John Fierstein (3) has become a versatile asset during Quince Orchard’s strong start to the season. (Doug Kapustin / For The Washington Post)

Growing up playing against two older brothers, John Fierstein figured out early on how to protect the ball from bigger players. And he realized that quickness alone wouldn’t do the trick.

“I learned pretty quickly not to let my defender see the ball,” he said. “It pretty much knocked the sense into me.”

Now a 6-foot-3 junior at Quince Orchard, Fierstein isn’t the same lanky kid who played backup point guard as a freshman. But still, he’s not the type to overpower or breeze by a defender. Rather, the point forward uses an array of spin and post moves to create separation. He maximizes his movement, making sure every dribble, pass and step has a purpose. 

 

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“I may not be the quickest guy in the world, but I’m really good at using my body and looking over defenders and finding the open man,” he said. “I like to think of myself as a natural guard, who happens to be tall,” he said.

Fierstein is having a breakout season, averaging 17.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 turnovers while playing alongside sharpshooter Matthew Kelly. Though Fierstein starts at power forward, he plays all over the floor; some possessions he’s running the point from the perimeter. Others, he’s posting up in the paint. Always, though, he’s finding ways to make plays and get the offense moving while taking care of the ball, and his efficient play has the Cougars off to an 11-2 start.

Fierstein’s recruiting interest is starting to pick up. Several schools have been in touch, including an assistant from Weber State, and Fierstein said that he’d be interested in playing in the Patriot League. As for what position he’ll play in college, that’s not yet clear. He’s working on improving his speed and agility — and adding to his 175-pound frame — so that his versatility will translate at the next level.

“He can bring the ball up against pressure, he can play wing, he can post up, he can drop step. He’s pretty much got everything down,” Quince Orchard Coach Paul Foringer said. “It’s just a matter of refining and being more aggressive with his finishes. He knows how to let the game dictate what he needs to do.”

NUMBER CRUNCH: 49

Total three-pointers for Parkdale girls’ basketball’s Drew Calhoun, who leads the D.C. region. The sophomore guard has at least one triple in every game this season.

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Schools are opening back up and pending further cancellations, there could be a full slate of games on Friday. Keep up with all weather postponement updates by following @allmetsports.