Nick Griffin’s 28 Leads #9 Magruder Over Sherwood
With Junior point guard J.J. Epps sidelined with a shoulder injury, Magruder is in search of someone to do all of the little things that Epps provides for the Colonels.
On Friday evening in Sandy Spring, Maryland, Nick Griffin continued his tremendous season, scoring 28 points including six 3-balls, raising his average on the season to 22 PPG. Magruder looked as good as their #9 ranking would indicate and the problem that Epps’ void presents seemed to be taken care of on this night by a couple of Colonels. Starting at the 1 tonight was Junior Matt Ricketts who did an admirable job scoring 8 points (including two three-pointers), dishing out 4 assists, and only committing 2 turnovers. When Ricketts was not in the game Griffin slid over to the 1 and also did a great job. Senior Cameron Royster also helped fill the void as he dished out a game high 6 assists.
Magruder came out of the gates on absolute fire. They scored 26 points in the first quarter and connected on five 3’s. They held host Sherwood to 13 points in the quarter. After the first, Sherwood began to keep up with Magruder’s up and down pace. Throughout the remainder of the game Magruder outscored the Warriors by only 4 points and finished with a 76-59 win. Aside from Griffin, Colonels forward Garland Owens showed why the DMV is starting to jump on the Senior’s bandwagon. Owens who had a very solid outing against DeMatha on the big stage in Magruder’s opener has continued his terrific play. Known as one of the most prominent high-risers in the DMV, Owens can dunk with the absolute best of them, but does many other things that help Magruder be considered the favorite in Capitol Hoops’ opinion to return to the Comcast Center. Owens finished tonight’s game with 17 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 assists. He also caught a crazy backdoor alley-oop with 2:45 remaining in the 1st quarter that will have YouTube viewers salivating. Magruder Junior forward Justin Witmer added 10 points and 5 rebounds.
Aside from the first quarter Sherwood played a pretty solid game. Their superstar and leading scorer, Senior Scott Bolen had a quiet game and seemed very frustrated at times tonight. His ability to play without the ball is going to need to improve when he makes the transition from high-school to college. Bolen finished with a quiet 12 points, scoring no more then 5 in any particular quarter. While Bolen had a sub-par game, Sherwood did get a phenomenal contribution out of forward Charlie Rogers who scored a game-high 31 points. Astoundingly for Rogers, Sherwood’s second highest leading scorer, it wasn’t even his season high on the young campaign. In Magruder’s season opener the Senior went off for 32 points and 12 rebounds in a rout over Seneca Valley. Rogers is now averaging 20 points, 6.4 rebounds and shooting 75% from the free throw line, not bad for a second option. Bolen is averaging 23.4 PPG, the second highest mark in Montgomery County. The duo of Bolen and Rogers is the highest scoring tandem in the county by almost five points.
Montgomery county is weak this year and aside from Springbrook, who is in a different region then Magruder for the first time ever this year, there isn’t a team who should come close to stopping the Colonels bid to make it back to Comcast for the second consecutive year. Getting to Comcast would be nice for Magruder, but only winning a regional championship would not be considered a successful season — from Magruder’s viewpoint. The 4A is very top heavy this year and thinking about potential match-ups in the 4A state-semifinals makes any DMV fan smile. Defending 4A champion North Point returns their core. Not only did Patterson High School out of Baltimore (last year’s runner up) return their marquee player, Junior Aquille Carr, but they landed a handful of highly talented transfers, including multiple transfers who won state championships last year. Patterson acquired height as well, something that hindered them at times last year. Patterson is currently ranked the #1 overall team in Baltimore including both public and private schools. Many consider them the favorites to win the 4A but don’t tell that to the people in Waldorf (where North Point calls home).
Magruder’s next game should most definitely be the Montgomery County game of the year; the loan time that Magruder squares off with their arch-rival Springbrook. The game is at 7PM this coming Monday, December 19th. A sell-out is expected so get their early if your planning to attend. If you can’t make it Capitol Hoops will be there filming so look out for the highlight tape and we will be selling DVDs of game, as we do most games that we attend and film.