The scar above John Majors’ right eye provides a reminder of teammate Abdulai Bundu’s tenacity in the post. The 6-foot-6 Largo senior took an elbow in the face from the 6-foot-7 sophomore forward at a Saturday practice last month and required three stitches to close the gash.
Coach Lew Howard says the constant battles during workouts have made both players stronger, and in Friday’s 54-51 win at Central, the forwards showed they can do plenty of damage when working together, too. Majors and Bundu combined for 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Lions surged past the Falcons for their seventh straight victory in a Prince George’s 3A/2A/1A contest in Capitol Heights.
“I think the sky’s the limit for us,” Majors said. “He has good games. Sometimes I step up. We work good together.”
Replacing four starters off last season’s Maryland 2A runner-up team, Largo (11-6, 9-5 PG 3A/2A/1A) needed a new identity this season. The Lions showed on Friday that a blueprint based around dominating the paint can work against one of the county’s top teams.
Majors, who missed a game with the eye injury and has come off the bench ever since, led the way with 24 points and 12 rebounds. A sophomore in his first season of varsity basketball, Bundu has led the Lions in scoring this season, and he chipped in 17 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in Friday’s win.
The pair combined for 16 of the team’s 19 field goals, and all of Largo’s scoring came on layups or free throws en route to avenging a Dec. 20 loss to the Falcons.
“We’re going to play our game,” Howard said. “We’re going to try to look at the mismatches that are available. If it’s fortunate that Abdulai and John are able to get together and do their thing, then we want to do that.”
Central (10-4, 9-3) entered the final period with a one-point lead after digging out of an early double-digit hole. Despite battling foul trouble with an already undersized lineup, the Falcons held Largo to three total field goals in the second and third quarters.
But Largo began looking inside on almost every offensive trip in the fourth quarter, and Majors and Bundu wore down Central’s interior defense.
The Lions took the lead for good midway through the fourth quarter and put the game away with baskets on three straight trips late. After Majors hit back-to-back layups, Bundu scored with 1 minute, 38 seconds left to give the visitors an eight-point lead.
“We couldn’t match up" Central Coach Lawrence Pugh said. “Their strength was way better than our weakness.”
Despite missing the entire third quarter because of foul trouble, junior Davon Taylor led Central with 20 points. Senior Calvin Lovitt, who entered Friday averaging nearly 20 points per game, was held to eight and had to be carried off the court by a pair of teammates after twisting his right ankle late in the fourth quarter.