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Ishmail Wainwright plays the role of facilitator for Montrose Christian

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)

When Ishmail Wainwright first transferred to Montrose Christian from Missouri in 2011, Mustangs Coach Stu Vetter had a simple question for his new forward: What do you do best?

The answer took him by surprise.

“Most everybody says something like they can shoot or pass well, but Ish said ‘I’m a facilitator,” Vetter recalled about the Baylor senior recruit. “I looked at him then like I wasn’t so sure but you see now that he’s absolutely a facilitator. He makes his teammates better and fills out the stat sheet.”

So was the case in the Mustangs’ 67-30 win against Chapelgate Christian on Dec. 12, as Wainwright tallied 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple-double of the season.

The biggest beneficiary of Wainwright’s has been senior forward Mark Williams, a transfer from Cleveland. Williams is averaging a team-high 16.8 points and has given the Mustangs a huge rebounding and post presence during their 6-0 start.

Jairus Lyles leads DeMatha in scoring with 16 points. (Branden Roth for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post/The Washington Post)

“Mark’s sort of a throwback player who works really hard to get points, rebounds and has a nice mid-range game,” Vetter said.

Both Wainwright and Williams, along with the Mustangs’ perfect record, will be put to a strong test this week, when they travel to the Iolani Classic in Hawaii. Montrose opens play Wednesday against Kahuku of Hawaii in a field that also includes Coolidge and nationally ranked programs Oak Hill Academy and Findlay Prep (Nev.).

“We’ve had a good start to the season but we’re still a work in progress because we have a lot of new players,” Vetter said. “What we will help is continue to grow is we have great games against great opponents throughout our schedule.” . . .

Paul VI heads to Florida

Another school headed for warmer climate and hot competition this week is Paul VI, which will compete in the City of Palms Classic in Florida. The field includes national powers Whitney Young (Ill.) and Montverde Academy (Fla.), with the Panthers opening play Wednesday against Lake Wales (Fla.) at 9:45 p.m.

Along with their current four-game win streak, the Panthers (4-1) are buoyed by a 56-54 double-overtime win against Oak Hill Academy on Dec. 8, which snapped the Warriors’ 56-game win streak. As has been the case all season, the Panthers were led by the inside play of sophomore Marcus Derrickson (15.6 points per game) and emerging star junior Quadree Smith (13 points, 19 rebounds in victory).

“We went into the game with a chip on our shoulder because we lost pretty bad to them last year,” Derrickson said. “I think we didn’t prepare as well for them last year, so it means a lot to have beat them and show how far we’ve come.”

Related: The Post Top 20

Aquille Carr led the storm with 23 points and was named MVP of the game at the DMV Tip-Off Classic. (Video by Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post/The Washington Post)

All-Met Watch: The area’s top players

Brandon Parker is a sports reporter for The Washington Post.



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