JJ Epps Returns to Action After 6 Week Lay-off and Sparks Magruder in 29 Point Victory
It had been 40 days since Magruder senior point guard JJ Epps had laced up his sneakers and played for his Colonels.
40 days and the taste in his mouth was disgusting. Not only had JJ broken two bones in his right hand that let him with pins in the hand and unable to help his fellow Colonels out, but the last game he played in was a Magruder loss. The only loss Magruder has taken in their last 40 games spanning back to last season’s opening game of the season against DeMatha.
While Epps was hungry to return to the hard wood he knew he couldn’t overdo it and potentially face reaggravating the injury. Epps did look a little rusty on Monday evening. His jumper wasn’t falling at the rate it usually does. His ball handling wasn’t quite as clean and crisp as it usually is. But his speed, his ability to pester opposing point guards, and his ability to create open shots for others were all in full swing.
Epps finished the game with six points and played the same number of minutes he usually does. While Epps couldn’t really get his offense going teammates Nick Griffin and Justin Witmer certainly did. Griffin finished with a game high 26 points including seven 3-pointers, one of which was a 4-point play. At half time Griffin had five triples, half way through the third quarter he had 7. His own Magruder record of 10 3-balls hit in a game looked to be in jeopardy. But Griffin would not score in the fourth quarter as senior Justin Witmer started heating up. Witmer finished the game with 17 points including a pair of triples.
Things weren’t easy early on for the Colonels. After one quarter Northwest held a one point advantage. At the half Northwest still had a one point lead. In the third quarter Magruder opened the floodgates outscoring Northwest 19-6 in the quarter. Things didn’t change in the fourth as the Colonels held a decisive 21-4 edge. Magruder went on to win by a score of 71-42. Northwest was led by senior Elliot Gambrell who scored 12 points.
Up next for Magruder is a date at Clarksburg on Wednesday at 7PM. Northwest who is now 8-7 plays at B-CC Friday.