IAC boys

Starks leads Georgetown Prep to win over Episcopal

Markel Starks scored 28 points - including six threes - in leading Georgetown Prep to a 66-50 win over Episcopal.
By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 16, 2010

There wasn't one standout highlight for Georgetown Prep senior guard Markel Starks against Episcopal on Friday night.

Sure, there were a few impressive drives to the basket and a short jumper off of a shake-and-bake fast break. And, yes, there was also the 23-foot three-pointer from the left wing to end the third quarter and the 28-footer with the shot clock winding down midway through the fourth.

Those plays blended together in an efficient and near-flawless all-around performance. Starks scored 28 points and had four assists, leading 13th-ranked Georgetown Prep to a 66-50 victory over 14th-ranked Episcopal in a meeting of Interstate Athletic Conference leaders in Alexandria.

Episcopal (7-2, 1-1) played man-to-man defense for much of the game, but it didn't matter who guarded the Georgetown-bound Starks. One defender got two quick fouls. A standout football player struggled to keep up. A taller player also had problems matching up. And when the Maroon tried to double-team the 6-foot-2 Starks and force other players to score, his teammates were more than capable.

"We've seen every defense you can possibly imagine," Georgetown Prep Coach Dwayne Bryant said. "I know I'm a little biased because I'm his coach, but if he's not the best player in the area, I don't know who is."

Starks entered the game averaging 24.1 points per game and while Episcopal focused all its defensive efforts on him, Starks still made 10 of 14 shots. After missing his first three-point attempt, Starks made his final six.

Starks said the outing was a confidence booster because he did not feel he had shot well the past two games. He credited the two-hour bus ride home from a game at Mercersburg (Pa.) on Tuesday for allowing him to catch up on some much-needed sleep and refocus.

"When you only get five or six hours of sleep, you appreciate those two hours," he said.

Senior guard Thurgood Wynn, who will play for Navy, added 17 points for Georgetown Prep (12-3, 3-0), including 11 in the first quarter as the teams combined to make 20 of 33 shots. The Little Hoyas led 34-28 at halftime, but took control as they scored the first seven points of the third quarter. Starks had a personal 7-0 run midway through the period.

"It's a lot easier when he's on fire because teams focus on him and it allows all the other guys to step up," Wynn said. "Once they get on us, he comes back."

On a roll: Since starting the season 1-2, Georgetown Prep has won 11 of its past 12 games.

Keeping it close: Episcopal guard Sadiq Abubakar, a junior from Nigeria in his first year at the Alexandria boarding school, scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half.

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