Monday, May 20, 2013 1:00 PM
Photo by Daniel Kucin. Wise’s Ashante Shivers knocks down a 3-pointer. He finished the game with 12 points.
Published on: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
By Daniel Kucin
It was a night of new beginnings for Wise last Tuesday when the Pumas knocked DuVal out of the playoffs in a shocking 85-54 victory in Lanham.
DuVal was coming off of a relatively close win against Northwestern, and the Tigers were looking to make a statement against a team that has flown under the radar in a powerful league.
DuVal was simply over matched, and Wise took notes from its last appearance during the regular season to exploit the Tigers’ glaring weaknesses. Wise forced numerous turnovers in the first half and started the game with a 10-0 run by the way of double-teams and help on defense; that led to easy fast-points in transition.
“Every game we get better and better,” said Wise’s Micah Till. “Coach (Rob) Garner installed in us to play hard and play good defense. ... We knew they didn’t play good transition defense and some of the guards couldn’t handle pressure, so we knew if we made our shots the game would be ours.”
Photo by Daniel Kucin. Micah Till goes for a dunk. Till finished the game with 12 points and 16 rebounds.
Wise knocked down 10 shots from the perimeter and quickly pulled away in the first half. The Pumas enjoyed a 27-point margin at one point, and never let up until they were ensured the victory. Senior guard Markell Young led his team with 27 points, and Till was a dominating force, finishing the game with 12 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks.
However, despite Wise’s efforts with a youthful team in championship form, Eleanor Roosevelt clinched the 4A South on Friday for the fourth year in a row. Roosevelt slipped by the Pumas 56-55. Wise’s only state playoff appearance was in 2008 when they also lost to Roosevelt by a one-point margin of victory as well.
Wise has enough talent returning to find themselves on the winning side next year under the direction of Garner.
“We were just a little careless with the ball on some of those possessions there at the end,” he said. “You’ve got to play perfect basketball to win in the region final.”
The Raiders will face North Point at 9 p.m. Thursday in the Class 4A semifinal at Comcast Center in College Park. The winner will face either Baltimore Polytechnic or Magruder in the Class 4A State Finals at 8 p.m. Saturday at Comcast Center.