|JAN. 23, 2014- GAZETTE.NET
Thirty-point club continues expanding
The list of members in
the 30-point club in Prince George's County boys' basketball added one
more to its ranks on Thursday. Northwestern High School's Amir Boney
scored 35 — more than half of his Wildcats' points — in a 77-69 loss to
Boney, a 6-foot-6 forward, is now the ninth player to have hit the
30-point milestone, joining Evonte Hill, Davon Taylor, Andre Fox, Gerard
Gray, Abdulai Bundu, Brandon Dawson, Dejuan Smith, and Gary Stewart.
Central's Taylor still leads the pack with four nights in the 30s as he
added another with a 33-point outburst in a 103-81 win over Fairmont
— Travis Mewhirter
|JAN. 24, 2014- GAZETTE.NET
Role players help Potomac beat Central
Boys’ basketball: Key to state title hopes may be the other guys
|FEB. 8, 2014- THE WASHINGTON POST.COM/ALLMETSPORTS.COM
Prince George's 3A/2A/1A
Points Per Game
Prince George's 3A/2A/1A
3-Point Field Goals
|MAR. 8, 2014- GAZETTE.NET
Central makes 33 free throws to top New Town
Boys’ basketball: Falcons survive a free throw marathon to win 1A North Region
by Travis Mewhirter
In between the 84 free throws and litany of whistles, the technical
fouls and numerous foul-outs, incensed coaches and impassioned fans,
there was actually a fine game of basketball being played in Saturday’s
1A North Region final between Central High School and New Town, one that
the Falcons would go on to win 76-69 after 32 minutes of terse,
There was an excellent, back-and-forth guard duel between New Town’s
Daniel Shand and Central’s Davon Taylor, both of who would score in the
20s despite attempting just 20 field goals between them. There was
Taylor’s classmate, Gary Stewart, getting knocked down and bouncing
right back up and Kenneth Pettaway dropping in seven crucial
fourth-quarter points. There was Central junior Andrew Wimbush lofting
as ill-advised a 3-pointer as any, every last Central fan gasping some
iteration of ‘No!’ before it fell through, putting the Falcons up seven
with less than 20 seconds to play, all but sealing the game.
It was an odd victory for sure, one in which Central coach Lawrence
Pugh, who typically plays six players, had four reserves in at critical
junctures, but it ended in a fashion which Stewart had never previously
experienced: cutting down the nets. “Man, I’m just so happy we won,” said Stewart, a senior who finished
with 16 points, second on the team to Taylor’s 20. “I’m just extremely
happy. This is my first championship for a high school.”
Pugh would say afterwards that he expected something of a brawl
between the two teams from two proud basketball counties, one that had
50 made free throws to just 40 made field goals. He claimed not to get
nervous when his Falcons blew a 14-point lead in the third quarter or
when, every few seconds it seemed, Stewart was tumbling across the
floor, the precursor to each of his 15 free throws, because Pugh’s team
is tough, and he expected a tough response.
“We expected that,” Pugh said. “They’re a Baltimore team, we know
they’re going to keep coming, we know they’re going to be a physical
team, but we knew they were tough. I knew Baltimore County was going to
be tough, aggressive and physical, but I don’t think they were
battle-tested like we were. We played the 4A champs, Wise, we played
Potomac twice, we knew that nobody we played after that would be better
than those two teams.”
Taylor recalled a conversation he had with Pugh before the season
began, about the goals for the team in his final season. At the
beginning, there had been just one item on the list: reach the Comcast
Center. That goal has already been modified, designs now set on the 1A
state title. The next hurdle will be Edmondson/Westside, another proud
Baltimore team and current holder of the 2A crown, scheduled for Friday
night. When asked what he thought of the Edmondson, Taylor brushed it
He just wanted to bask in the moment, if only for a few more minutes, from where he was: on top. “It feels good to be a champ,” he said. “It feels real good to be a champ.”
|MAR. 14, 2014- THEWASHINGTONPOST.COM
Boys' basketball: Central falls to defending state champ Edmonson in Maryland 1A semifinal
By Brandon Parker
Wide open on the left wing and with Central’s momentum slowly pulling the Falcons back into contention late in Friday’s Maryland 1A state semifinal, it appeared as if Davon Taylor
was finally going to catch a break.
Up to that point, Central’s leading scorer had struggled to
find clear looks against Edmondson’s long-armed defenders. But as
Taylor’s three-pointer kissed the side of the rim, it spun around and
out of the basket, again thwarting a Falcons team that proved just a few
inches — and baskets — short in a 51-46 loss to defending state champ
Edmondson at Comcast Center.
