Edmondson bests No. 8 New Town again in basketball mixer; Poly girls fall to Riverdale Baptist (VIDEO HERE!)
by Derek Toney
Though the boys basketball season is a few days old, Saturday’s Edmondson/New Town contest felt like March. Both squads intensely battle for possessions in front of a spirited audience.
The seventh-ranked Red Storm was the last team standing, claiming a 58-55 victory over the No. 8 Titans in the final game of the IAABO Board 23 Stars and Stripes Salute mixer in Owings Mills.
Dulaney held off Havre de Grace in a matchup of VSN Top 20 squads. No. 4 Poly lost to Riverdale Baptist School in girls play which also featured defending state Class 3A champ Frederick and Prince George’s County’s New Hope Academy, No. 1 in USA Today’s Preseason Super 25.
The Engineers were even with the Washington area preseason No. 1 in the third quarter, but faded into a 65-53 loss. Ivey scored 15 points for Riverdale Baptist, and Synia Johnson scored 17 of her team-best 18 points in the second half.
Trailing 16-4 after one, Poly (2-1), the defending Baltimore City champ, rallied to within 25-21 at halftime. The Engineers got to within 25-23, and trailed 41-36 entering the fourth.
The Crusaders from Prince George’s County, which defeated New Hope Academy a few days ago, pushed the lead into double digits in the fourth.
Playing its third game in as many days, Poly coach Kendall Peace-Able was pleased.
“We had some good runs and then some lapses, but that’s to be expected at this point in the year,” said Peace-Able, whose team beat Digital Harbor (67-9) Thursday and Dunbar (D.C.) Friday in the Baltimore/D.C. Classic at Forest Park.
After building a halftime cushion, No. 10 Dulaney withstood a Havre de Grace late charge to claim a 63-59 victory.
Junior guard Ryan Conway had 21 points for the Lions (2-0), and Jaylin Webster added a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Junior forward Marlon Lewis led Havre de Grace with 16 points.
The Baltimore County school, which reached the 4A state semifinals last season, led 41-22 at halftime. The Warriors came roaring back in the final quarter, closing to within four, thanks to a 21-9 run.
Dulaney coach Matt Lochte has been pleased with his team’s effort out the gate, but ball security is a concern.
“We need to be stronger with the ball,” said Lochte. “We need to cut turnovers and score at a higher percentage from the field and free throw line. I like our depth.”
In a rematch of last season’s 2A North Region semifinals, Edmondson made enough plays down the stretch to move to 3-0. Senior forward Tra’Shawn Jones scored a game-high 23 points, and junior guard Eontee Nelson added 12.
Quran Jones’ offensive rebound and basket with 18.4 seconds left in regulation, put the Red Storm up 58-55. New Town guard Martaz Robinson missed a three-pointer with three seconds remaining and Jones got the rebound.
Jones finished with 11 points, five rebounds and added a fourth quarter block.
A transfer from Ace Academy, Jones understands his role.
“Coach [Darnell Dantzler] always tell us to play our role and my role is to score, get rebounds and be a threat on defense,” said Jones. “I relied on my shooters and Tra [Lewis] because he’s an all-around player.”
Lewis’ free throw put Edmondson up 47-45 early in fourth, and Jones followed with a put back. His basket broke a 49-49 deadlock, and Nelson followed with a 3-pointer, putting the Red Storm up, 54-49, midway in the fourth.
New Town, the defending Baltimore County champs, got even at 55 after Robinson hit a short jumper off turning Edmondson over. Davon Moses was fouled going to the basket with 20.1 seconds.
Moses made the first, but missed the second. After teammate Durrell Gee missed on a follow, Jones gathered the ball, went back up and scored.
“His job to rebound, set screens, played hard,” said Dantzler. “He struggled from the free throw line, but got some big big rebounds. It was an all-around team effort.”
After reaching the 2A Elite Eight (lost to eventual state champ Patterson), Dantzler said will be tough and gritty with Lewis as the go-to scorer.
Saturday’s win completed a stretch of three games in three days.
“They fought and that’s what I like,” said Dantzler, whose team defeated Douglass Thursday and Coolidge (DC) at the Baltimore/DC Classic at Forest Park Friday evening. “We got down early, but didn’t fold. We talked it out. It’s a learning curve with a couple of new faces.”
Robinson, a Delaware State University recruit, led the Titans with 16 points and Andrew Mills added 15. It was the season debut for the Owings Mills school, which 2018-19 season ended in a 71-60 loss to Edmondson.
“We had some miscommunication down the stretch,” said New Town coach Derek Wise. “It’s situational ball and we’ll get better at it.”