There are no easy games in the Prince George's 34/2A boys basketball league. No team has been able to savor first place for very long. A game after racing past Surrattsville to move into the lead, Central fell, 77-74, to visiting Bladensburg last night.
Both teams have 7-4 overall and 5-2 league records.
"We won the league last year, so everybody is out after us this year," said Bladensburg's Jelani Nix, who had 17 points, 14 rebounds and 3 assists. "We're not taking anybody lightly. We took a couple teams lightly and that's how we lost, but we have our heads together now."
Nix's teammates hung tough after their 6-foot-7 center went to the bench early in the third quarter with his fourth foul. And though Central turned up its pressure, Bladensburg carried a 56-55 lead into the final quarter.
Not more than six points separated the teams most of the game and even after Mike Wynn (game-high 23 points) scored off the fast break to boost Bladensburg to a 73-64 lead with 4:12 left, Central gunned back.
Eventually a fast-break basket and a pair of free throws by William Wright inched the Falcons to 75-72 with a minute left. But a basket on a reverse power move by Roland Martin (18 points) that would have made it one-point game was waved off for charging.
The story line of this game was the play of the Mustangs guards. Wynn and backcourt partner Jerry McDaniel (14 points) countered the quickness of Central's guards by breaking the press and scoring off driving layups. Wynn's basket in which he first saved the ball from going out of bounds, then spun away from his defender on the baseline to score on a leaner, pushed Bladensburg's lead to 75-68.