BLADENSBURG – In their 4A division opener of the season, the Bowie High School boys basketball fought through tough defense and an early five-point deficit to defeat Bladensburg High School, 59-46, on Dec. 17.
The Bulldogs’ victory was precipitated by a minor scuffle in the first half that set the tone for the rest of the evening. At the time, the score was 16-11 in Bladensburg’s favor, but the intensity and trash-talking picked up in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs (2-1) slowly picked up the pace in their scoring thanks to their guard Jaden Faulkner, who finished with 17 points and five 3-pointers. The sophomore guard was able to tie the game after scoring three consecutive shots, including back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game at 22. The Bulldogs subsequently took the lead when sophomore forward Stewart Harrington knocked down a pair of free throws.
On defense, Bowie switched their strategy to a 2-3 zone, which forced the Mustangs to shoot jump shots instead of layups at the rim. The plan worked as the Mustangs were outscored 48-30 after the first quarter.
In the second half, senior point guard Brian Upshur brought Bladensburg (2-1) back by knocking down a pair of 3-pointers and sending through a quick assist for a Damien Harris layup to help the Mustangs regain a five-point lead.
However, Bowie went on a 15-0 run during the fourth quarter, starting with a layup from senior forward Ike Salisu. As they built their lead to their inevitable victory, the Bulldogs continued to limit Bladensburg’s attempts to score inside the paint. Sophomore guard Muhammed Abdulmateen scored the majority of his 14 points in the second half to lead Bowie to their win.
“Anytime you can go on the road in a 4A and get a W, especially when you are down some players, it’s big,” Bowie Head Coach Tremaine Price said.
Bowie will be off for the holidays and return to the court for an away game at Northwestern on Jan. 3. Bladensburg will take part in the Walter Hardy Holiday Tournament over the winter break and play Montgomery County-based Sherwood on Dec. 26.