football

Commodores Move to 20-3

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style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";
background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Commodores Finish Strong at Norview:
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>
115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>
"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Trailing by seven early in the fourth quarter at
Norview against the third-seeded Pilots, the second-seeded Maury Commodores
were on the road and in jeopardy of falling to the #3 seed for next week's
Eastern Region Tournament.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Maury then scored the next night points and doubled up
Norview 28-14 over the game's final seven minutes to prevail, 74-67.
style=> They did so without the services of 6-foot-5
junior center/forward Jaleel
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Ferguson for much of the game.
style=>

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>An All-Eastern District First team performer and
younger brother of Jamal Ferguson from Marquette, Jaleel
went down with a severely sprained ankle in the first quarter and did not
return. His status for their next game
is unknown.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Going into the fourth quarter, Norview had made 7-of-17
three-pointers to get the home crowd energized.
The likes of Mike
class=SpellE>Gadson,
normal'>Raekwon Johnson and
D'Shaun
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Thomas did serious damage from the
perimeter, and Maury was searching for answers.
In the fourth quarter, they made only 2-of-9
from deep.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We just told them we've got to get out on the
shooters, particularly #11 [Gadson]," said Maury Head
Basketball Coach Jack Baker.
style=> "You can't leave him and have to find him
even though we're in the zone. We did a
better job of that in the fourth quarter."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The win moves Maury's record to 20-3 overall.
style=> They will open up in the first round of
regionals against Phoebus, the #3 seed from the Peninsula District, in a 6:00
PM game at Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Baker is pleased with the progression, given how much
youth is on the roster and that they had to replace such an integral part of
their offensive success the past two seasons in Jamal Ferguson.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I think we've grown as a team.
style=> Beginning of the year, if you had told us we'd
be 20-3 right now, I would've taken that just because of our inexperience,"
Baker remarked.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We're counting on guys who really haven't played a lot
of varsity basketball. With the
exception of Mike Basnight or Jaleel,
there wasn't a whole lot of experience.
As the season has gone along, they've gotten to play much better
together and they've defined their roles better than earlier in the year."

style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>
Player of the Game:
style=>
line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Maury 5-foot-9 junior
guard Mike Basnight.
style=> The game's leading scorer with 25 points,
class=SpellE>Basnight scored 13 of those points in the fourth quarter to
go with seven rebounds, six assists and there steals.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>During the pivotal 9-0 run in the fourth quarter that
took Maury from down seven to up two, Basnight scored
or assisted on seven of those points.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"This was an important game and we knew we had to win
this one. I had to take over in the
fourth [quarter] with Jaleel out.
style=> I had to get my teammates involved and look to
score," Basnight stated.
style=> "Everybody's playing together and we've got
great chemistry."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I thought Mike really stepped up.
style=> With Jaleel out
with the bad ankle, he had to step up and he did.
style=> He made some plays for us and some clutch
free-throws down the stretch."

style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>
Keys to Victory:

style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>#1
- - Dribble Drive:
style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Much
of Maury's offense is predicated on taking it to the hole, and if and when the
defense collapses, kick it out to an open shooter, often being
class=SpellE>Basnight or
normal'>Jalon Williams,
who had 13 points on the night.

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In the fourth period,
Maury did that to perfection, getting pretty much any shot they wanted.
style=> They converted 10-of-12 field goals in the
game's final quarter.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We really didn't change a whole lot," Baker replied
when asked how they had to adjust with Ferguson injured.
style=> We've got
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Shyheim
normal'> Draughan to put in there, although he's
not as experienced. We played more zone
than we normally do without Jaleel.
style=> Other than that, offensively we didn't change
much. We tried to get the dribble drive
going and kicking out."

style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>
#2 - - Bench Lift:
style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>On
the night, Norview got 33 points from its bench with 18 coming from
class=SpellE>Gadson alone.
Normally, that would be enough to get the victory.
style=> In the absence of Ferguson, Maury got some
reserves to give them quality minutes and some scoring production in the
aforementioned Draughan,
normal'>Anthony Smith and
normal'>Avontae Ferguson.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>That trio accounted for 11 points, and more
importantly, gathered in 14 rebounds, only giving Norview one offensive rebound
in the fourth quarter.
class=SpellE>Norview's six backups that played combined for 12 boards.

normal'>
#3 - - Maury's Freshman Outduels Norview's Ninth
Grader:
style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Two
of the Eastern Region's top prospects to watch out for in the Class of 2016
were on display with Maury's Anthony
Williams and Norview's
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Jaylen
normal'> Frazier.

style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Williams,
style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>
called by some fans a 'Baby Doe-Doe,' as a comparison to a mini version of
former Norcom State Player of the Year Dorian
Finney-Smith, who's now playing College Basketball at Florida, was stellar
throughout. For the night, he finished
with 15 points, made all six of his free-throw attempts, hit a critical
three-pointer in the fourth quarter, made two steals and had a steal to boot.

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"He's gotten better every
game," Baker said. "These last two
weeks, he's been if not our best player, probably right up there.
style=> He's really playing well right now and has a
bright future. He can be a great one."

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Frazier as limited to just
two points on 1-of-4 shooting and had five rebounds.
style=> Ironically, he's the younger brother of
former Maury standout Sim Frazier, who's now at
Howard.

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Williams' slithery moves
in the paint, slashing ability and athleticism set him apart from many of the
better freshmen around already.

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>
mso-highlight:yellow'>Hurdle to Climb:
Maury has 20 victories on the season.
style=> They've only lost to one team, district rival
Norcom.
Against the Greyhounds, their record is 0-3.
style=> The two schools were co-Champions of the
Eastern District, but Norcom won the tie-breaker to
grab the automatic berth to the Eastern Region Tournament and the #1 seed that
goes with it to give them a home game in Monday's opening round of play.
style=>

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Maury and Norcom will play
for a fourth time on Friday night for the Eastern District Tournament title at
class=SpellE>Churchland High School.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Going into Friday, they've beaten us three times.
style=> It's got to change sooner or later.
style=> They can win this one, but let me win the
regional one," Baker quipped.
class=GramE>"How about that?"

115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Norcom
style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>
has won nine consecutive meetings over Maury.
The Commodores' last victory over the Greyhounds came in the 2010
Eastern District Tournament Championship, where Maury rolled 61-43.
style=> Norcom later went
on to claim the region title and their first of back-to-back State
Championships.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>What will be the key to the Commodores having success
this time against Norcom and making noise in the
region playoffs after an early exit a year ago?

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Something we haven't been doing lately is playing
defense and rebounding. We were doing
that a lot better earlier in the year," Basnight
noted. "We just have to get back to our
principles and we should be okay."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>
href="http://vmedia.rivals.com/uploads/914/1364719.WMA">Postgame Audio with
Maury Coach Jack Baker

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Network. Check out
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115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'> for more sports related info and
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