COLLEGE PARK – Before the 2017-18 high school basketball season begins, many teams have a chance to get a head start on displaying their talent and finding out their weaknesses at The University of Maryland Team Camp.
The camp featured several schools from Prince George's County, including Capitol Christian, Eleanor Roosevelt, Riverdale Baptist and DeMatha.
On June 10, several matchups were worth watching, starting with Riverdale Baptist and Westlake. In the big 70-57 win, Riverdale’s backcourt put up some impressive totals. Ayan Teel was the catalyst and played well from the start, as he finished with 20 points. Senior Donovann Toatley added 13 points. At the point guard position, he can get up the court with his speed and make plays in transition.
With last year’s leading scorer in Deion Hammond graduating, look for Toatley to be the go-to guy on the court.
“I think I played well,” Toatley said. “I was focusing on getting my teammates involved and getting more assists, and I accomplished that. I finished with eight assists. I would have had more, but some people missed layups. But it’s cool. We are progressing.”
Tyrese Samuel was not in attendance at Saturday morning’s game, but a prominent player for the Crusaders was D’Marco Baucum – a transfer from Bishop O’Connell. He finished the game with five points, but his presence in the paint was more than enough for the Crusaders.
Wayne Bristol is another senior that will be a key scorer for the team. He got to the rim with ease and even knocked down some big three-pointers. He finished with 10 points.
The second game saw Capitol Christian face off with Eleanor Roosevelt, where the Capital Beltway team got the upper hand, winning 57-51 in a fierce battle. It was a fast paced game and a battle of two teams who love to run and gun.
Roosevelt took a 35-27 lead into halftime behind the support of Cameron Brown and Juston Bailey. Jaden Faulkner and Isaiah Gross were not in attendance for the Raiders, but that gave the other guys a chance to step up and go against some great competition.
Jordan Boulder finished with 15 points for the Warriors. Boulder’s 6-foot-4 frame at the wing will make it hard for conference opponents to stop him this upcoming season. Judah Jordan, who was the fourth leading scorer for Capitol Christian last year at 10.5 points-per-game, finished with eight points.
Jordan couldn't get going offensively until the second half when he finished on some tough drives in traffic. He will be one of the top guards to look out for, and holds offers from Hampton, Towson and Penn State.
“I think I played solid against Roosevelt,” he said. “I could have scored more, but I did a good job at getting my shooters involved in the second half by creating for them. Getting them open looks opened up the driving lanes for me to get some layups down the stretch.”
Another Warriors’ player turning heads was Isaiah Borders. Borders shot the ball extremely well from three-point range, which made a significant difference in extending the lead against the Raiders. His performance showed that he could be a dominant shooter in his conference.
The final game of the day was the thriller between DeMatha and Sidwell Friends. Sidwell’s Jason Gibson finished the game with an and-one buzzer-beating basket to help his team defeat the Stags, 46-43.
“I think I played pretty well, but at the end when Saddiq (Bey) took the ball out, coach told me to go to half court. I already knew that I was going to fake like I was going to get the ball and then go long.
“Saddiq and I were on the same page at the start of the play, and luckily I was able to be strong and finish the play and make the free throw.”
Bey finished the game with 14 points, while Gibson had five points by game’s end.
For the Stags, sophomores Hunter Dickinson and Rock Creek Christian transfer Earl Timberlake stole the show. The duo combined for 25 points.
The Stags held a three-point lead at halftime. The pick-and-roll game between Timberlake and Dickinson was fun to watch, and the two have much more room to grow in their last three years at DeMatha.
Sidwell took its first lead of the game in the second half when Bey came down on back-to-back possessions and knocked down three-pointers, which was followed by a Gibson trey to extend the lead to five.
With 39 seconds left on the clock, it became a back-and-forth match. Bey hit a tough jumper to put Sidwell up 41-39. Timberlake made a tough drive to the rim, but could not convert on the two free throws. Sidwell then turned the ball back over on the inbound, which allowed a DeMatha guard to be fouled and knock down two free throws.
The game ended with the huge touchdown pass to Gibson for the game winner.