Boys’ basketball: O’Connell turns back Potomac (Md.), 78-72

December 22, 2013

Saturday’s DMV Tip-Off Classic finale between No. 5 Potomac (Md.) and No. 10 O’Connell was seen by many as a showdown between future Maryland teammates Melo Trimble and Dion Wiley, a collision of two of the area’s top guards and their thoroughly talented teams. With Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon watching, Trimble’s Knights captured bragging rights with a 78-72 win over Wiley and the Wolverines.

“I bought into [the hype] before the game, everybody was tweeting about it — me and Dion, that’s what everybody wants to see,” Trimble said.

Trimble, however, received some sage counsel from O’Connell Coach Joe Wootten before the game.

“Coach Wootten told me it’s not a you and Dion show. It’s a team game. And I said, ‘yeah, you’re right.’ ”

Trimble, who admitted stealing a glance to Turgeon’s courtside seat, delivered 25 points, many on impressive moves and finishes.

Wiley, hobbled by a sprained ankle suffered last week against Gwynn Park, gutted out minutes and 11 points as his Potomac co-star, sophomore Walter Broddie, dropped 28 points.

Ultimately, however, it was the supporting casts that defined the game. O’Connell’s second-leading scorer, Jamaal King, was away for a family wedding, so sophomore Randall Gaskins — not normally a starter — slid in to fill the void in the backcourt. He delivered 18 points, and fellow sophomore Ako Adams had 17.

“Gaskins and Adams, they didn’t start last year,” Trimble said. “They picked it up real well today.”

Potomac forward Anthony Smith also enjoyed a big game. The 6-6 junior seemed to get a hand on nearly every rebound and scored 23 points.

“We were there,” said Potomac Coach Renard Johnson, whose team fell to 4-2. “I wish we could’ve gotten more out of Dion — he wasn’t supposed to even play today . . . but no excuses. O’Connell played really well, but I liked the effort our guys gave.”

While a visibly slowed Wiley scored one basket in the second half, Trimble had 15 to rally the Knights from a seven-point halftime deficit in a game that featured 12 lead changes.

“I spoke to Melo before the game. I said this isn’t you vs. Dion, this is us vs. them,” Wootten said. “But I also told him: If we win, you’ll have bragging rights.”

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