ROCKVILLE — Another chapter in the storied rivalry between the Sherwood Warriors and the Magruder Colonels unfolded Friday as the two varsity boys basketball teams went head to head on the Colonels’ home court, just a few miles down the road from Sherwood High School. This time, the Warriors shut down Magruder’s offensive weapons to earn a 58-41 victory.
Magruder forward Ebby Asamoah led all scorers with 25 points. Senior guard Justin Hawkes fed Asamoah the ball again and again as the junior appeared to be the only Colonel who could drive through the Sherwood defense in the paint.
Meanwhile, the Warriors took full advantage of their multiple scoring threats, as five players each landed at least one three-point basket. Seniors Donovan Lacey (13 points), Brad Riley (10) and junior Domenico Martella (12) all finished with double-digit points scored.
The Colonels kept it close in the beginning and the game was tied twice in the first quarter. Magruder senior forward Collin Bannister grabbed Hawkes’ pass and shot a trey as time expired in the first quarter for the second and final tie of the evening.
The Warriors turned up the defensive heat and held Magruder to just eight points in both the second and third quarters. The defensive pressure allowed Sherwood to extend their lead and the Colonels couldn’t recover.
“We really just didn’t shoot it well. We don’t have a lot of scorers so we need to shoot it well,” said Magruder head coach Dan Harwood. “Give some credit to Sherwood’s defense; they were pumped up. We’re not good enough to overcome lack of shooting. If we could have made a few more shots, it would have been more of a game.”
Asamoah knocked down a pair of treys in the second half to try to chip away at Sherwood’s lead. However, the Warriors’ staunch defense created turnovers and forced the Colonels to attempt ill-advised shots.
Lacey leapt into the air and denied Magruder freshman guard Michael Myrie under the basket. Even though the game was out of reach for the Colonels, Asamoah wouldn’t give up. The junior zig-zagged through the paint for an easy layup as the seconds ticked away in the fourth quarter.
“[This rivalry] has ties going back several generations,” said Sherwood head coach Tim Gilchrist. “You win the game, you get to hold your head high.”
The Warriors are on track to earn the third seed in the 4A North division in the upcoming playoffs. Gilchrist acknowledges that the talented teams in the 4A North may present some postseason challenges for the Warriors.
“Two of the area powerhouses, Paint Branch and Springbrook, are in our section,” said Gilchrist. “You have to get through one or both to have a chance at the regional championship. I’m optimistic. I’m always optimistic. We’ve played really close games with good teams. Anything can happen in high school basketball.”