Prince George's 3A/2A/1A Boys

Thomas Plus Thomas Adds Up to a Big Gwynn Park Win

Gwynn Park's Ronnell Liggett snares a rebound with authority. His team improved to 12-0 with the win.
Gwynn Park's Ronnell Liggett snares a rebound with authority. His team improved to 12-0 with the win. (By Toni L. Sandys -- The Washington Post)
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By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sean Thomas and Eric Thomas are such good friends, they joke that they are "distant cousins." They may like many of the same things off the court, but on the floor the two unrelated senior guards could not be more different. Sean Thomas is the leading scorer for 13th-ranked Gwynn Park; Eric moved into the starting lineup last week for the first time when another teammate became academically ineligible.

And while there was quite a contrast in their performances last night, both played big roles in the host Yellow Jackets' 80-50 dismantling of ninth-ranked Largo before a near-capacity crowd of 600 in a game between Prince George's 3A/2A/1A leaders in Brandywine.

Sean Thomas made 12 of 13 shots and finished with 30 points, one off his career high. Eric Thomas did not attempt a shot from the field and finished with one point, roughly half his season average.

But while Sean Thomas and another senior guard, Harold Washington, kept Gwynn Park's offense going, it was Eric Thomas who played the key role in Gwynn Park's box-and-one defense, guarding Largo's leading scorer, Klevin Pollard.

Pollard finished with 13 points on 5-of-17 shooting, well below his season average of nearly 22 points per game, and at times grew frustrated with the constant face-guarding by Eric Thomas and sophomore Tim Floyd. Eric Thomas had a trophy of sorts to show for his effort: a bloody lower lip that he said was the result of an elbow from Pollard in the fourth quarter (Pollard was called for an intentional foul on the play).

"If he can't get the ball, he can't score," Eric Thomas said. "He started getting rattled."

Largo Coach Lewis Howard said Pollard's struggles also impacted his second-leading scorer, 6-foot-11 center Maurice Sutton, because Pollard often is the one feeding Sutton the ball. Sutton made 4 of 8 shots and had 12 points. Largo (10-2, 7-1), the area's highest-scoring team, finished 36 points below its season average.

In addition to playing solid defense, Gwynn Park (12-0, 8-0) was patient offensively, repeatedly pulling the ball away from the basket and making extra passes, often leading to baskets.

"Normally, we're not that patient," Gwynn Park Coach Mike Glick said. "That's the most patient we've been. But it was also the most patient we had to be to win this season."

No. 13 Gwynn Park 80, No. 9 Largo 50 A Solid Assist: Gwynn Park guard Harold Washington finished with 14 points, 8 assists and 6 steals. All six steals led to baskets, five by Sean Thomas. Quite a Difference: Gwynn Park lost to Largo three times last season, including a 39-point loss at home and an eight-point loss in the Maryland 3A South Region playoffs. No. 13 Gwynn Park 80, No. 9 Largo 50 A Solid Assist: Gwynn Park guard Harold Washington finished with 14 points, 8 assists and 6 steals. All six steals led to baskets, five by Sean Thomas. Quite a Difference: Gwynn Park lost to Largo three times last season, including a 39-point loss at home and an eight-point loss in the Maryland 3A South Region playoffs.


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