HYATTSVILLE – Ishmael Leggett’s 14-point and five-rebound performance helped St. John’s College High School take the lead over Eleanor Roosevelt High School late in the second half on June 8 during a summer league basketball match.
The Cadets never looked back as they defeated the Raiders 67-59.
Leggett felt the Cadets' hustle got them back into the game against Roosevelt while staying true to their style of play to come away with an eight-point victory.
“We just had to start playing our game and being unselfish and our hustle showed in the last few minutes of the game,” Leggett said.
Although University of Virginia commit Casey Morsell was the catalyst to the Cadets' early success in the first half, he didn’t score in the second half.
Leggett and Delonnie Hunt led the charge in the second half as both players knocked down 14 points apiece by finding good spots on the floor to shoot from in half-court sets and from beyond the arc. Hunt and Leggett shot 100 percent from the field combined.
On the other side for the Raiders, the duo of Cameron Brown and Isaiah Gross led the way from start to finish for the Raiders. Brown finished the game with 11 points and 15 rebounds while only making one three-pointer in the game which is usually his specialty.
Gross is coming off of a 31-point performance against Paint Branch High School on June 3 during Summer League action. He tallied 24 points and grabbed five rebounds in the loss to the Cadets.
Gross said mental lapses and staying connected during their run cost them the game when the Cadets made a run in the second half.
“We played good, but mental lapses just cost us the game,” Gross said. “St. John’s brought more intensity in the second half, and we didn’t respond quick enough, and that was just the difference maker in the game.”
One player who showed up for Raiders against St. John’s was junior guard Jahari Simon. Simon scored six points in the game, but his aggression on the offensive end is what the Raiders' coaches wanted to see and what they need for this upcoming season with the loss of guards Jaden Faulkner and Juston Bailey graduating this past season.
Simon said they could have done a better job on their transition defense against St. John’s. Their transition defense killed them in the game when Morsell scored his first three points of the contest (all in transition), and Leggett seemed to get into the paint every possession willingly. Legget’s attack plan of getting to the rim allowed him to go 9-11 from the free throw line.
“We should have done better of getting back on defense,” Simon said. “I also feel we need to fix our attitudes when we aren’t getting in the game because that brings the team down as a whole.”