Gaithersburg Tops Magruder; Trojans Advance to Section Finals

Gaithersburg basketball has been a team to reckon with all year.  Magruder basketball has been a team to reckon with for the last decade plus.  On Wednesday night something would have to give.

During the regular season the teams split, each winning on the other teams home court.  In early January Gaithersburg won at Magruder 81-73 in a high scoring affair.  24 days later Magruder pounded Gaitherburg 67-49, holding the Trojans to their second lowest point total of the season.

It’s no secret that Gaithersburg loves to run, they often score in the 70’s and 80’s and transition basketball is where they do their damage. But Gaithersburg did have a little secret for Magruder in the 4A West Section two semi-finals. Instead of playing the man-to-man defense that they showed them in their first two meetings they incorporated a 1-3-1 full court press for almost the whole game that led to countless deflections, Magruder turnovers, and you guessed it, Gaithersburg transition buckets.  Magruder scored the first bucket of the game right off the jump ball, but a minute and forty seconds into the game Gaithersburg led 10-2 and their star, junior forward Anthony Tarke turned two steals in to break away dunks.  By quarters end he would add another emphatic dunk and the Trojans would have a lead they would never relinquish.

Magruder put forth a great effort in trying to come back but their star, junior Joe Hugley was plagued with foul trouble.  He picked up his second in the first quarter, and his fourth before the midway point of the third quarter.  In his absence senior Josiah Jones picked up the workload and kept the deficit within striking distance.

In the fourth Magruder cut the lead to six at one point and had a one and one opportunity at the free throw line but couldn’t convert the front end.  In the closing second Jones hit a wild three point shot with his back to the basket as he was falling out of bounds to cut the lead to five, but the buzzer sounded, and Gaithersburg was moving on.  Clarksburg would be their next opponent, it was announced throughout the gym.

Gaitherburg clobbered Clarksburg in their two meetings this year.  Once by 24 and once by 17.  Capitol Hoops was at the contest that took place on January 24th at Clarkburg.  Click here to see those highlights.  In that game Gaithersburg led by 35 at one point but Clarksburg made a late surge to make the score look semi-respectable.  The section two final will be Thursday night at Gaithersburg at 7PM.  The winner of that game will play the Whitman, Blair winner at Blair with a trip to the Comcast Center on the line.

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