An altercation in the stands delayed Friday’s game between Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt, and extended the third quarter by about a half-hour, according to Rough Riders point guard Johnnie Shuler. Just last season he had to calm down a teammate during a fight on the court during a game, a pivotal moment for the soft-spoken Shuler, who was still trying to become a leader on the team.
So when Shuler picked up where he left off after the unexpected intermission Friday against the Tigers, nobody in the gym was likely surprised. Shuler scored 16 points in the 68-60 win, as the Rough Riders (11-3, 5-0 DCIAA) won their third league game of the week and stayed atop the DCIAA standings with rival Coolidge (12-3, 5-0).
“It was a tough road win,” Shuler said. “The game was just crazy. Crazy energy. And the fans were great.”
Both the 13th-ranked Rough Riders and 15th-ranked Colts will be in action on Monday, playing non-area games in the MLK Hoopfest Showcase at Coolidge.
Shuler had a slew of interesting performances last week. He played the role of the facilitator (and scored just three points) in a blowout win over Washington Metropolitan, then scored a season-high 25 two nights later in a win over Anacostia. Wilson led Theodore Roosevelt 48-46 heading into the fourth quarter Friday, but the Rough Riders outscored their opponent 22-12 in the fourth quarter behind Shuler and sharpshooter Jarell Allen, who scored 24 points and hit two three-pointers.
Shuler feels more like a point guard this season as opposed to last, when he was expected to shoulder much of the scoring load in his first year at the school after transferring from DeMatha. Still, he leads the team in scoring with 14.9 points per game, and he’s been aggressive in getting to the basket. Shuler has already shot 84 free throws and has missed just seven (91.7 percent) this season, including 17 of 18 against Anacostia and 6 of 8 against Wilson.
“Some games, I’ll have to score. But certain games, I’ll have to score, but keep the team balanced and keep the defense off-guard,” Shuler said. “I just have to pass the ball and give my teammates more confidence, and keep them going this season.”