Jeff Rose/Contributor: Jalen Jefferson looks around for his teammates
Jeff Rose/Contributor: David McDougal gets sanwiched by Hopewell
Hopewell has faced Prince George two other times this season, winning each game by the skin of their teeth. Now with both teams familiar with the others playing style and lineup, the barn burner at Hopewell High School began.
The Prince George and Hopewell rivalry was in full force last Friday; this deep into the season there’s not really any time left to make changes to playing styles noted Elvin Edmonds. The match was won by a slim lead of 65 to 64, with Hopewell bringing in a final basket in an intense overtime.
Prince George is tough with David McDougal cementing their score against Hopewell bringing in 14 points. Prince George’s second scoring leader was Su’Wayne Turner, who brought in 14 points against the Blue Devils.
Hopewell’s lineup has had problems with consistency in the past, but today they were out in full force. Faizohn Taylor took up as the scoring leader he has proven to be in previous games. Jalen Jefferson and Sean Wallace were also back taking up the challenge.
But the biggest change to the lineup was Ali Treadway, who had his first game. Treadway is a football player for the Blue Devils and now he was unleashed courtside.
“He adds another ball handler to us on the floor…” said Edmonds. “He’s athletic and plays pretty good defense the most important thing is he’s a ball handler I don’t think we had 20 turnovers like we normally have.”
The game was a huge back and forth for the Royals and Blue Devils with 5 drives going nowhere at the start. Defenses snatching back balls from baskets, stealing drives by the other team. Prince George was the team that battered through it scoring the first point, but their lead was short-lived, and at no point did anytime dominate the other.
Deep into the third quarter Hopewell was leading by 5 points, when Faizohn Taylor took a shot, falling down and sliding across the court, bringing in 3 points for the Devils: 43 to 46. Taylor took up the reign as score leader for Hopewell scoring 17 points. And the bruising battle didn’t let up in its intensity with decisive moves by both Prince George and Hopewell.
The Jefferson twins held their own when a 3 points attempt was blocked and the other twin snatched up the ball bringing in a layup for Hopewell in the 4th quarter. Jalen Jefferson slammed the Prince George hoop with a total amount of 19 points. With forty seconds left Hopewell, Travonte Jones under a swarm of Royals players passed the ball down court to Sean Wallace who landed a layup bringing a lead of 58 to 56. And when Prince George seemed poised for defeat they scored a 3 pointer by Su’Wayne Turner and the two teams were deadlocked into overtime.
In the final seconds of overtime, a long pass by Prince George to bring in enough points to kill Hopewell’s lead was intercepted by the Blue Devils that tossed the ball out of bounds with 4 seconds left and Prince George’s chance at a narrow victory was shut down.
The neck-to-neck was a result of the two playing 3 games in the past that didn’t allow for either team to use a hidden trump card to shut down the other.
“I know what they do, they know what we do,” said Elvin Edmonds Prince George Basketball Coach. “It was just a matter of who wanted it the most so it wasn’t nothing fancy it was just about which team wanted to be the tougher team.”