No. 3 DeMatha Tops No. 5 O'Connell in Boys' Basketball, 64-53

By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The game was still close when Quinn Cook made his first three-pointer, from the left wing two minutes into the second half. Thirty seconds later, Cook made a three-pointer from the left corner. On DeMatha's next possession, Cook made another three-pointer from the left wing.

As the talented sophomore helped the third-ranked Stags take control of last night's eventual 64-53 victory at fifth-ranked O'Connell, Cook was certain that, somewhere, his father was watching. Ted Cook died of cardiac arrest at age 48 last March, but his 15-year-old son said he still talks to his father every day.

Last night, with a national television audience watching, Quinn Cook gave his father one more reason to be proud.

"It's tough to put into words -- [Quinn] is somebody I've known since fifth grade, and his dad was one of my closest friends, too," DeMatha Coach Mike Jones said. "He's been really strong through this. This is where sports really takes on another element, another layer. It's got to be really good for him to be around a group of guys who know what he's going through."

Said Cook, who scored 19 of his 25 points last night in the second half, finishing one short of his career high: "It makes me want to work that much harder. It would be easy for me to put my head down."

DeMatha's lead was 30-25 early in the third quarter until Cook put together his personal 9-0 run. O'Connell (21-7, 13-4 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference) never got closer than 10 points thereafter.

Perhaps making Cook's shooting a bit surprising, he did not attempt a three-pointer in the first half. But when he had the chance to shoot, he did not hesitate as the Stags (23-3, 13-2) won their eighth consecutive game and improved to 9-1 since leading scorer Josh Selby was suspended indefinitely for violating team rules. With Selby out, Cook, who averages 10.9 points, has filled a larger role.

"After I hit the first one, my teammates kept giving me the ball," said Cook, who was 9 of 15 from the field. "After that, the rest was history. It was fun. Every time we play O'Connell, it's going to be a great game. The atmosphere was crazy."

Naji Hibbert added 12 points for DeMatha, while Kendall Marshall led O'Connell with 14. But after a sizzling start in which he scored nine points in the first quarter, Marshall was held in check.

No. 3 DeMatha 64 No. 5 O'Connell 53 Tough Ticket: With the game sold out well in advance, many fans lined up outside the school at 6 p.m. and flooded the gym when the doors were opened at 7:30, still 90 minutes before tip-off. Rematch?: While DeMatha swept the teams' regular season meetings, it is possible they could meet again in the WCAC tournament that begins next week.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company