Senior Emmanuel Matey set the tone for No. 9 Eleanor Roosevelt’s convincing 88-64 win at No. 12 DuVal on Monday night on the offensive end, dishing out a school record 15 assists, but Matey’s persistent defensive effort made the performance all the more impressive.
For much of the night, Matey was tasked with marking DuVal leading scorer Michael Cunningham man-to-man, and the junior guard rarely received the ball without pressure from Matey.
Cunningham is the third-leading scorer in Prince George’s County’s at 19.9 points per game, and he has appeared on the All-Met Watch three times this season for his work during the Tigers’ 13-game winning streak that ended against Eleanor Roosevelt. The Paul VI transfer is slowly working to bolster his recruiting stock after spending most of his sophomore season on the bench and playing sparingly on the AAU circuit over the summer.
TOP SCORERS IN PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY
|Rank||Year||Name, school||Points per game|
|1.||So.||Olyadoyin Fadojutimi, High Point||23.1|
|2.||Sr.||Marquis Roberson, Surrattsville||21|
|3.||Jr.||Michael Cunningham, DuVal||19.9|
|4.||Sr.||Cameron Thurston, Parkdale||19.4|
|5.||Sr.||Calvin Lovitt, Central||19.3|
Note: Suitland senior Roddy Peters averaged 21.2 in six games before season-ending shoulder surgery.
On Monday, Cunningham recorded 15 points but the last 10 came in the second half after the Raiders had raced out to a 20-point lead. He finished 5 of 14 from the field.
Matey, a 6-foot guard, stayed within an arm’s length of Cunningham — and often closer — whenever the Raiders were in man-to-man defense, even following him over to the DuVal bench as he chatted with Coach Lafayette Dublin during a break in the action in the second quarter.
Afterward, Matey said he knew he had to deny Cunningham the ball to disrupt the DuVal attack.
“The key is to keep the ball out of his hands because it’s not just about him scoring, it’s about him getting other people involved while he’s scoring,” Matey said. “If you keep the ball out of his hands, the offense won’t function as well.”
With that approach, Matey, a transfer who attended North County and McNamara last year, has become a key part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s bid for a fourth straight Maryland 4A South title. Though he averages just 3.9 points per game, he showed Monday the other ways he can impact a game.
Matey “brings energy every game all the time,” Holy Cross-bound senior Malachi Alexander said. “He just puts our team up to another level.”