Boys' basketball preview

AAA Cardinal District


Top teams

Potomac (17-3)  Gar-Field (19-6)  Hylton (8-9)

[G] Dominique Major, Forest Park, 5-9, Sr.  [G] Kendall Hargrove, Hylton, 6-2, Sr.
[G-F] Tayron Gibson, Potomac, 6-2, Sr.  [G] Corey Bonds, Gar-Field, 5-10, Sr.  [G-F] Jordan McCain, Potomac, 6-3, Sr.

Forest Park’s Major is the top returning scorer in the seven-team district at 18.4 ppg. He and Hargrove are returning first-team all-district picks.


Bruins Complete Comeback Against Millbrook, 66-61


by Joey LoMonaco


With five minutes left in the fourth quarter Thursday night, a lull overtook the homestanding patrons on the Forest Park side of the gymnasium. You could hear a pin drop. And why not, the Bruin faithful had just seen a once-comfortable lead evaporate into thin air as the Millbrook Pioneers took back both the advantage and the lion's share of momentum. 

But that's why they play 48 minutes. In that waning, do-or-die portion of the game, the Bruins composed themselves and eventually retook the lead off a Dominique Major three-pointer with a little over three minutes remaining. Although Millbrook would claw right back, the Bruins took over for good when Ivan Colbert nailed down a pair of free throws at the two-minute mark. After converting two turnovers in the Pioneers' defensive zone into points, the Bruins eagerly awaited the final whistle, which culminated their 66-61 comeback victory.

Major, who finished with 23 points, attributed his squads' comeback to the effort they put in every day on the practice court.

"Every day coach tells us 'hard work,'" said the senior. "We knew we had to pick it up on defense in order to pull this win off. I think we did a good job of that. We have to do that throughout the whole game so we can be consistent in each and every game."

The Bruins came out hot off the tip, as Major in particular put on a shooting clinic. Forest Park took a five-point lead into the second quarter and led 34-31 at the break. The third quarter started slowly, with neither team able to find an offensive rhythm. Then, the Pioneers did, capitalizing off a plethora of Forest Park turnovers.

Led by junior guard Donte Harris' 17 points, Millbrook mounted a furious rally, taking a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter. Many of the points were scored in transition as the Pioneers took advantage of poor Forest Park passing near the half-court stripe. Boomer Kaczmarzewski provided a presence on the boards for Millbrook, who held a distinct inside advantage during their run in the third.

Part of the confusion in the Forest Park backcourt occurred because the Bruins were without Major, who spent the quarter on the bench.

"We got into foul trouble with Dominique Major, our best player and top scorer, and we had to put him on the bench for the entire third quarter," said Bruin head coach Mark Mallisham. "I think our kids showed some composure. That's the first time they've played without Dom in a long time."

Even when Major returned to the action as the fourth began, the Bruins were plagued with many of the same issues they had been struggling with all night: turnovers and poor shot selection. Down six with five minutes left, it was apparent to all in attendance that only an extremely focused effort could salvage a victory.

Sensing the urgency of the moment, the Bruins delivered. The fourth quarter, at least its conclusion, was textbook according to Mallisham. "Our guys stepped up, and they provided the definition for the word resiliency," praised Mallisham of the comeback. "There was a little bit of tenacity; there was a little bit of gutting it out, tenacity to win... It was just desire."


Forest Park Proves Too Much For Mt. Vernon, Wins 83-72

By Elton Hayes

The Mount Vernon Majors hosted the Forest Park Bruins in the 36th Annual Holiday Basketball Tournament in the tournament's final game of the evening. Playing for a spot in the tournament's championship game, Forest Park beat Mt. Vernon, 83-72, at Mt. Vernon High School.

Evenly matched, both teams were timid at first, feeling each other out. The game picked up to a much faster pace as the quarter progressed.Trading scores, Forest Park led 19-15 at the end of the 1st.

Dion Harris and Shaye Michael Murrell carried Mt. Vernon in the 2nd quarter. Harris scored 11 points in the quarter while Murrell tallied 3 assists. Forest Park's Dominique Major was accurate from three-point range, scoring 11 points in the 2nd quarter, helping Forest Park to maintain their lead.

