A game that featured dynamic point guards on both teams, enough shooters to stage a full-on three-point contest and a breakneck pace that only stopped for the whistle and horn was somehow defined by box outs, tipped rebounds and the muscle-for-muscle battle inside the paint.
The No.?7 Little Hoyas (20-5) used size ¡ª the size that usually complements their speed and skill ¡ª to pull away from the No.?12 Bulldogs (19-8) in a one-sided fourth quarter.
Georgetown Prep forwards Ike Nweke and DeJean Desire scored 13 of the team¡¯s 15 fourth-quarter points before guard Jared Bynum made two final-minute free throws that padded an already-sealed win on their home floor in Bethesda.?
All of Georgetown Prep¡¯s fourth-quarter points were scored either in the paint or at the free throw line. Nweke, a senior signed to play at Columbia next year, and Desire finished tied for a team-high 13 points. Bullis point guard Vado Morse, a senior headed to Mount St. Mary¡¯s in the fall, led all scorers with 14.??
¡°I knew that our advantage was inside,¡± Georgetown Prep Coach Ryan Eskow said.?¡°And I knew that our guards had to create for our bigs. We just had to execute that.¡±
Georgetown Prep¡¯s offense runs through Bynum, a senior point guard signed to Saint Joseph¡¯s, and his eight early points helped the Little Hoyas take a one-point halftime lead. Bullis was able to match his production with Morse, slashing Nendah Tarke and shooting guard Lincoln Yuetter, who scored seven in the second quarter to keep the game tight.?
But the Little Hoyas inched in front in the third quarter before widening the gap in the fourth. Desire blocked a layup before, moments later, Nweke flew in from the weak side to swat away a second-chance attempt. The pair then took that aggression to the other end of the court and bullied Bullis away from a second straight IAC title.?
¡°They did their thing,¡± Bynum said of the two forwards.?¡°I always tell them they are the difference, and tonight they were.¡±
Last February, Morse hit two free throws with 1.8 seconds on the clock to give Bullis the championship over Georgetown Prep. That stuck with the Little Hoyas through the regular season, the playoffs, Tuesday¡¯s game and then into the ensuing celebration, when they bounced up and down with their home fans and chanted,?¡°IAC! IAC! IAC!¡±
They waited a year for this. Then they waited three extra days after weather postponed their chance at redemption. And then, finally, they won.
¡°It was worth the wait,¡± said Nweke, a huge smile filling his face.?¡°So worth it.¡±
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