Monday, March 10, 2014 7:13 PM
Published on: Thursday, February 27, 2014
By Holden Wilen
ROCKVILLE – The Magruder High School boys’ basketball team avenged an early-season loss to its archrival Sherwood with a strong defensive performance in a 66-49 win at home to end the regular season.
Junior forward Joe Hugley, as has been the case throughout the season, led the team in scoring with a game-high 19 points. However, the player who led Magruder (14-7) in a tightly-contested first half was senior Danny Schaerr. The young forward came through with several key baskets to help push Magruder to a 29-27 lead at halftime.
“I was real happy with Danny. He has been playing real well recently. He had a slow start to the season but the last two weeks he has really been playing well,” said Magruder head coach Dan Harwood. “He hit some big shots for us tonight and got some big rebounds as well.”
Schaerr finished the game with 17 points, including four three pointers.
Magruder took control of the game in the second half. In the third quarter the Colonels ramped up their defense and held Sherwood (11-10) without a basket until there were just under two minutes remaining in the quarter. Offensively, the Colonels continued to score and went on a 11-2 run to push the lead to 42-28.
Harwood said he had been switching between using a zone defense and a man defense, but stuck with the zone because it was working. Meanwhile, Sherwood head coach Tim Gilchrist said his team struggled to make shots it usually knocks down.
“It’s tough. We had two free throws for six minutes and got them to that 10-point cushion, then we were even pretty much the rest of the way,” Gilchrist said. “We just weren’t attacking as much as I would have liked. The shots just were not falling in the second half really.”
Xavier McCants led Sherwood in scoring with 15 points.
In the fourth quarter Magruder outscored 22-13 to seal the game. Hugley put an exclamation point on the victory his second dunk of the game to finish off a fast break with 29 seconds left.
All season long Harwood has said he expected the team to improve after starting the season 0-3. He is proud of the team for getting its 14th win and is now looking forward to the playoffs. Magruder plays Wootton in the first round on Friday.
“It has been a struggle at times but luckily, and I said at the beginning of the year, we are better now than we were,” Harwood said. “We still have a ways to go but at least we are playing better.”