Fairmont Heights 65, Potomac 63
It was not the game statistics that Fairmont Heights senior forward Ihsan Robinson had during his team's 65-63 victory at Potomac last night in a Prince George's County 3A/2A/1A game that impressed Coach George Wake.
It was Robinson's first career start that mattered most. It was the culmination of a four-year journey that has taken Robinson through three high schools and has seen him more than double his grade-point average since arriving at the school last winter.
"He doesn't know it," Wake said. "But he's an inspiration to a lot of the kids because of how hard he's worked in the classroom to play basketball. He's just grown up so much it's incredible, and I don't think he knows how good he can really be."
The 6-foot-4, 165-pound Robinson showed his potential last night by getting 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds to lead the Hornets (2-1, 2-1) to their seventh victory in eight meetings with Potomac (2-1, 2-1), dating from the 1999-2000 season.
"It's been a struggle, but I finally got to play high school basketball for the first time this year," said Robinson, who spent his first two years of high school at Central, and the first semester of last year at Largo. "But nothing is ever easy, and it's never given to you. This is something I had to work hard for, and a lot of it was working hard to get good grades."
Trailing 48-47 entering the fourth quarter, the Hornets held the Braves without a field goal for the first 5 minutes 30 seconds of the period, and took a 61-51 lead on a free throw by junior forward Keith Edmonds (10 points) with 2:55 remaining.
Senior guard Maurice Henderson's three-pointer ended Potomac's field goal drought and began a 10-3 run to pull the team within three.
Potomac had a chance to get closer, but Emmanuel Jean-Francois (game-high 17 points) missed two free throws with 27 seconds remaining, with Robinson securing the rebound.
"Once Ihsan told me he was serious about playing basketball earlier this year, he has done everything he has had to do to be a part of our team," said senior guard Danyil Lancaster. "All of his hard work has paid off for him -- and he's just getting started."