Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:37 AM
Published on: Thursday, January 30, 2014
By Holden Wilen
GAITHERSBURG – Junior forward Joe Hugley put on a dominant performance Tuesday night to lead the Magruder High School basketball team to a 67-49 upset win on the road against Gaithersburg High School.
Hugley led the Colonels (9-6) with a game-high 25 points, nine rebounds six blocks. For the Trojans (12-2) the loss is only their second all season long.
“We played really well on defense and had the energy the whole night. Those guys are having a great season. When you are playing against a team that is 12-1, I’ve been there before, everyone is going to be coming after you,” said Magruder coach Dan Harwood. “It is a neighborhood rivalry and these kids all know each other. It was probably our best game as far as having that energy for all 32 minutes.”
Magruder took command of the game early, outscoring Gaithersburg 22-11 in the first quarter. Gaithersburg improved its play in the second quarter, outscoring Magruder 15-11. Magruder led at halftime 33-26.
In the second half, Magruder put the game out of reach. Hugley consistently made it difficult for Gaithersburg’s shooters, including top-scorer Anthony Tarke, to get to the rim.
“(Hugley)blocked six shots and he probably changed another five or six,” Harwood said. “That’s what we tell Joe; he might not always block it but he’s six-six with a plus four reach. When you have a 6-10 reach even if he does not block it he is going to affect it.”
Hugley put an exclamation point on his performance when he finished a fastbreak with a powerful, two-hand jam after receiving a pass from point guard Derrick Akuoko.
With just under five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Hugley showed his leadership when he confronted his teammate, sophomore guard Marquaine Wilkerson, who had just received a technical foul for taunting Gaithersburg senior guard Aaron King. Hugley pulled Wilkerson aside, got in his face and pointed at the scoreboard to remind him to concentrate on closing out the game.
“I’m a captain of this team and they look up to me. My intensity is their intensity,” Hugley said. “I had to get (Wilkerson’s) head back in the game. He slipped off for a second and I had to remind him of the score and the time. We have to stay as a group and as a team. If we did that we knew we would pull it out tonight.”
Earlier this season Magruder lost to Gaithersburg 81-73 in a game where it held a double-digit lead at him. Hugley said Tuesday’s win shows the progression of the team which has now three straight games and six of its last seven.
“Early in the season it was hard for us to finish games but now we have gotten over that and can finish games. You see we are starting to get on a roll right now,” Hugley said. “We have to keep it up and keep up the intensity.”
At the beginning of the season Harwood said he knew it would take a while for the team to improve. He hoped that by the time the playoffs come around the team would find a groove, and he said the team is finally starting to show signs. He was particularly pleased with the team’s ball movement the last two games.
In a 71-58 win over Wootton last Friday, Harwood said his team accumulated 19 assists on 26 baskets. In the win over Gaithersburg the team racked up another 15 assists on 25 baskets.
“Those are two highest totals of the year,” Harwood said. “Moving the basketball and keeping the intensity is part of what we do. We will see if we can get better.”