During a third-quarter timeout in Friday’s Waldorf Holiday Hoops Classic boys’ basketball final, North Point Coach Jimmy Ball drew up a play in the huddle and sent his team out to run through a set he calls “41 cutter.”
As the twelfth-ranked Eagles prepared for the restart, senior Marquis Wright looked at Ball and said he had another idea about what might work against No. 5 Sidwell Friends.The way the 6-foot-1 guard had been playing, the veteran coach wasn’t about to protest.
Wright earned the chance to freewheel a bit in North Point’s 83-64 win, finishing with a career-high 34 points and seven rebounds as the Eagles took the tournament title on their home court for the third straight season.
Wright “knows what’s going on on the floor [better] than I do,” Ball said. “I have a lot of faith in him, and when he tells me he sees something, I’m going to let him go.”
Early in the season, Wright has relished his role as the facilitator on offense, often passing up open looks to set up teammates. The Loyola (Md.) recruit came into the game third on the team in scoring, averaging 15.4 points.
But Wright set the tone against Sidwell Friends (14-2) with his shooting, finishing 6 of 8 fom three-point range. When the Quakers extended their zone defense to take away the shot, he showed he could get to the hoop, providing the spark North Point (7-1) needed in a game it never trailed.
“I haven’t been shooting the ball that well,” Wright said. “It was kind of exciting tonight.”
Sidwell Friends had collected several quality wins during a strong opening month but spent most of Friday night playing catch-up. The Quakers trailed by 10 points in the first five minutes and never got closer than seven after halftime.
On the other end, Wright got scoring help from senior Matt Bonds in the second half as the Eagles pulled away. The 6-4 forward wore down the Quakers with 13 rebounds and scored 19 of his 24 points after intermission.
Wright and Bonds combined for all 23 points in the third quarter, and no other North Point player scored in the second half until senior Daylin Davis hit a layup with 2 minutes 15 seconds remaining.
“We were both just feeling it,” Bonds said. “Both of us were hitting, and we got fed and then we delivered.”
Earlier, North Point captured the girls’ title for the first time, beating Southern Maryland Athletic Conference rival Westlake, 84-36. Senior Tasia Butler led the seventh-ranked Eagles (8-0) with 22 points. The Syracuse-bound guard scored her 1,000th career point on a driving layup early in the second quarter.