For a brief moment, Quince Orchard senior Charles Porter held his follow-through, watching the jumper from the elbow in flight, but in the next instant, he was off to chase down the coming rebound. The 5-foot-11 guard soon won the race to the loose ball, earning an easy putback in the third quarter of Tuesday’s 64-46 win over Churchill.
It takes a certain brand of hustle to lead a high school basketball team in points, rebounds, assists and steals over the course of a season as Porter does. That extra effort paid off this time in a career-high 29 points, helping the Cougars take a Montgomery nonleague matchup in Potomac to snap Churchill’s eight-game winning streak.
“We have to be the bullies,” said Porter, who plans to play at Salisbury University next season. “We came out strong and started punching and didn’t stop.”
Quince Orchard (12-6) entered the game on a two-game losing streak, including a 54-39 loss to No. 15 Magruder on Monday that denied the Darnestown school a share of the Montgomery 4A West title.
But the Cougars turned the tables a day later. They locked down Churchill (14-4) on the defensive end and pulled away after halftime behind Porter.
During the intermission, Quince Orchard Coach Paul Foringer told his team — then leading by four points — to stop settling for outside jumpers after missing all eight of its three-pointers in the opening 16 minutes. Porter took the message to heart, scoring 15 points in the third quarter.
“He knows when to go and when to pass,” Foringer said. “I’ve had other players like him and sometimes they hog the ball and take bad shots. You look at the shots he took, and I don’t think you’d say any of them were bad.”
Porter, who averages 17.1 points per game, had to score quickly to make it happen because Foringer didn’t deviate from his rotation. The 12th-year coach prefers to run his units in short bursts and then sub out five at a time.
In less than three minutes, Porter scored the Cougars’ first nine points of the third quarter and promptly took a seat in a blue folding chair on the sideline with the rest of the starters. Three minutes later, he re-entered the game and made a steal and layup on his first possession back.
The quarter ended with Porter hitting a short jumper at the buzzer off a rebound from senior Bailey Avissar, which the team’s leader punctuated with a high-five for his mother, Vikki, sitting just behind the team’s bench.
“I had my mind-set that we had to start scoring by driving in,” Porter said. “Our shots weren’t falling from the three-point line. . . . I was like ‘All right, I’m just going to be aggressive and drive it in and draw contact.’ That was the key to the game.”
Senior Chris Wilson added 11 points for Quince Orchard and 11 Cougars cracked the scoring column.
Senior Bryant Wheatley scored 11 points to pace Churchill, which clinched its third straight division title with an overtime win over Walter Johnson last Wednesday.