With their tallest player measuring 6 feet 3, the Falcons (15-8) were
accustomed to facing bigger opponents like the ones featured on the Red
Storm. What Central wasn’t used to was a cold hand at the foul line,
where it shot 15 for 31, and a slower tempo that held Taylor to his
first single-digit output of the season with seven points.
length and size stagnated our offense a little bit,” said Falcons Coach
Lawrence Pugh, whose team was outrebounded 48-36. “They did a good job
of getting back and preventing us from running.”
After trading baskets for the first 12 minutes, the Red Storm broke open a 7-0 run to build a 29-26 halftime advantage. Gary Stewart
kept the Falcons close by slicing through the gaps in Edmondson’s 1-2-2 zone and creating opportunities at the line.
was a disadvantage with their height,” said Stewart, who finished with
11 points, “but with speed and quickness, it wasn’t as much of a
But as the Red Storm worked to slow down the pace in the fourth
quarter, the approach ignited Edmondson junior Kevin McClain. The
6-foot-5 forward found room inside to score eight straight points and
helped the Red Storm build a 10-point lead with three minutes to play.
the clock wore down and with Central breaking out its fullcourt press,
the Falcons cut the deficit to 49-46 behind buckets from Dequan Smith
(16 points) and Stewart’s frequent trips to the foul line. But after
missing an open three and having a putback attempt blocked on their
final possession, the Falcons’ bid to reach their first final in 11
years came to an end.
Though they fell short of their goal, the
senior trio of Taylor, Smith and Stewart, along with their coach, fondly
looked back with teary eyes on a four-year journey that started after
an 0-20 mark in the 2009-10 season and culminated with Friday’s valiant
“The guys at Central, we believed in ourselves when no one
else did,” Pugh said. “Central basketball is here to stay because of
what these guys built.”
|MAR. 14, 2014- GAZETTE.NET
Free throw woes doom Central
Boys' basketball: Falcons miss 16 free throws in five-point loss to Edmondson in 1A semifinals
by Travis Mewhirter
Lawrence Pugh is a math teacher by day and the Central High School
boys' basketball coach by night. So he didn't need anybody to spell out
the reasons his team lost Friday's 1A state semifinal contest against
Edmondson-Westside: The 16 free throws his Falcons missed were the
fundamental difference in losing a game decided by five points, 51-46.
“Should have won,” Pugh said. “We missed 17 free throws, they missed
four. You do the math. We can't miss opportunities. That's on us.”
Edmondson will play Allegany for the state title scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.
It's odd that, depending on one's point of view, the loss at Comcast
Center in College Park came down to the free throw line. It was that
very spot that boosted the Falcons over New Town Saturday afternoon in
the region final. Central made 33-of-46 in that free throw festival,
good for a 72 percent clip. On Friday, Central went 15-of-31, a 48
percent clip. Had Central matched its 72 percent shooting from Saturday,
the Falcons would have made approximately 22 free throws which, in
theory, would have won them the game, 53-51.
But basketball is not a simple game. The free throws were just one of several factors Pugh could have pointed to in the loss.
The Edmondson defenses deployed by coach Darnell Dantzler — a blend of
1-3-1, 1-2-2, box-and-1, and several other zone variations — held Davon
Taylor, Prince George's County's leading scorer, to just seven points.
For just the fifth time all year, Taylor was held without a single
3-pointer, and it was the first time all year that he was held to
“I'm going to tell you that, pound-for-pound, he's still the best guard in PG County,” Pugh said.
“Their length, it made it real difficult. On my release I had to try
and shoot it over,” said Dequan Smith, who led Central with 16 points.
“It kept pushing my shot too high.”
And yet, despite Taylor's struggles and Central's collective woes
from the line, the Falcons were right in the thick of it all 32 minutes.
Smith carried them with 12 first half points, matching his per-game
average, and Gary Stewart visited the free throw line 13 times in the
second half alone.
Though Central had an abundance of trouble keeping Edmondson off the
boards — the Falcons were outrebounded 48-36 — it countered with speed
and forcing turnovers. Edmondson big men Robert McLean and Kani Coles
would bruise for a layup, Central would break and get to the line. But
in the end, the Red Storm layups proved easier to make than Falcon free
throws. McLean went 8-for-9 from the field in scoring 16 points and
Coles went 3-for-4 in the second half in scoring his 11 points.
“The better team beat us today,” Pugh said. “I love Central. Central
basketball is here to stay. The hard work, dedication, commitment and
loyalty these guys have shown me these last three or four years to turn
this program around, take us back to Comcast — we'll be back here