As the league schedule in loaded Prince George’s 3A/2A/1A continues, the race for positioning among contenders No. 9 Potomac (Md.), No. 19 Largo, Gwynn Park, Central and Douglass will pit top teams against one another in heated battles night after night in the coming months.
As Gwynn Park Coach Mike Glick put it: “It’s going to be a blood bath.”
Glick’s Yellow Jackets (9-5, 7-2) gave a glimpse into the challenges the top teams will pose to one other’s league title hopes last week when they knocked off Largo 67-63. The Lions, led by seemingly unstoppable big man Abdulai Bundu, had upset Potomac a week earlier.
Gwynn Park’s success against the rising Lions, Glick said, was 32 minutes of box-and-one defense on Bundu that held the 6-foot-8 force below 20 points for just the third time all season.
“We couldn’t let Abdulai beat us,” said 6-foot-7 senior forward Isaiah Martin. “He’s a good player. Everything goes through him on Largo, and I feel we slowed him down from the start. We played great defense.”
Certainly Largo will anticipate that approach from the Yellow Jackets when the two meet again in the regular season finale, the first move in what will quickly become a game of strategy between contenders’ coaches who will have to face each other multiple times in the coming weeks.
For anyone who thought Potomac and Largo had turned the stretch run into a two-team race, Gwynn Park’s win also announced the need for game-planning for the Yellow Jackets’ big three: Martin (12.5 points per game) and guards Evan Joiner (14.3) and Cedric Hines (13.7).
“We have a lot of guards that can do different things,” Joiner said. “We have shooters, we have guys that can attack the rim, and we even have guys that can rebound at guard, so we know what we can do.” . . . .
A new face will likely affect the finish of 3A/2A/1A race, as big man Quadree Smith’s transfer from Paul VI to Potomac (Md.) gives the Wolverines a two-Smith (Anthony and Quadree) tandem of athleticism and girth inside to go with one of the D.C.-area’s most formidable backcourts in Dion Wiley and Randall Broddie.