In a day filled with hair-raisingly close game after hair-raisingly close game at the sixth annual National High School Hoops Festival, it was fitting that the opening matchup of the afternoon between Eleanor Roosevelt and Bishop McNamara high schools would be no different.
After eight ties and seven lead changes — two ties and four changes came in the third quarter alone — Roosevelt claimed a 71-58 victory at DeMatha Catholic.
“I definitely think it helps us because they play a different style of basketball than what we're used to in P.G. County,” Roosevelt guard Trevor Evans said. “So I think it helps us focus on certain other things we might see later in the state tournament.”
After struggling from deep in the third quarter, going 1-5 from his spot in the back left corner, Evans found his stroke in the final period. He connected on 11 of his 14 points in the fourth, burying each of his six free throws, to ice the game for Roosevelt.
“I tell him to shoot,” Roosevelt coach Brendan O'Connell said. “He led the county in three pointers last year as a junior. And he's not even shooting the ball that well right now and he's still — he can still rattle off a string of points like that.”
McNamara managed to keep it close for the majority of the game despite Siena College recruit Stephan Jiggetts going 7-19 from the field, including 2-11 from deep. In lieu of that, Jiggetts still led all scorers with 17 points.
Roosevelt big man, Lerenzo Foote, notched his second double-double in as many games, grabbing 12 rebounds and adding 12 points on 4-5 shooting. Andre Fox pitched in with some timely buckets and good shooting, matching Foote with 12 points on 5-6 from the field. Tiwian Kendley, who scored 26 against Oxon Hill in the season opener, finished with 11 on the day.
“We're not content with that,” Foote said. “We still gave up too many points. We got to lock down on defense and that starts in practice.”
Eleanor Roosevelt 71, Bishop McNamara 58
Eleanor Roosevelt (2-0) 10 18 17 26—71
Bishop McNamara (3-2) 17 11 15 15—58
Roosevelt (2-0): Trevor Evans 14; Lerenzo Foote 12; Andre Fox 12; Tiwian Kendley 11; Malachi Alexander 8; Jesse Ason 6; Ishmail Jabbie 4; Emmanuel Matey 4.
McNamara (3-2): Stephan Jiggetts 17; Jerron Martin 16; Justin Ramey 9; Wayne Johnson 8; Jamar Watson 4; Sam Green 2; Kyle Rawls 2.