HYATTSVILLE – Blake High School guard Raef Hetherington scored a game-high 28 points on June 23 to capture the Bengals first win in the summer league 71-66 over Central High School during a summer league basketball match at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville. Blake shot the lights out from beyond the arch, but Hetherington […]
HYATTSVILLE – Blake High School guard Raef Hetherington scored a game-high 28 points on June 23 to capture the Bengals first win in the summer league 71-66 over Central High School during a summer league basketball match at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville.
Blake shot the lights out from beyond the arch, but Hetherington led his team shooting (4-13) from the three. On the opposite side, the Falcons did not make a single three in the game.
Although the Falcons had five players in double-figures, Devonte Young’s 15-point and 17 rebound performance were not enough to surpass the Bengals. Central was also without another key player of theirs during the last seven minutes of second half, Michael Calloway, as he drew his fifth foul on a charge call.
At intermission, Blake enjoyed a nine-point advantage (45-36) over the Falcons. The Bengals shot 43 percent from the three-point line and shot almost 60 percent at the charity stripe.
Out of the break, Central went on a 6-0 run with all the momentum on their side until the Bengals called a timeout.
At the half, Central Assistant Coach Leon Cunningham told his team to pick up the intensity on the defensive end and recognize who the Bengals shooters were as they made adjustments straight out of the gates.
“Hetherington was their shooter for Blake, and I just told the guys to stay close to him and not to let him get good looks at threes,” Cunningham said.
After a timeout, the Bengals made a push to extend the lead, but the Falcons stayed right with them on a couple of baskets by Kyiam Exum who controlled the game at will when the Falcons were making their way back into it. Exum finished the game with 10 points and six steals.
Exum agreed with Cunningham that Blake only had one shooter, which was Hetherington, and felt closing out on him caused them to lose the game. He thought they shot the ball poorly from the free-throw line as well. The Falcons shot 14-29 from the free-throw line, the Bengals shot 18-26.
“I think we played well but it just came down to one man, he had 28, we did not get a hand up on defense. We got to work on our transition defense,” said Exum.
Exum is a rising junior at Central High School and will play an essential role for the Falcons on offense this upcoming season. He had the ball in his hands a lot as a sophomore, but Coach Cunningham feels Exum’s role will be even more significant moving forward.
“Kyiam is going to have an important role for us this year,” said Cunningham. “He is our leader on the floor, we put the ball in his hands a lot last season as a sophomore, and he delivered. I think he is going to be an essential part in our success this season.”
Exum is playing his summer basketball with Maryland Defenders AAU program. He said he plans on improving his outside jumper and gaining better stamina playing with them during the summer because he tends to get tired a lot in games.