Gwynn Park gets payback vs. Douglass
Yellow Jackets put themselves in position to clinch County 3A/2A/1A title on Thursday
The first time the Gwynn Park and Frederick Douglass high school boys' basketball teams faced one another this season, Douglass squeaked by the Yellow Jackets and moved into first place in the County 3A/2A/1A League.
Gwynn Park used that defeat as a springboard of sorts, and it hasn't lost a game since. The Yellow Jackets got a bit of revenge on Thursday night as they crushed the Eagles, 67-51, to take sole possession of first place in the league.
If the Yellow Jackets defeat Forestville on Friday night, they will earn a spot in the county championship on Wednesday and the top spot in the upcoming 2A South Region playoffs, which get under way with first-round games on Feb. 26.
"Those have been two of our goals the entire season," said Gwynn Park coach Mike Glick. "We have played a lot better the second time through the schedule, and I think that shows the improvement of these guys."
Tion Barnes led the way for the Yellow Jackets (16-3 overall, 12-3 league) with 26 points, as Gwynn Park blew a close game open in the second quarter. Douglass led 15-12 at the end of the first quarter, but Gwynn Park opened the second period with a 14-4 run and took a 35-22 lead into halftime.
The Eagles got within nine points in the third quarter, but the Yellow Jackets answered with an 8-0 run and were never threatened again. Brandon Ford chipped in 13 points for Gwynn Park, while Mike Hemsley scored 10.
"We needed this one if we were going to make it to the county championship," Barnes said. "We treated this like it was just another game, but it was bigger. We knew we needed to come out and play hard."
Terel Bonhom scored 13 points to lead the Eagles, while Timmone Whatley had 11. Douglass coach Ty Massenburg said his team isn't playing well lately, which isn't a good thing with the playoffs right around the corner.
The Yellow Jackets and the Eagles could meet again in the 2A South Region tournament, but that's not what Massenburg is thinking about.
"We had some really good chemistry earlier in the year, but we just don't have that now," Massenburg said. "The playoffs are a new season and we just have to find a way to get back on stride."
The Eagles get that chance Friday night as they play host to Surrattsville.
Gwynn Park 67, Frederick Douglass 51
Douglass 15 7 17 12 - 51
Gwynn Park 12 23 22 10 - 67
Douglass (14-5, 11-4): Timmone Whatley 11, Kavon Glover 3, Jeron Beasley 4, Purnell Murray 4, Marvis Davies 1, Sam Lester 3, Teron Elias 5, Terel Bonhom 13, Angelo Williams 6, Vincent Williams 1.
Gwynn Park (16-3, 12-3): Brandon Ford 13, Tion Barnes 26, Mike Hemsley 10, Eric Batts 4, Raymond Barnes 3, Curtis Hardy 9, Marcel Boyd 1, Brian Hall 1.