The Charles H. Flowers High School Jaguars held off the Suitland High School Rams late Thursday night 58-55 as the team won its ninth game in its last ten tries to improve to 9-3 on the season. Flowers jumped out ahead quickly with guard Ben Bullock leading the way as he scored 10 of the […]
The Charles H. Flowers High School Jaguars held off the Suitland High School Rams late Thursday night 58-55 as the team won its ninth game in its last ten tries to improve to 9-3 on the season.
Flowers jumped out ahead quickly with guard Ben Bullock leading the way as he scored 10 of the team’s first 12 points. Flowers pushed the lead to 14-2 before Suitland called a timeout five minutes into the first quarter.
“We believe in it (our system), it’s just that simple,” said Flowers head coach Mark Edwards. “We preach it every day that, that’s our system and that’s how we’re going to play basketball. We emphasis it and we don’t allow guys to step outside of it.”
In the second quarter the Rams climbed back into the game using defensive pressure to speed up the pace of the game while not allowing the Jaguars to run their offense.
Suitland cut the lead to 25-19 after guard Darryl Smith hit back-to-back shots, but DeAngelo Cousar of Flowers came down on the next play and made a midrange jumper. Donnell Graham scored the final four points of the half for Suitland, but Flowers went into halftime with a 31-23 lead.
Bullock picked up where he left off as the third quarter began, after scoring 10 points in the first half. Bullock scored seven straight points to begin the quarter, and the Jaguars seemed to be back in full control of the game.
“I had a rough game the last game against Suitland, and I felt that if I would’ve contributed that game we could’ve pulled out the W,” said Bullock. “So today I just came in real focused trying get my team going and doing what I had to do for us to get a win.”
While Bullock led the charge on offense, it was the play of Jason Ogunyoye on the defensive end that kept the team balanced.
Ogunyoye finished with five blocks and eight rebounds in the game, including a series of plays in the third quarter where he had three consecutive blocks.
On the offensive end, Bullock made a floater near the end of the quarter to give the Jaguars a 41-32 lead. Both teams traded baskets as the quarter came to an end and the Jaguars went into the fourth quarter with a 43-34 lead.
However, in the fourth quarter Graham attempted to help lead a Suitland comeback.
The Rams began the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 43-41, but the Jaguars responded quickly with an 8-0 run that was aided by two put-back layups by Elliott Brown.
Then, after the Rams called a timeout, Graham made a 3-pointer. On the next possession Graham drove to the basket and finished the play while getting fouled to cut the lead to 54-46, but he missed the free throw.
Graham assisted on another layup that cut the lead to 54-48 with 2:37 to play. Graham then went on personal 7-1 run that tied the game at 55-55 with 46 seconds left.
With 20 seconds left to play, Flowers had the ball when Derek Coleman drove to the basket. He fell down and the referees called a foul, with Coleman making both of the ensuing free throws.
Suitland would have another chance to win the game, with 13 seconds on the clock when Graham drove into the heart of Flowers defense. With three players surrounding him, Graham created contact hoping to earn a foul call, but instead the referees called an offensive foul.
After splitting a pair of free throws, the Rams had one more chance to win the game as they set up a full court inbounds play for Graham. Graham however couldn’t send the game to overtime as his shot missed off the right side of the rim and the Jaguars defeated the Rams 58-55.
While a close loss hurts, Suitland head coach George McClure said he is focused on making sure his team is clicking on all cylinders when the playoffs near.
“We have got to keep grinding,” McClure said. “I don’t want to be the best team in January anyway. We are almost at the midway point and I see progress. It’s hard to take but we’ve got to keep grinding. There is a long way to go. We been in every game and we feel like we are right there.”