 2A Playoffs - DMVelite.com Video of Gwynn Park Eliminates Douglass In 2A Playoffs - DMVelite.com Highlights from Gwynn Park's 68-65 comeback win over Douglass in the Maryland 2A South semifinals on March 2, 2016. Includes interviews with Gwynn Park's Marlon White, Isaiah Miles and Justin Faison.

Three-point play by Isaiah Miles lifts Gwynn Park past Douglass

Gwynn Park’s Isaiah Miles watched all five Douglass players crash the paint for a rebound in the closing moments of Wednesday’s 2A South region semifinals, and his first instinct was to run the other direction. In the mad scramble for a loose ball, guard Marlon White somehow ended up with it and saw his teammate streaking toward the other basket.

White’s pass found Miles, and a capacity crowd in Brandywine erupted when he completed a three-point play that ultimately propelled No. 10 Gwynn Park to a dramatic 68-65 win over No. 7 Douglass.

The Yellow Jackets trailed by 18 points before halftime and held the lead for all of 37 seconds during what became their biggest comeback of the season. Gwynn Park (23-2) will host Westlake in the 2A South region final Friday.

“It’s a lot to take in,” Miles (20 points) said, still reveling in the postgame celebration. “I just had to buckle down, make the free throw so we could secure the win. We were never out of the game, so I felt like we all just buckled down and took control.”

Douglass (20-2) came out hot and torched Gwynn Park’s normally stingy defense. At times, senior Cameron Hayes (26 points) tried to will the Eagles past their rival, finishing around the rim from the baseline. A short jumper by Hayes gave Douglass its biggest lead at 40-22 late in the first half.

But Gwynn Park slowly began to chip away, and junior Justin Faison delivered with his team in jeopardy. He scored 16 of his 23 points in the final 12 minutes, hitting several contested jumpers to steady the Yellow Jackets before their final push.

Faison credited a “McNamara Reject” sign in the Douglass student section — he transferred to Gwynn Park after playing with McNamara’s junior varsity team last year — for providing extra motivation.

“I took that to heart, and I didn’t want to lose,” Faison said. “They thought I was rejected, but at the end of the day we’re just trying to keep pounding and get a state championship. That’s all that matters.”

To keep those title hopes alive, the Yellow Jackets withstood a manic final minute. Senior Aaron Parker gave Gwynn Park its first lead of the game on a hanging lay-in, but Douglass junior Donald Carey came right back with a fast-break basket to put the Eagles back on top.

Eleanor Roosevelt boys win Prince George's County Championship           

ER GP boys bballUPPER MARLBORO – Tuesday night’s battle between Eleanor Roosevelt and Gwynn Park, two teams with three or fewer losses, was a fitting end to the county basketball schedule.

The 19-3 Raiders continued their county dominance in boys’ basketball with a 72-63 win over the 21-2 Yellow Jackets and in turn won the Prince George’s County basketball championship.

Both teams played extremely well in their final game before the area playoffs begin and it was a much needed test for both teams as they try to prove that they are serious contenders in the 4A and 3A state playoffs.

“I think we all feel the same,” Gwynn Park Head Coach Mike Glick said. “We’re zero and zero and we’ve got to get ready for the playoffs. I think Roosevelt has an excellent team and might be one of the better teams we played all year. That’s going to make us a better team and the most important thing is nobody got injured.”

Gwynn Park started fast out of the gate, jumping to a 5-0 lead on two quick baskets from Kollin Mitchell. Still, the Raiders answered quickly with an 11-2 run to go up 11-7. They would lead 15-10 after the first quarter.

“Our guys were ready to go today and responded, which I was excited about because that was a tough loss (to Bowie on Feb. 16). They haven’t lost sight of what the goal is going into playoffs Monday and that’s important,” Roosevelt Head Coach Brendan O’Connell said.

Victor Okafor, Trent Bishop and Jaden Faulkner were huge inside for the Raiders. The smaller Gwynn Park team did all it could in facing the size disadvantage, but couldn’t stop Okafor from scoring 16 points, while Faulkner added 11. Bishop led all scorers with 19.

“I thought our big guys played very well tonight and I thought Naji (Marshall) did well tonight because Gwynn Park is really good at taking your best player away. We knew they’d do some different stuff and he was patient and I thought had a great all-around game,” O’Connell said.

Gwynn Park started to regain momentum in the second quarter by dictating most of the play and kept Roosevelt star Naji Marshall off the score sheet. However, with two minutes remaining in the half, Marshall took over by scoring eight points and gave Roosevelt a 34-28 halftime lead.

“I just let the game come to me,” said Marshall, who finished with 17 points. “I didn’t try to force the issue and just jack up shots. I just took my time and if I saw something open I would try to take it. I just see openings and if I land on two feet and I’m still open of course I’m going to take the shot.”

Gwynn Park gave Roosevelt a tremendous push in the second half behind leading scorer Aaron Parker, who finished with 17 points, but the Raiders refused to relinquish their lead by the end of the third quarter (52-43).

Both teams played their best quarter of the game in the fourth, scoring 20 points each. But the Yellow Jackets fizzled in attempting a comeback, as they missed numerous open shots and were out rebounded by the Raiders.

“I was really proud of how our kids battled and played until the end. They showed a lot of heart. We just got to knock down open shots and make free throws. I thought Roosevelt’s charge taking was incredible and that was a huge difference in the game,” Glick said.

Eleanor Roosevelt will gladly take the victory after its disappointing 55-52 loss to Bowie where the Raiders performed very poorly against a school they had previously beaten. The loss to Bowie was the Raiders' first loss in 18 games.

Roosevelt will play the winner of Suitland and Charles H. Flowers in the second round of the 4A MPSSAA playoffs. Meanwhile, Gwynn Park will play the winner of Crossland and Central in the second round of the 3A MPSSAA playoffs. 

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Eleanor Roosevelt Captures PG County Chip Over Gwynn Park 2/24/2016

Eleanor Roosevelt captured the 2016 PG County Chip at Wise HS behind 17 points from Naji Marshall, and 16 points from Victor Okafor. Aaron Parker led Gwynn Park with 7.