Forest Park continued their domination of the Majors in the game's final quarter. Mount Vernon was unable to generate enough steam to make a run in the last eight minutes of the game. With the game out of reach, the Majors still displayed pride in playing hard until the final whistle, scoring 15 fourth quarter points. Forest Park won 83-72.


Friendly Claims Mount Vernon Crown

by Lizi Arbogast 

The 36th annual Mount Vernon Holiday Tournament came to a close Wednesday night with the Friendly Patriots knocking off the Forest Park Bruins by a final score of 59-51. The thrilling championship game was a close contest from the tip-off, as neither team led by more than eight points at a time.

After the first quarter, both teams had put up 11 points on the board. Friendly was able to achieve a small lead in the second quarter, and led by three at halftime.

The Patriots started off the second half strong, gaining some key buckets from star senior Davon Morton, who was essential to Friendly's offense all night. But just over two minutes into the half, Forest Park's own sensational senior, Dominique Major, made a three-point play to tie the score at 30. This seemed to be a momentum-changer in favor of the Bruins, and Forest Park held the lead at 40-39 heading into the final quarter of play.

Patriots' forward Michael Johnson, who had not scored from the field all night, was able to bang home two three-pointers in a row to swing the momentum back in favor of Friendly. The scoring went back-and-forth, with Friendly gaining their biggest lead of the night - 7 points. But then, almost on cue, Forest Park went on a 7-point run, tying up the score at 51 with just 1:45 left on the clock.

After that, Forest Park was unable to muster any offense, and Friendly scored the final eight points to solidify the 59-51 win. After the game, the all-tournament team was announced. From Forest Park, Nick Esposito and Dominique Major were named, while Friendly's Sherrod Baltimore and Davon Morton were given the nod.


Hylton boys basketball remains unbeaten in the Cardinal District


By Hugh Rist

Playing two basketball games in the span of 18 hours seemed like a tall order for the Hylton Bulldogs and early on in Saturday afternoon’s game against the host Forest Park Bruins, it appeared the Bulldogs might come up short for several reasons.

Saturday’s game, played after Hylton’s grueling victory over Gar-Field Friday night because of Tuesday’s inclement weather postponement, featured a duel between two of the area’s top players in Hargrove and Forest Park’s Dominique Major. “Back to back games are always tough,” Hylton coach Barry Smith said. " Major is a good player and we knew he would get his points, but I am of the thought that no one guy is going to score 60 points, so no one player is going to beat us.”

It turned out that Major and Hargrove cancelled each other out as each scored 24 points. But more telling is that Major scored all of Forest Park’s fourth quarter points as the Bruins made just 2 of 12 field goal attempts in the fourth quarter (17 percent).

Major made 11 of 14 free throw attempts, but was just 5 of 12 from the field. Forest Park did not get great looks at times, especially in the second half, which Smith said was a testament to Hylton’s defensive effort. The Bulldogs shot just 11 of 22 (50 percent) from the line or the final margin could have been much higher.

Forest Park (8-6, 3-3), however, trailed by just two at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Major scored five points in just more than minute to pull the Bruins within 38-36. But Jordan Bolton, Hargrove, and Craig Woody each scored on consecutive possessions following Bruins’ misses as Hylton pulled away.


Basketball Leaders

  Points Per Game
21 Daryl Copeland
West Potomac
22 Dominique Major
Forest Park
23 Jesse Konadu
Mt. Vernon

Basketball Leaders

  3-Point Field Goals
45 Brad Gilson
46 Dominique Major
Forest Park
47 Donte Absher
Park View







Duo buoys Bruins

By Joe Conroy

Mark Mallisham is pushing his players up and down the Forest Park basketball court. The head boys' coach is acting as part coach, part official and part motivator. After every change of possession or score in a recent intrasquad scrimmage, Mallisham barks to the Bruins to run down the court, either looking for a fast break opportunity or to play defense.

The presence of Eric Brent and Hylton transfer Dominique Major afford Mallisham the ability to play this up-tempo style of basketball this season. "Last year we tried to run a lot of quick-hitters, a lot of set plays," the coach said. "This year we're trying to let them play and that's been the big difference. Last year I felt like I had to call a set play almost every time up the floor. "This year, instead of running plays, they're playing basketball."

