Thursday, December 12, 2013 7:03 PM
Photo by Daniel Kucin. Bowie point guard Jared Gray helped his team almost pull off an upset but fell short. He finished the night with 11 points.
Published on: Friday, December 21, 2012
By Daniel Kucin
Georgian Court University commit Jalen Robinson spent last season playing for DuVal and was one of their key impact players. However, a year has passed, and Robinson has since transferred to Bowie and become the cornerstone of the Bulldogs’ offense, guiding his new school to a 3-1 start.
Despite their previous success, the Bulldogs fell short against the Tigers. The game Tuesday ended 62-56.
DuVal came into this contest confident and composed, maintaining a lead through two quarters. It was no secret that Bowie wanted to get the ball to Robinson down low for high percentage shots. He was the staple of the Bulldogs’ offense, but the Tigers defended their game-plan perfectly by switching to a 3-2 zone defense and holding Robinson to only 14 points.
Changing to this defensive philosophy challenged the Bulldogs to hit long-range jump shots that eventually led to the majority of DuVal’s scoring.
Photo by Daniel Kucin. DuVal’s Edward Polite made it difficult for Bowie’s Jalen Robinson all night and blocked this layup in the process. He also scored eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
“We had to try and slow them up. ... They do have really good shooters and they were killing us on the inside, so I decided to go zone. So, it was a little harder for them to adjust on the fly,” DuVal head coach Lafayette Dublin said.
DuVal was up by eight points at the half, but Bowie did not lay down. Instead, the Bulldogs adjusted and ran an aggressive fast-break offense in effort to swing the momentum in their favor.
It worked. Bowie point guard Jared Gray pushed the ball down court and split the defense to find his open teammates looking to crash the boards. Gray finished the game with 11 points, and his play kept the Tigers honest, forcing them to switch to man defense in order to recover on the back end.
However, Mike Cunningham completely took over the game and made the comeback improbable. DuVal’s fourth leading scorer in points per game in the division simply dominated the Bulldogs down the stretch and put the game out of reach. Cunningham finished the night with 31 points, one assist, two steals and nine rebounds. This is his first season in a DuVal uniform, and he has quickly become the Tigers’ “go-to-guy.”
“I love my team. We have been doing good,” Cunningham said. “We had two tough losses and we should be undefeated right now. They got more aggressive in the second half and they came back, but we finished it off.”
Cunningham insisted that his team gave up a lot on defense and could have narrowly opened the door for a Bowie comeback that could have cost them the game.
Both teams played through 10 lead changes in the third quarter, and DuVal’s largest margin was 11 points. Bowie couldn’t make enough plays with little time left, and the Bulldogs suffered their second loss of the season. DuVal now has earned its third win of the year, and the Tigers now currently sit in a three-way tie for third place in the 4A division.