Dion Wiley could feel himself losing control of the ball as he tried to split two defenders with a behind-the-back dribble during Friday’s Maryland 2A South region final. But with the ball loose in a scrum of players, the Potomac (Md.) senior quickly grabbed it with one hand and crossed over to his other before soaring into the lane for a tough layup while drawing a foul.
The crafty move produced a loud roar from the Wolverine fans and a small grin from Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon, who was in attendance to see his future player star in several highlight-reel plays during a 101-63 rout of Oakland Mills in Oxon Hill.
With the win, No. 14 Potomac moves one step closer to its ultimate goal of a state championship, setting up a game against Baltimore’s Patterson in Friday’s 2A state semifinal at 9 p.m. at Comcast Center.
“The coaches said we’d be clicking on all cylinders tonight and we were,” said Wiley, who finished with a game-high 30 points. “We didn’t let up from the start, and I think this is the most complete game we’ve played all season.”
After being locked in a defensive struggle the night before in a region semifinal win over Gwynn Park, the Wolverines quickly got back to their run-and-gun pace on Friday. A three-pointer by Randall Broddie on the game’s first play, followed by a Wiley three and dunk several plays later, ignited a showtime sequence that featured five three-pointers and three dunks and produced a commanding 31-10 lead.
“Coach (Renard) Johnson just said ‘let it go’ if you have it, and I had probably the best walkthrough ever before the game, so I felt good,” said Broddie, who finished with 27 points. “Our plan was to just get out and go, and we took advantage.”
Potomac’s quick start dug an even deeper hole for the Scorpions (20-5), who were already without second-leading scorer DeShawn Willis, who was suspended after being ejected from the prior night’s game. To make matters worse, junior Mamadou Ndiaye, who averages a team-high 19.6 points and was already nursing a sore foot, went to the bench in the second quarter after landing hard on his wrist and finished the game scoreless.
By then, the Wolverines had extended their lead to 28 points on an assortment of fast breaks, blocked shots and sharpshooting, including nine three-pointers.
The Wolverines (21-5) hope Friday’s performance will give them momentum as they play for a second straight trip to the state final.
“We needed this because it’s a huge confidence boost for us going into state,” Wiley said. “We’ve had some injuries and moments where we haven’t put it all together, but we can keep building off a game like this.”