The Washington Post

Boys’ basketball: West Potomac’s boost off the bench propels Wolverines into postseason

Host B.J. Koubaroulis runs through the top plays from high school basketball games in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. (Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

On paper, the biggest takeaway from West Potomac’s 65-53 win against Lake Braddock in Friday’s regular-season finale will appear in the Virginia AAA Patriot District standings, where the Wolverines wrapped up the No. 2 seed for this week’s district tournament. But for Wolverines Coach David Houston III and his players, the victory proved that the adjustments and self-reflection that took place a few weeks earlier are now paying dividends.

The tinkering process began Jan.16, the day after a three-point loss to Lake Braddock. With the second go-around in district play up next, players and coaches aired out concerns and suggestions. From this discussion came a shift in the lineup, as second-leading scorer Kwame Camon shifted to the team’s sixth man in an effort to add depth and a spark off the bench.

Since then, the Wolverines have gone 5-2, handing No. 18 W.T. Woodson its lone district loss and winning those five contests by an average of 18 points. What’s more, Camon has excelled in his new role, averaging 18 points per game, while senior Brandon Pressley has continued his consistent play as the veteran point guard.

“Since we talked after that loss to Lake Braddock, we’ve really become closer and played more as a unit,” said Pressley, who scored a season-high 40 points in a Jan. 30 loss to Annandale. “I really think we have a chance to make a lot of noise in districts and, hopefully, the region.”

Houston III also credits this confidence and potential to the team’s improved defensive effort. Behind intense full-court man-to-man defense, the Wolverines have used their fresher legs and added depth to force more turnovers and open up more scoring opportunities.

“Our on-ball defense has become really strong and disrupted a lot of our opponents,” Houston III said. “A lot of that starts with Brandon, who has been the facilitator in getting Camon points and stepping up as the only three-year varsity player on the team.”

The Wolverines, who won the district tournament in 2009-10 but have lost in the first round the last two years, will open play Tuesday against South County.

Brandon Parker is a sports reporter for The Washington Post.



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