LARGO – The Riverdale Baptist boys’ basketball team continues to dominate during the summer months. After winning The University of Maryland Team Camp tournament in College Park on June 11, the Crusaders defended their home court during the 42nd Annual Falconers Summer League, defeating National Christian, 58-38, on June 28. “Whenever you are playing any […]
LARGO – The Riverdale Baptist boys’ basketball team continues to dominate during the summer months.
After winning The University of Maryland Team Camp tournament in College Park on June 11, the Crusaders defended their home court during the 42nd Annual Falconers Summer League, defeating National Christian, 58-38, on June 28.
“Whenever you are playing any event, league or national tournament, that is what you play for; you play to win,” Head Coach Louis Wilson said. “We are ecstatic at getting those championships, but more importantly, we are going in the right direction with our program.”
Three players finished in double-figures, including forward and tournament MVP D’Marco Baucum. Baucum led the way with 20 points, while rising junior Ayan Teel scored 15 points and forward David McCullough tallied 13.
The Crusaders jumped out to an early 23-9 lead in the first half and never looked back. Baucum, who recently transferred into the program from Bishop O’Connell, showed off his shooting abilities as he hit two three-pointers.
The 6-foot-6 rising senior followed up his first half performance by pushing his way past the National Christian defense into the paint to score six of his 12 second-half points. Baucum’s dominating performance left a strong impression on the Crusaders’ coaching staff.
“He may be the missing piece for us having a banner year,” Wilson said. “He’s so versatile that he can play a lot of different areas on the floor.
“He’s limited to a lot of the things that we run, but I think he is catching on to the basic things that we have already implemented. To that end, I believe he fits in quite well.”
Wilson hopes to have Baucum ease the offensive load off of Donovann Toatley, who did not play the championship game due to a back injury.
Toatley grew into a leadership role during the 2016-17 season. His 24-point performance in Riverdale Baptist’s victory in the Maryland Private School Championship on March 6 brought in interest from several college programs including Richmond, Penn State, Towson and Monmouth. The rising senior said he hopes to commit to a school before the start of his final season.
“Going to college has been one of my primary goals so once I accomplish that, it will be a weight lifted off of my shoulders,” Toatley said. “The biggest personal goal of mine is to end the year ranked as the No. 1 recruit in Maryland because I know I am the best in my head. So I want to get out there and prove it every day. Once I get that distinction of being No. 1 in the area, there will be no dispute if I can play at the next level or not.”
The summer tournaments have been a continuation of tweaking plays and rotations, Wilson said. Riverdale Baptist was seen as a young team with just two seniors last year, but now the squad is loaded with championship experience.
That, together with last year’s title and the summer double, means expectations will be high for the Crusaders. However, Wilson said his team relishes on repeating the winning ways again next season.
Teel agreed with his head coach.
“I think we can become a team that can play well together, with very minimal arguing on the court,” Teel said. “Our goal is definitely to be a top-five team in the area and win states again and to win our conference.”