HYATTSVILLE—The DeMatha Stags put forth a dominant defensive effort in their 36-point win over the C.H Flowers Jaguars. Thomas Bruce was the impact player for the Stags on both ends of the floor in the 76-40 win. Bruce finished the night tied with teammate Darren Harvey with a game-high 17 points. He also had two […]
HYATTSVILLE—The DeMatha Stags put forth a dominant defensive effort in their 36-point win over the C.H Flowers Jaguars.
Thomas Bruce was the impact player for the Stags on both ends of the floor in the 76-40 win. Bruce finished the night tied with teammate Darren Harvey with a game-high 17 points. He also had two blocks and six rebounds.
Bruce’s six-foot, eight-inch frame made it difficult for opposing players to get anything by him.
“Well, I know I got to protect the rim. And protecting it leads to offensive plays and things like that,” Bruce said. “If we play hard on defense, get blocks, steals and things like that, we can get to go and run like we usually do.”
The Stags started the game with their full-court press. It didn’t stifle the Jaguars initially. Ten minutes into the game the Stags were only ahead 24-17
However, the Stags turned up the defense, forcing several turnovers to key an 18-6 run to end the half leading 42-23.
Flowers would only score 17 more points throughout the game.
Bruce had two blocks, but he changed several other shots. The Stags’ team defense was stifling as they forced 16 turnovers throughout the night.
DeMatha was able to switch assignments if needed, and Bruce acted as the anchor that finished possessions defensively.
“We’re a strong defensive team, very athletic. We can pretty much switch on everything,” Bruce said.
Point guard Terrell Allen didn’t score as much as Bruce and Harvey, but he had five assists to go along with nine points on the night. He controlled the pace of the game with his passing and penetration.
“I got everybody where they needed to be. Got them talking on the floor a lot,” Allen said. “It was fun playing with these guys.”
Allen said the key to the game was getting locked in on defense and pressuring the ball.
“Coach said at the beginning of the game that he wanted everyone to be locked in one thing—denying the ball and ball pressure,” Allen said.
At the start of the second half, Flowers ran a 2-3 zone that held DeMatha scoreless for five straight possessions. Allen broke the ice with a mid-range jump shot to put them up 29-20.
Allen said he and his teammates had not seen Flowers’ zone before, but the team quickly figured out how to beat it.
“We started making shots and we got (Flowers) out of it quick,” Allen said.
Allen said DeMatha will be more prepared for zone defenses in the regular season.
“Definitely during the season, we’ll be prepared for anything,” Allen said.