Both Brent and Major -- and the rest of the Bruins for that matter -- are benefiting from the high-octane offense this year. They've each seen a significant bump in their scoring averages from a year ago, with Brent, a senior, up almost six points a game to 16.2 and Major nearly tripling his production of 6.0 points per game to a team-leading 17.8.

Forest Park, as a whole, is averaging 64.5 points a game, an improvement over its production in 2008-09 when the Bruins (9-4, 2-1 Cardinal through Jan. 5) scored 60.8 and went 9-14, including a first-round exit from the Cardinal District Tournament.

"We don't walk the ball up the court, we're playing a fast tempo and that means there are a lot of possessions in the game," Mallisham. Dominique gets his shots, Eric gets his shots and Nick Exposito had 17 points the other night. We've got a lot of people sharing the basketball." said. " "It definitely fits us because we run, but at the same time we play defense," Brent said. "It makes it fun and exciting at the same time."

The change in offense meant a big adjustment for Major, though, as he wasn't used to playing as much as Mallisham expected him to. "At Hylton, he was surrounded by talent," Mallisham said. "He didn't have to play 32 minutes there. We could tell the first couple of games he was just out of breath. For Dominique, this is something different and he's starting to get used to that." "I worked real hard in the offseason," Major said. "Eric and I ran bleachers and ran the track every day. I knew what I was coming into this season. I want to play the entire game. I don't want to come out."

Major is a slashing point guard who can find his way to the basket just as easily as target a teammate for a quick kick-out pass. "They're both solid in the game of basketball," Mallisham said. "They can pass, dribble and shoot. And they can play defense, too. "They play together very well. They know where each other's located on the court and they play as a team," the coach added. It helps, too, that the backcourt duo are comfortable with each other on the hardwood. As cousins, they've been playing basketball together since they were in grade school. "We have a chemistry together and we know each other's games," said Major, who, as a junior, is already receiving interest from Colonial Athletic Association programs George Mason and Virginia Commonwealth.

Until this year, though, the two had to play as rivals at the high school level. "I knew it was definitely going to be fun," Brent said about finding out Major was transferring in from Hylton. "We feed off each other in the games and we bring out the best in each other." "It's definitely more fun to play together [than against]," Major said with a laugh. Considering last year's results, Forest Park may have been overlooked by some in the district to start this campaign. Not that the guards mind. "We definitely came in as an underdog this year," Major said. "Nobody expected us to do this well so far."


feb. 10, 2010- INSIDENOVA.COM

Clutch performer: Dominique Major

By Joe Conroy

Dominique Major is really making a name for himself at Forest Park this year. After transferring from Hylton -- where he averaged around six points a game as a sophomore on a team loaded with talented upperclassmen -- Major is emerging as one of the Cardinal District's best players.

Major was instrumental in Forest Park's district win over Osbourn Park last Thursday, scoring a game-high 24 points, including the game-winning layup with three seconds to go in regulation to secure a 68-66 win. The junior, who earlier this year reported interest from Colonial Athletic Association clubs George Mason and Virginia Commonwealth, also knocked-down four 3-pointers that game. The Bruins need Major to continue his impressive play as they're on the outside-looking-in as the No. 5 team in the Cardinal.






2008 Winter Preview: Boys Basketball


By Paul Frommelt

2008-2009 Prince William Returners:

David Thomas, Woodbridge; Jeremiah Johnson, Gar-Field; Cory Turner, Osbourn; Darrell Patterson, C.D. Hylton; Keith Mitchell, C.D. Hylton; Kwasi Amponsah, Gar-Field; Ta’Von Brown, Forest Park; Justin Burrell, Potomac; Joseph Fears, Freedom; Dominique Major, C.D. Hylton; Darius Smith, Woodbridge; James Robinson, Battlefield; Stephen Wing, Freedom; Adam Smith-Butts, Forest Park; Stephan Pringle, Potomac; Charles Reed, Potomac; Raphiael Putney, Woodbridge


Virginia All-League Basketball Teams

MaxPreps presents all-league basketball teams from the state of Virginia

By: Kevin Askeland

Cardinal District

Honorable Mention
Matt Boward, Forest Park; Ta’Von Brown, Forest Park; Scotty Hagmann, Hylton; Dominique Major, Hylton; Jeremy Patterson, Gar-Field; Andrew Cornwell, Potomac; Andy Gray, Gar-Field, Coach of the Year.