The Potomac (Md.) girls’ basketball team is under new leadership for the remainder of the season with former assistant Eli Horowitz replacing Dexter Fleet.
Horowitz, 22, said he has been running the team since Jan. 23, the day after an incident in which Fleet, who was in his first season, pulled his team off the court before the ending of a game at Douglass. The Wolverines were trailing 63-27 with 6 minutes, 15 seconds remaining when the game was called.
A Prince George’s County Schools spokesman confirmed on Monday that Horowitz will serve as the head coach for the rest of the season but declined to provide further details about the change, saying he could not discuss personnel matters. When reached on his cell phone on Monday afternoon, Fleet also declined comment.
Fleet “was pretty much like ‘We don’t want to play anymore,’” Douglass Coach Derwin Faulkner said of the abrupt ending to Fleet’s last game on the bench. “He said we should stop the game. That’s a first for me.”
Potomac (Md.) has enjoyed a strong start to Horowitz’s tenure, winning its first two games last week to double its victory total. After a 2-9 start under Fleet, the Wolverines beat Crossland and Fairmont Heights before hanging tough in a 67-43 loss to league leader Gwynn Park. The Yellow Jackets had won the first meeting on Dec. 20, 84-24.
Horowitz, a Chicago native, graduated last year from Vanderbilt University before coming the Oxon Hill school to teach Spanish. He now becomes the Wolverines’ sixth head coach in five seasons.
Horowitz said the team has embraced the chance to start fresh. Potomac (Md.) does not field a junior varsity team this season, and though the roster features 11 players, the coach said the Wolverines have often dressed as few as seven.
Last week, at least nine players showed up for each game, and Horowitz hopes to have all 11 in uniform when the team hosts Largo on Tuesday.
“It’s more about positive attitude type of changes,” Horowitz said. “We’re not overhauling the plays or trying to change a lot of things.”
Senior Makayla Johnson has been a bright spot for the Wolverines throughout the season. She averages 16.2 points per game and plays an important role in the middle of the team’s zone defense despite standing only 5-foot-8.
Horowitz believes she can play at the next level because of her high aptitude for the game and is exploring opportunities for her to continue her career.
“She’s always pointing things out to me that I may not have seen,” Horowitz said. “That’s been a big help, especially because I’m new. She’s seen these teams last year, and she knows the personnel.”