UPPER MARLBORO – On a night when the same two schools were represented in both contests, the Eleanor Roosevelt High School boys’ basketball team upended Largo 58-51 in the Prince George’s County Championship game at Dr. Henry A. Wise High on Wednesday evening in front of roughly 4,000 spectators. The Roosevelt boys (20-3) took the […]
UPPER MARLBORO – On a night when the same two schools were represented in both contests, the Eleanor Roosevelt High School boys’ basketball team upended Largo 58-51 in the Prince George’s County Championship game at Dr. Henry A. Wise High on Wednesday evening in front of roughly 4,000 spectators.
The Roosevelt boys (20-3) took the floor soon after the girls departed with their own county championship trophy. Largo (19-4) arrived with the county’s leading scorer, Abdulai Bundu, who was averaging better than 30 points per game.
In the early stages of the game Bundu, who suffered a hip injury the last game of the regular season, had limited success. Largo got 3-point field goals from Francis Hawkins and John Nwokoro, but Bundu had only one bucket in the entire first half. A short jumper by Nwokoro gave the Lions a 10-8 lead with just less than four minutes remaining in the first quarter, but the Raiders closed out the frame on a 7-0 run for a 15-10 advantage.
“I thought we did a real good job defensively,” said Roosevelt coach Brendan O’Connell. “In addition to Bundu, they have some guys that can really shoot from the perimeter. I thought we did a good job preventing them from getting too many open looks. It was a good experience for the guys.”
Roosevelt would not relinquish the advantage throughout the remainder of the contest. The Raiders pushed the lead to 27-20 at the intermission as senior Ishmael Jabbie (18 points) scored two buckets and added two free throws, while Trent Bishop added a bucket inside the paint.
Largo had stayed close through the first half although Bundu, who finished the night with 15 points, had been limited to a single basket. He easily exceeded that output in the third quarter when he added six points, but Bundu also only managed to connect on two of six free-throw attempts in the frame as the Raiders took a 37-33 lead into the fourth quarter on a late bucket by Jabbie.
When Hawkins connected on his second three-point field goal of the night to narrow the Lions’ deficit to 39-38, Largo finally appeared to have the momentum. But that dissipated quickly when Roosevelt countered with an 8-0 run behind three buckets from Jabbie and another from Oludoyin Fadojitimi to forge their biggest lead of the night at 47-38 with 4:25 remaining.
Largo clawed back to within 53-49 with just over a minute remaining on buckets from Bundu and two free throws from Nwokoro, but the Raiders kept the Lions ay bay in the final stages as Christian Bryant had one free throw and Oludoyin added two more with 7.1 seconds remaining to seal the verdict. It was, nevertheless, an effort that Largo coach Lew Howard commended.
“It was great for my guys just to be able to play in this game,” Howard said. “They put in the work to get here and they played a good game tonight. We had a couple of possessions in the fourth quarter when we committed some turnovers and they got the lead back up us on, but the guys never gave up. Abdulai played well. He’s about 98 percent and he got fouled a lot in the paint tonight.”
Roosevelt will take its first step toward a state title on Tuesday in a 4A South Region quarterfinal contest, while Largo will begin its quest for a 2A state title next Tuesday in a region quarterfinal game. Both teams completed their respective league schedules with identical 16-1 records.