Bobby Weismiller figures he has played with close to 40 players during his basketball career at Notre Dame Academy in Middleburg, Va. The one common thread shared by those players is that they have helped the Dragons win: Last night, visiting Notre Dame beat No. 7 McNamara, 66-62, in Forestville.
"We come together really quickly," said Weismiller, a 6-foot-3, senior left-handed shooting guard.
"We spend a good amount of time together, from 3:15 til 8 p.m., September 1 to November 1. I love it. I love these guys; they're like my brothers away from home. I'll stick with them until the end."
Notre Dame (3-1) led 23-20 with 6 minutes 42 seconds left in the second quarter. But McNamara junior guard Joseph Pigg scored five straight points to give the Mustangs a 25-23 lead. McNamara (2-1) took a 41-35 lead into halftime and extended it to 50-41--its largest of the game--midway through the third quarter.
But the Dragons chipped away, and back-to-back three-pointers by Weismiller and Sherrod Teasley tied the game at 56 with 4:06 remaining. Notre Dame took a 62-60 lead with 1:05 left--its first lead since the second quarter--when Weismiller beat Maurice Young (26 points) with a pump fake and made a jump shot from just inside the three-point line.
The Dragons made a key defensive stop on the next possession. Weismiller poked the ball away from Mustangs junior Tony Bethel and dove on the floor after the basketball with Teasley, who tapped it ahead to senior Shelton Hawkins. Hawkins's layup with 40 seconds left sealed the win.
"We just wanted to come in and make a statement," said Teasley, who scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter. "We wanted to show that we can compete with any team in the area, night in and night out."
Notre Dame, which finished 24-3 last season and ranked No. 7, has eight new players from places as diverse as Cameroon, England and Detroit.
The team also has a new coach in Larry Cullinane, an assistant for two seasons who was promoted to the top job when Ed Hoffman resigned shortly before the season began.