The Glenelg Country School boys basketball team remembered the feeling of being upset, at home, in the playoffs by St. Paul’s last season in the MIAA B Conference semifinals. The Crusaders ran the Dragons out of their Ellicott City gym and won convincingly with a 73-48 decision on their way to the league title.
“[Last year’s game] was the main thing on my mind. We wanted to get them back,” said junior forward Isaiah Miles. “What happened last year was embarrassing.”
On Friday night, in the latest edition of the VSN/FOX45 Game of the Week, Glenelg Country turned the tables on the defending champions with a commanding 71-44 victory in a game that had major implications for seeding in the upcoming league playoffs.
“The first thing that I saw when I came here was the video of them losing by 30 [to St. Paul’s],” said Cesar Jove-Vives, a transfer from Puerto Rico. “Today was a statement game. They are the defending champions, so came here to play hard.”
Miles was on fire and found nothing but the bottom of the net as he drained five three-pointers in the first half. The 6-foot-8 swingman had 23 points at halftime and finished with a game-high 29 points.
“I just had the hot hand and you feed the hot hand. It was just going in for me,” Miles explained. “We wanted to get an early lead fast, so that was excellent for us.”
“Our guys were laser-focused today and they were super-motivated,” said Glenelg Country head coach Kevin Quinlan. “Isaiah shot the ball as hot as any other basketball player I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Jove-Vives added 14 points and five assists, while Kevin Boyd contributed 12 points for the Dragons.
St. Paul’s was led by Nygel Sydnor’s 20-point effort. Tre Hamer and Lamont Wade each had six points.
The biggest strength for the Crusaders in last season’s rout of the Dragons was how effective their full-court-press was at forcing turnovers and turning them into easy buckets. But handling the ball with Ben Jordan and Jove-Vives, Glenelg Country broke the pressure and worked its’ offense to perfection.
“I think our backcourt has gotten stronger, so we’re handling the rock better in terms of pressure,” Quinlan said.
Jove-Vives dropped off a pass to Miles, who drained a three-pointer to open the game and the Dragons never looked back.
St. Paul’s guard Tanner Brooks hit a mid-range jumper to tie the game early 4-4 but Glenelg responded by scoring the game’s next 22 straight points.
Jove-Vives hit a shot from deep to start the run and ended it with his behind the back pass to Miles, who drilled another three to close the quarter with a 26-4 advantage.
The Dragons had a 44-18 lead at halftime but weren’t slowed by the intermission. Boyd hit a free-throw to complete a three-point play to cap a 7-0 run for Glenelg to start the third quarter on its way to arguably the biggest win of the season.
“We’re play like a family,” Jove-Vives said. “We don’t care about stats, we just play to win and that is something that I like about Glenelg basketball.
Glenelg Country improved to 20-3 overall and 16-1 in the B Conference, while St. Paul’s dropped to 18-7 and 15-3 respectively. The Dragons now have a two-game lead with three conference games left.
|No. 17 Glenelg Country 71, St. Paul’s 44|
Davis 2, Cornish 4, Hamer 6, Sydnor 20, Williams 2, Wade 6, Brooks 4. Totals 18 6-12 44.
Barnard 2, T. Jordan 4, Davis 4, Jove-Vives 14, Powers 4, Miles 29, Moxely 1, Boyd 12, Jones 1.Totals 27 8-13 71.