As detailed in Thursday’s paper, North Point senior Marquis Wright has been the engine behind three straight runs to the Maryland 4A state semifinals. The 6-foot point guard will kick off his final state tournament on Thursday night when the Eagles meet Eleanor Roosevelt in a rematch from last season.
Though Wright has been a steadying force at North Point in a four-year career, the pieces around him, of course, have continued to change. Anthony Williams, one of Wright’s best friends, arrived at the Waldorf school with Wright in 2009, but his varsity career has required more patience.
A 5-foot-8 guard, Williams didn’t make his varsity debut until last season and only logged two minutes in the state semifinal when the Eagles fell to the Raiders, 65-63. The senior scored a career-high 21 points in last week’s Maryland 4A East final victory over Arundel, and on Thursday, he will be in the starting lineup for the first time at Comcast Center.
“Everybody was talking about, ‘Who’s going to step up? Who’s going to fill that scoring?’” said Williams, who has averaged 9.4 points per game. “I was like ‘I’m right here.’ I knew it was time for me to be a man and mature.”
Williams calls Wright “my only point guard.” They began playing together when they were five years old and continued up the ranks, competing with the Maryland Ruff Riders on the AAU circuit. Last May, they marked Williams’ birthday by getting matching tattoos of a winged basketball across their chests.
Though they followed different high school scripts, both players plan to continue their careers at the next level. Wright became the first North Point player to earn a Division I scholarship and will play for Jimmy Patsos at Loyola (Md.).
Williams appears headed for a Division III school. He visited Rhode Island College last summer and has the Providence school atop his short list. The Anchormen have made seven straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament out of the Little East Conference. If that doesn’t work out, he has interest from Hood College and Goucher College closer to home.
In his first season as a high school starter, Williams has proven a good fit in Coach Jimmy Ball’s free-flowing system.
Williams can push the tempo and also provides a long-range threat with 22 three-pointers for the season, but he doesn’t have to score to impact the game. Of the first three plays on his senior highlight reel on Hudl, two are assists and the other is a steal. The Eagles essentially have two point guards on the floor most of the game.
Williams said he’s looking forward to the state’s biggest stage and the chance to close his career in style.
“I’m loving it right now,” Williams said. “I’m not taking nothing for granted. I know that if we win states that will be a big completion to my book at North Point High School.”