Two Northwestern teams showed up for last night's Prince George's AA boys basketball game at Largo.
In the first half, the Wildcats were awful, scoring only 16 points -- four in the first quarter. But in the last 16 minutes, they played well and went on to defeat the Lions, 50-44, in a intense game. Northwestern is 6-2 overall and 5-0 in the league. Largo is 5-3 and 2-2.
The Wildcats scored 14 of the first 17 points of the fourth quarter to turn a 35-34 deficit into a 48-38 lead with 1:45 left. Largo got within five points with 20 seconds left, but that's as close as it got down the stretch.
Senior Jay Bias led the Wildcats with 21 points and Derrick Curry had 10. Six-foot-8 center James Bryson led the Lions with 13.
Northwestern struggled early in the game, making two field goals in the first quarter. In one stretch, the Wildcats put up three air balls in four shots. However, Largo wasn't much better and the Lions led, 8-4, after the first quarter.
Bias scored seven of Northwestern's 12 points in the second quarter, but Largo's Ali-Bey Bright made three layups in the last 2:35 of the half to give the Lions a 23-16 intermission lead.
"We didn't play well in the first half, but you have to give Largo credit," Northwestern Coach Cornell Jones said. "They came out and played some good basketball. We just needed some time to get ourselves together."
The Wildcats slowly but surely improved their game. After Quentin Addison's three-point shot gave the Lions a 26-18 lead, Northwestern got back in it, outscoring Largo by 14-6 to tie the game. Terry Lancaster's 18-footer was the tying shot.
Largo led by 35-34 after three periods. Bright made one of two free throws to make it 36-34 at the start of the fourth quarter, but Bias' off-balance 15-footer tied it. The Wildcats then took their first lead of the game on consecutive dunks by Curry and Bias off steals.
Bryson scored from inside the lane to get the Lions within two, but Northwestern's 8-0 run put it away, 48-38. Lancaster had four points during the stretch. Largo scored three points in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the last period.
"We were happy to be ahead," Largo Coach Charles Anderson said, "but we got into an uptempo game with them and we couldn't keep up."