The King of the Hill

Montrose Christian
The Mustangs rush the court after upsetting Oak Hill Academy before a capacity crowd of 4,000 at Coolidge High. (Toni L. Sandys - The Washington Post)
By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 5, 2006

It had all the trappings of a big-time game, and Adrian Bowie delivered the shot that ensured last night's meeting between Montrose Christian and Oak Hill won't be soon be forgotten.

Before a capacity crowd of 4,000 at Coolidge High that included a who's who of the Washington area basketball scene, Bowie grabbed an offensive rebound, turned and banked in the game-winning shot as time expired to lift Montrose Christian to a 74-72 victory over Oak Hill Academy, the nation's top-ranked high school team according to USA Today, and one that had won its first 40 games this season.

"It's the greatest feeling in my life," Bowie, a junior forward, said moments later as he paused to sign a young fan's T-shirt.

Bowie scored the game's final six points, capping Montrose's comeback from a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter. The Post's second-ranked team, the Mustangs had seemed headed to certain defeat as Oak Hill star guard Tywon Lawson put on a show in the second half.

Lawson scored 14 points in the third quarter, scoring 14 of the Warriors' 20 points during the period. He made a pair of three-pointers, had steals that led to a dunk and a layup, and generally seemed to do whatever he wanted. He used his speed to get past defenders and his strength to push them aside, as Oak Hill seemed to overcome a sensational effort by Montrose standout forward Kevin Durant.

Durant, who played at Oak Hill last season and has signed with Texas, had scored 16 of his game-high 31 points in the first half before going to the bench with his third foul midway through the second quarter. With Durant on the bench, Montrose (20-2) was unable to keep up. A three-point play by Lawson and a three-pointer from the top of the key by Nolan Smith (who played at Riverdale Baptist last season) helped the Warriors push their lead to 39-28 at halftime.

Lawson, who has signed with North Carolina, finished with 26 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds.

Oak Hill (40-1) maintained its double-digit lead into the fourth quarter and went ahead 64-48 on two free throws by Jeff Allen, who played at DeMatha last season.

Just when Oak Hill seemed in control, Montrose rallied. Maryland recruit Greivis Vasquez made a three-pointer and Bowie scored on consecutive drives. Durant then scored on a drive, made a long three-pointer and all three free throws after being fouled shooting a three, cutting Oak Hill's lead to 68-63.

It was 72-68 when Bowie scored on a tough, left-handed drive. A block by Vasquez led to a fast-break dunk by Bowie, tying the game at 70 with one minute left.

Oak Hill tried to hold for the last shot, but was called for a back-court violation with 20 seconds left.

Montrose ran time off the clock and Durant missed a contested three-pointer from the top of the key. But Bowie was in position for the rebound and he scored to give Montrose the win.

"I've said it all along, he's had a great year and he's one of the best players in the area," Montrose Christian Coach Stu Vetter said. "People don't hear about Adrian because we have Kevin Durant, Greivis Vasquez and Taishi [Ito], but Adrian is a great player."

Montrose Christian 74, Oak Hill 72 The Other D.C. Team: Led by Tywon Lawson's 26 points, Washington area players scored 67 of Oak Hill's 72 points. Maryland recruit Landon Milbourne, who is from Georgia, had the other five.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company