Boys’ basketball: Maret looks to make a move in MAC


No. 17 Maret, pictured during a practice in January, has a chance to make headway in the MAC with three conference games this week. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
February 3, 2014

Consistency has been No. 17 Maret’s biggest problem this season. The Frogs defeated a tough Saint James squad but suffered two-point losses to Potomac School and Flint Hill in Mid-Atlantic Conference play.

But Maret, which is tied for third in the MAC, has an opportunity to move into second place with three MAC conference games this week.

On Tuesday, the Frogs will host a Flint Hill team that handed them their first conference loss on a last-second three-pointer. They travel to Sidwell Friends on Thursday, and Potomac School will visit the Northwest school’s boisterous gymnasium on Friday.

Maret fell behind by 18 points at Potomac School in an eventual 52-50 loss, and just two players scored in double digits. The Frogs are 9-4 when three or more players score in double figures.

“I don’t think we were sharp mentally and physically,” Maret Coach Garrett O’Donnell said of his squad’s losses in conference play. “When we struggled, all the guys tried to do it individually and not collectively.”

Jalen Barnes, Steffen Davis and Drake Goddard share their story about hard work, dedication, and friendship on and off the basketball court. (Andrew Kloc for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC/The Washington Post)

As the reigning MAC champion, Maret (12-7, 4-2) has been getting opponents’ best efforts.

“We can’t slack. We are getting every team’s best punch,” senior guard Steffen Davis said. “Throughout this year, our goal and motivation has been to beat teams in and out of our league because of our reputation.”

Last season, Maret received a bye in the first round of the MAC tournament as the No. 1 seed after going 11-1 in conference play.

St. James, which has been buoyed by the addition of former Montrose Christian players Justin Robinson and Therence Mayimba, sits atop the MAC this season, but its lone conference loss was at Maret on Jan. 11.

“We want a good enough seed in the tournament so we don’t have to play tougher teams in the first or second round,” Davis said. “We know how we can play, and everybody saw that when we beat Saint James, so if we can end the week 3-0 we will be happy with ourselves.”

Maret put together a five game-winning streak in December but has split its last six contests. With a little more than two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Frogs will play four of their next seven games at home in a final push to gain a top seed in the MAC tournament.

“The answers will come this week,” O’Donnell said. “I hope they learned they have to take every game seriously. The MAC is good top to bottom, and unless we play together we won’t be successful. We will discover what we learned this week.”

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