Before this basketball season, I had several coaches tell me that Wakefield senior guard Khory Moore was a player to watch. Last night was my first chance to see if Moore lived up to the hype, as he and his Warrior teammates took on AAA National District rival Hayfield.
Put simply: I’m a believer.
Moore’s 22-point performance in the Warriors’ 79-55 win wasn’t his best outing of the season and the first half brought its struggles with two fouls and no field goals. But amidst all of that, Moore’s skills on the court were evident.
For one, the senior guard has one of the quickest first steps I’ve seen in the area. If Moore catches his defender with a crossover or hard dribble, chances are it will be followed by an open look or trip to the foul line.
Also evident were the fruits of a conversation that Wakefield Coach Tony Bentley said he recently had with Moore.
“Khory is real high on being the top player in the district and region, but when I told him that Kenny James was district player of the year in 2005 and averaged nine points and it clicked,” Bentley said. “He realized it’s not so much about scoring but about everything you do on the court and making your teammates better.”
With Moore’s shot not falling in the first half, he got his teammates involved, opening the door for Re’Quan Hopson to tally 14 points. In the second half, the scorer in Moore emerged. The senior dropped 17 of his game-high 22 points on an array of mid-range jump shots and drives to the rim.
“Khory’s energy is big for us because when he gets going, the rest of the team gets going too,” Hopson said. “With the way he drives to the rim, most teams aren’t going to stop him.”
That’s been the case of late for the Warriors, who have won six straight games and sit in the driver’s seat in the AAA National standings. With Moore leading the way and his teammates emerging — five different players have led the team in scoring during their win streak — the Warriors appear to be peaking at the right time.
In Tuesday’s other action:
• Kris Jenkins made his case for All-Met Player of the Year by scoring 27 points and draining the winning free throws in No. 1 Gonzaga’s 69-68 win against No. 4 Paul VI. As they did in their first meeting, the Panthers rallied late but the Eagles showed the poise that’s kept them undefeated in the tough Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Check out Eric Detweiler’s game story for more.
Speaking of the Quakers, big ups to sharpshooting senior Matt Hillman for his commitment to Carnegie Mellon (Pa.).
Time left on the clock when Marsalis Hurley scored the game-winning basket in Douglass’s 35-33 triumph against Gwynn Park. The junior forward also finished with 12 rebounds for the Eagles, who needed overtime to hold off Gwynn Park in their first meeting.
●No. 17 South Lakes girls’ basketball team nearly squandered a double-digit lead but, as Preston Williams writes, the Lady Seahawks held on to beat Virginia AAA Liberty District foe Fairfax on Tuesday.
●Gonzaga moved up two spots in latest ESPN’s national rankings. See where the Eagles landed this week.
●Though Baltimore is closer to home for most DMV residents, the San Francisco 49ers have deeper roots with three former All-Met players.
●Reservoir High has become a dividing line of sorts between Redskins and Ravens fans.
Check out video by Branden Roth from Tuesday’s thrilling WCAC matchup between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 4 Paul VI.
The Mustangs get another crack at the nationally ranked Warriors at the Big Atlantic Classic in Beckley, W. Va. Oak Hill won this season’s first meeting, 65-48, at the Iolani Classic in Hawaii.