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Carroll boys’ basketball starts hot, holds off South Lakes in Governor’s Challenge

In a span of two weeks this month, Carroll picked up double-digit losses to Washington Catholic Athletic Conference rivals DeMatha, Gonzaga and St. John’s. For the Lions, that rough December schedule means this week’s Governor’s Challenge on the Eastern Shore is a timely getaway.

“We saw this as an opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of the DMV,” Coach Mike Powell said. “We wanted to spend some time together and become a team. But if we pick up some hardware on top of that, I’m not complaining.”

Thursday afternoon, across the Bay Bridge in Salisbury, Md., Carroll raced out to a double-digit lead, saw South Lakes climb back into the game, and then held on for a 58-54 win at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center. Carroll (5-4) will face St. Mary’s Parish Annapolis on Friday in the championship game of one of the event’s 16 brackets.

“It felt really good to jump out to an early lead with energy on the boards,” Powell said. “But our immaturity allowed us to give it away.”

Carroll led 12-0 before the Seahawks went on a 13-4 run in the final 3:25 of the first quarter. South Lakes senior Grant Bower hit one of his five three pointers late in the third quarter to tie the game at 39. Carroll seniors Graddy Kanku and Thomas Nynäs did not travel with the team for this tournament, but 6-foot-5 freshman Aminu Mohammed picked up the slack with 26 points and 14 rebounds.

“Those seniors are the main voices in the locker room. They’re our stabilizers,” said Powell, who is in his first season at Carroll after nine season as an assistant at Sidwell Friends. “Aminu is catching up to the speed of the varsity game and is making a bigger impact every game.”

Senior center Emmanuel Aghayere led South Lakes (6-3) with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Bower came off the bench to score 15 as the Seahawks played without junior guard Cameron Savage, who leads the team in scoring with 19 points per game.

After a 6-0 start, the Seahawks have lost three straight games.

“We gave it away early by not rebounding. Then we made some subs who made some plays and stops. We were able to rebound from that start by rebounding,” Coach Andrew Duggan said. “But to a certain extent, there is no consolation from this. We didn’t play well, and I’m not sure that we’ve played well in two weeks.”

More than 110 high school and postgraduate basketball teams are participating in this year’s Governor’s Challenge. Games are being played at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, the WYCC and three local high schools. The cup is divided into boys’ showcase games and boys’ and girls’ four-team brackets.

Local teams Wilson, Riverdale Baptist, Virginia Academy and Rock Creek Christian are participating in the showcase games. On Friday, local boys’ teams Capitol Christian, Good Counsel, McKinley Tech, Annapolis Area Christian, Whitman and Cesar Chavez begin play in their four-team brackets.

On Thursday morning, IDEA Public Charter senior William Leach scored a game-high 23 points, but the Timberwolves lost to Kent County (Md.) in their bracket semifinal, 61-51. Sophomore Mike Brown scored 17 points as Takoma Academy beat Atholton, 84-54, in a semifinal Wednesday before the Tigers lost their bracket final to St. Joseph by-the-Sea from Staten Island, 63-60, on Thursday.

On Wednesday, C.H. Flowers lost to Oakdale from Frederick County, 69-66, in one bracket final. Laurel beat Virginia Beach’s Kempsville, 57-52, in another.

In girls’ brackets Friday, Whitman, W.T. Woodson and Gaithersburg begin play in their four-team bracket. In girls’ finals on Thursday morning, Wootton lost to Urbana, 50-43, despite 16 points and nine rebounds from senior Zoey Goldberg, while St. Andrew’s beat Kempsville, 39-35.

Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/highschools/carroll-boys-basketball-starts-hot-holds-off-south-lakes-ingovernors-challenge/2017/12/28/5650f496-eb17-11e7-8a6a-80acf0774e64_story.html

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