It was the type of atmosphere junior Darius Miles envisioned when he transferred to St. Charles before this season: his Spartans playing in a sold-out gymnasium in front of a raucous home crowd and college coaches scrutinizing his every move.
Miles made sure the fans and coaches got to see what they came for, delivering a 25-point performance Friday in Waldorf to help the Spartans upend Southern Maryland Athletic Conference rival North Point, 71-64.
“It’s a different experience here, I would say. It’s a big crowd, and it was intense,” Miles said. “Down here, there’s a student section. In D.C., we didn’t have a student section.”
The 6-foot-7 transfer from Theodore Roosevelt has been featured on several viral videos on social media leaping over defenders for acrobatic dunks. He didn’t add to his highlight reel Friday, but his dominant performance was the catalyst for the Spartans (10-1, 8-0).
Despite being in foul trouble most of the game, Miles didn’t sit for long periods. He drained four three-pointers, including a fadeaway from the corner in the second quarter, that put the Spartans up by five. But Satchel Ball of North Point (10-2, 5-1 SMAC) scored seven of his team’s last nine points in the first half to put the Eagles up by one at intermission.
With the Eagles losing two starters to injury during the game, Ball had to carry his team. Miles made sure he didn’t take over the game.
“I took it a little personal because he was talking that he wanted to check me badly,” Miles said. “I just took it personal and wanted to stop him from getting a lot of buckets so there won’t be any talk after the game.”
Ball finished with 17 points, just six coming in the second half.
On the other side of the court, the Spartans exploited North Point’s 2-3 zone in the second half to get open shots, and they made their free throws to seal the win.
“We’re too big, and we could shoot too much for a zone,” St. Charles three-year starter Anthony Bowman said. “When I’m at the top of the key, I’m trying to penetrate and kick out or get a layup or get the ball to Darius in the middle, and he’ll make a play. We were unstoppable.”
Since the school’s inception in 2014, the Spartans have positioned themselves as a strong force in Charles County, making the regional final the past two years
“This was a good game for us because it gave us an opportunity to play in a tight game,” St. Charles Coach Brett Campbell said. “Most of our wins have been [with a] big advantage down the stretch. It’s good to have a tight game where free throws matter. It’s always good to get those lessons in a win than a loss.”