Prince George's basketball

Oxon Hill boys rally for Prince George's County championship win

By Mark Giannotto
Thursday, February 25, 2010

There are benefits other than points to playing alongside one of the top scorers in the area, something Oxon Hill point guard Sedric Baker learned in exhilarating fashion with his team trailing Gwynn Park by one point with just six seconds remaining Wednesday night in the Prince George's County championship game.

As several Gwynn Park defenders focused on Clippers senior Ray Gatling, Baker curled around a screen, took a pass and saw a wide-open lane in front of him. He drove hard to the basket and banked in a soft floater with 1.9 seconds remaining to give Oxon Hill a 73-72 victory in front of 2,000 at Wise High in Upper Marlboro.

"Everybody was paying such close attention to Ray, I just had a free lane and took it," said Baker (20 points), surrounded by fans who rushed the court. "This is just amazing, all the fans here watching. This is what we came to do, we worked so hard to get here."

The basket capped a furious 18-3 run for the Clippers (16-4), who had watched the Yellow Jackets' lead swell to 14 with a little more than four minutes remaining in the game.

Baker and Gatling led that rally. After combining for just nine points in the first half, the two guards scored 37 of Oxon Hill's 49 points after intermission. Gatling, the area's second-leading scorer, finished with 26 points, attacking the box-and-one defense Gwynn Park used on him. He also added several steals during the Clippers' final charge.

Seniors Brandon Ford (19 points) and Tion Barnes (18 points) led the way for the Yellow Jackets (17-5).

Perfect finish for Wise

In the girls' county title game, No. 2 Wise capped an unbeaten season within the county with an 82-72 win over Largo.

Wise (21-1) watched as its 10-point halftime lead steadily evaporated in the third quarter, and the Lions took their first lead of the game at 56-55. But the Pumas responded on the following possession, getting a three-pointer from sophomore Eliqua Brooks to take control. Wise outscored Largo by seven down the stretch and finished with five players in double figures, led by senior Leslie Slayton (21 points).

"We've been here since this place opened (in 2005) so it means so much to us," said senior Breanna Gibson (14 points). "For us to win today was just great, it's like the last piece of the puzzle."

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