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Posted at 09:42 AM ET, 02/04/2013

Letters of Interest: Dion Wiley shakes off shooting woes to lead Potomac (Md.)

Potomac (Md.) junior Dion Wiley takes pride in his offensive versatility. With a potent long-range shot and deft touch around the basket to match, the 6-foot-4 guard has attracted scholarship offers from top college programs across the country.


Potomac’s Dion Wiley overcame a poor shooting night by being aggressive late in an overtime win over Gwynn Park. (Doug Kapustin - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
But there came a point in the second half of Potomac (Md.)’s 58-55 overtime victory on Friday against Gwynn Park when Wiley concluded it was time to become more one-dimensional.

Wiley pushed through a poor shooting night with one explosive drive to the basket after another. He found a way to produce the offense the Wolverines needed to shake the pesky Yellow Jackets, scoring the game’s final four points from the free throw line in the last 20 seconds.

“My shot wasn’t falling, so I went to the hole and kept on attacking,” said Wiley, who finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and six steals. “I knew I needed to be aggressive.”

Gwynn Park nearly pulled the upset following a game plan tailored to frustrate high-scoring Potomac. The Yellow Jackets controlled the tempo with their disciplined play on the offensive end, forcing the home team to guard for long stretches. When the Wolverines finally got the ball, they were anxious and rushed shots.

Wiley, who now holds 10 scholarship offers, had trouble finding his rhythm in part because of Gwynn Park’s triangle-and-two defense. The Yellow Jackets sought to deny touches for Potomac’s top two scorers, Wiley and freshman Randall Broddie, and make the other players on the floor provide the offense.

Wiley converted just three field goals and was credited with only eight shot attempts because he was fouled so often trying to get to the rim. He finished 11 of 16 at the free throw line on a night the Panthers hit 31 of 38 as a team.

“That’s the hardest 18 points he’s ever going to score,” Potomac Coach Renard Johnson said. “I promise you that.”

Wiley said the performance helped highlight his improved ball-handling, an aspect of his game he has worked to strengthen.

Last summer, the guard emerged as one of the area’s most coveted recruits, boosting his stock playing with Team Takeover on the AAU circuit. On that squad, St. John’s junior Tre Campbell and Mount St. Joseph’s junior Phil Booth handled the point guard duties, setting up Wiley to showcase his scoring ability.

Though Broddie and senior Chris Winn are both more natural point guards, Wiley will often bring the ball up court for his high school team and initiate the offense.

The formula has worked well as Wiley has averaged 17.1 points per game, and Potomac (Md.) (14-2, 12-1) now hold a 2 1/2 game lead on Central (10-4, 9-3) for the top spot in the Prince George’s 3A/2A/1A standings. The Wolverines are seeking their first league title since 2006.

“Some of the colleges looking at me thought I was just a shooter,” said Wiley. “They didn’t really know I could dribble and create plays for my teammates. When they see me doing that now [for Potomac], I think they’re impressed.”

Late last month, Wiley said Connecticut became the latest team to offer him a scholarship. The list also includes Maryland, Georgetown, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Rutgers, North Carolina State, Villanova, Cincinnati and Miami.

Here are a few other highlights from a busy weekend in area high school sports:

• No. 12 St. John’s beat DeMatha, 60-58, on Friday, downing the Stags nearly 10 years to the day of their most recent win against their WCAC rivals. Junior Darian Anderson hit the game-winning jumper from the elbow with 1.6 seconds left. The last time the Cadets had defeated DeMatha was on Jan. 31, 2003. The weekend almost got even better for St. John’s as it just missed an upset of No. 3 Paul VI on Sunday, falling 55-53.

• Top-ranked Gonzaga added to DeMatha’s struggles with a 68-52 win on Sunday, closing out a regular season sweep of the Stags. All-Met Kris Jenkins led the way with 16 points and seven rebounds as the Eagles stayed unbeaten in WCAC play. With Paul VI’s win over O’Connell on Friday, Gonzaga is alone atop the conference standings, heading into Tuesday’s game against the Knights.

•No. 2 Theodore Roosevelt and No. 11 Oakland Mills are the last unbeaten teams left in The Post’s boys’ basketball Top 20 after Heritage took down Loudoun Valley on Friday, 77-70. Zach Coffman scored 32 points to spark the Pride’s upset.

VIDEO FROM THE WEEKEND:

Take a look at Branden Roth’s video package from Gonzaga’s 68-52 win over DeMatha on Sunday. The Eagles improved to 19-3 overall, while DeMatha fell to 10-10 and sits in sixth place in the WCAC standings.

NUMBER CRUNCH: 41

Points put up by Princeton Day in the second quarter of Saturday’s 95-85 upset of then-No. 18 Coolidge. After an even first quarter, the Storm took a 21-point lead into halftime thanks to the burst and held on for the victory behind 27 points from Aquille Carr.

BREAKFAST LINKS

— Toni Sandys takes a look at the Holton-Arms swim team’s unbridled enthusiasm in victory at the Washington Metropolitan Prep School Swim and Dive League championships in her latest More than A Game offering. Check out the corresponding photo gallery here. Gonzaga won the boys’ title.

— South County senior Felecia Majors won the 500-meter dash at Saturday’s Virginia Tech Invitational, posting the fastest time in the country this season and seventh fastest ever by a high school girl.

— Good Counsel junior Kyle Snyder stayed perfect in his high school wrestling career, helping the Falcons take the WCAC title on Saturday at St. John’s.

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY

No. 15 Magruder at Quince Orchard, 7 p.m.

Most of the Montgomery County teams are in action tonight, playing the games that were originally postponed by snow on Jan. 25. Here Magruder travels to Darnestown, looking to clinch the Montgomery 4A West title. The Colonels took a tumble in the rankings this week after falling to Clarksburg on Wednesday, but they beat the Cougars, 59-48, in the teams’ first meeting on Jan. 4.

By  |  09:42 AM ET, 02/04/2013

 
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