Eleanor Roosevelt junior Edward Basden wasn't sure what to think when his coach, Glenn Farello, approached him about moving from shooting guard to point guard eight games ago. Now that the No. 11 Raiders have won eight straight since the switch, Basden--and his coach and teammates alike--are happy with the change.
Last night, the 6-foot-5 Basden scored a team-high 24 points--22 in the second half--and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead visiting Roosevelt to a 73-63 victory over No. 18 Parkdale.
It was an important win for the Raiders (10-3, 6-1); aside from keeping their winning streak intact, the victory keeps Roosevelt in first place in the highly competitive Prince George's 4A league. Parkdale, which has lost two in a row, dropped to 9-3, 5-2. No. 4 Oxon Hill improved to 6-1 in the county after defeating Laurel, 61-47, last night.
"I told the team that this was a big chance to make or break us," Basden said. "It's the middle of the season, and we've got to get on the right track and keep up the good work."
Eleanor Roosevelt senior Delonte Holland scored 14 points, and junior Delonte West added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Parkdale's leading scorers, seniors Ricky Shields and Shaun Swan, combined for 50 points, around their usual contributions, but struggled with their shooting early in the game. The Panthers' shooting woes--combined with Roosevelt's two-to-one rebounding advantage--helped the Raiders take control of the game early.
"This is the first night that Swan has not shot with consistency," Parkdale Coach Bob Johnson said of his leading scorer, who missed his first five shots. "He usually gives us a boost when the game starts with his scoring."
Behind Basden, the Raiders built a 52-37 lead at the end of the third quarter, but Parkdale, thanks to a combined 16 points from Shields and Swan, whittled the gap to 59-53 with 3 minutes 13 seconds left in the game. Roosevelt kept the ball in Basden's hands, and he scored 10 points, including 4 of 7 free throws, over the final three minutes to seal the win.
"Eddie really controls the game, and good things happen when he has the ball," Farello said. "He's done a phenomenal job, and he's starting to understand that role."
Basden leads the Raiders in every category, except for scoring (the Delaware-bound Holland averages 21 points, and Basden averages 17). Basden is averaging six assists, eight rebounds and 5.5 steals.
"The thing about Ed is that he's a threat to score," Holland said. "He has good court vision, and with his height he can see people when they're wide open. That's what I like about him; he can find me when I'm making my cuts to the basket."