No. 16 Potomac overwhelmed No. 20 Theodore Roosevelt on Monday night. (Joshua Needelman/The Washington Post)
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“What I’m trying to do is get him to fail 12th grade, so he can come back next year,” Johnson said, smiling.
Performances from Newman like Monday evening’s cause Johnson to dream. Newman jetted up and down the court in Oxon Hill, scoring a game-high 28 points to lead No. 16 Potomac to a 106-75 win over No. 20 Theodore Roosevelt.
Potomac senior Emmanuel Doby summed up Newman’s role simply: “He’s our offense.”
Newman set the tempo for the run-and-gun Wolverines against the Rough Riders. Late in the first quarter, he corralled a defensive rebound, spun away from a defender and sprinted down the sideline, stopping only to finish a reverse layup amid contact. Theodore Roosevelt called a timeout.
Newman is “one of the best point guards in the DMV,” Doby said, nodding at his teammate, who patted his heart and pointed to the sky.
Johnson said Newman is an amalgam of several great leaders to come through the program over the years. The coach rattled off a list of three, noting the attribute Newman adopted from each:
Randall Broddie, Class of 2015: “How to take over a game.”
Anthony Smith, Class of 2015: “An unbelievable work ethic.”
Dion Wiley, Class of 2014: “Humility.”
Potomac led 46-33 at halftime, an edge that only ballooned as the second half wore on. Johnson noted how most opponents tend to defend his team in a pack zone, preventing the Wolverines from getting out in transition. Theodore Roosevelt instead alternated between man defense and a full-court press, and Potomac feasted.
In practice, Johnson often pits five varsity players against eight junior varsity players, challenging his regulars to grab rebounds and reel off outlet passes, mimicking how Potomac likes to play in games.
“We’re fast,” Newman said, “so that’s the easiest thing we could do.”
The Rough Riders struggled to keep up and surrendered offensive rebound after offensive rebound. The Wolverines were aggressive on the boards, padding their lead with a bevy of second-chance opportunities. Sophomore guard Marcus Dockery scored a team-high 19 points for the Rough Riders, but they couldn’t make up for their mistakes against the frenetic Wolverines.
As Potomac players streamed out of the locker room after the game, each exchanged a personalized handshake with Newman. The senior said a win against a ranked foe was important for the team’s confidence, with the playoffs on the horizon.
“We haven’t scored 100 points in a long time,” he said. “It shows that we can do it on any given night.”