HYATTSVILLE — Rock Creek Christian Academy (RCCA) guard Guy Fauntleroy scored a game-high 21 points, grabbed nine boards and dished out three assists, along with a game-high five steals, as his squad rolled to a 93-56 win over Cesar Chavez Public Charter School in day two of the ARS Rescue Rooter National Hoopfest at DeMatha Catholic High School on Dec. 8.
Though only a sophomore, Fauntleroy demonstrated efficiency and leadership, shooting 70 percent from the field and leading multiple fast breaks to help Rock Creek jump out to an early double-digit lead.
Fauntleroy said the valuable advice of his parents inspires him to play with vigor every time he steps foot on the court.
“My father and my mom – they tell me, ‘Just play hard because you don’t know when it’s going to be your last game or you get hurt,’ he said. “My coaches expect a lot from me. I have to try to make my parents and my coaches and my teammates proud.”
RCCA showed exceptional ball movement and applied unrelenting defensive pressure throughout the game, creating easy scoring opportunities to remain in a comfortable position all afternoon. The Eagles totaled 17 assists to Chavez’s nine.
RCCA began to pull away in the fourth, opening the quarter on a 16-0 run in the first two minutes. Then, frustration set in for Chavez as DeAnte Wallace picked up two vital technical fouls about midway through.
From that point, Chavez (2-2) fell apart. They struggled to put the ball in the hoop and seemingly gave up on defense as Rock Creek piled on dunk after dunk, layup after layup, jumper after jumper on its way to the decimating win to remain undefeated at 3-0.
“I think we played with a lot of energy. We defended well. We played hard. We shared the basketball,” Rock Creek Head Coach Lafayette Dublin said in his postgame assessment.
As Rock Creek began to see Chavez collapse mentally, it started to turn up the tempo on defense, Dublin said, leading to easy fast break alley-oops and three-pointers in transition.
“Our youth showed,” Coach Malcolm Battle said of his team’s late-game breakdown. He also revealed that the program has nine underclassmen.
“They haven’t played in the event of this magnitude. Lights are bright…(And) against a very well-coached, polished team. We just let our emotions get the best of us.”
Battle, moreover, attributed lack of mental toughness, leadership and cohesiveness to the loss.
“We’re not a team yet. We’re just a bunch of kids that play basketball together. They’re a basketball team, but we’re just a collection of basketball players.”
Missiah Brown, one of Chavez’s underclassmen, showed promise. He led the way, finishing with team highs of 14 points and five rebounds to go with two assists.
“We tried our best, and we tried to fight. We tried everything we could,” said Brown, a sophomore guard. “We gotta work on our mistakes, not turn the ball over. It’s a process.”
Chavez was held to 37.7 percent shooting while RCCA shot better than 50 percent from the field.
Also for RCCA, Milton Matthews poured in 18 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the three-point line, Delonnie Hunt scored 18 with four rebounds and Chase Cook chipped in with 14 points off the bench. Rock Creek committed more turnovers than Chavez, but compiled 32 points off turnovers and scored 48 points in the paint.
Dublin said aggression was a point of emphasis for his team at the Hoopfest. Accordingly, Fauntleroy said aggressiveness was the key to the huge win and was the main advantage RCCA had over its opponent.
“As long as we play as a team, nobody can really beat us,” Fauntleroy said.
“As long as we stick together and not go, individual, we can compete with anybody in the area.”