The second game in Friday’s edition of the Bobby Miller Bulldog Holiday Classic at Winston Churchill High School was eerily similar to the first: one team, Albert Einstein, had the size, power, and ownership of the glass; the other, St. Andrew’s Episcopal, had the speed, defensive pressure, and perimeter threats.
And, as had happened during the 9:30 a.m. game between Takoma Academy and Landon, transition buckets and scrappy defense proved to be mightier than a few extra inches and a leg up on the boards.
The Lions, who at one point had to resort to using point guard Cedrick McFadden to guard Einstein’s 6-foot-4 center Abe Camara, used 18 points from Marcus Adkinson and 14 from McFadden to race out to an early lead and coast in to a 73-53 victory for a third place finish in the Green Division.
“I’m happy with the way we played today because it was easy considering how bad our guys wanted a win yesterday,” St. Andrew’s coach Kevin Jones said. “I’m proud of our guys for coming out with the right intensity and mindset and effort to win a game like that.”
That intensity out of the locker rooms led to an 8-point cushion less than three minutes into the game. The lead would be extended to 16 midway through the second quarter and it wouldn’t be relinquished for the remainder of the contest.
Easy as the win may seem judging by the lopsided final score, Einstein gave the Lions several scares throughout the game. As often often happens with 3-point heavy teams such as St. Andrew’s, the Lions cooled after a blistering 24-point first quarter and Einstein, led by Camara — one of just three Titans to score — cut the deficit to within eight at the break.
“We talked about getting the ball down low and I thought we did a good job early, we just missed some layups,” Einstein coach Rich Porac said. “When you miss 10 or 12 layups against a team you should be making them, turnovers plus missed layups isn’t a formula for success.”
That minor slump would also be the last time St. Andrew’s cooled. Any woes the Lions suffered on the offensive half were reversed by their defense, which forced turnovers. At one point in the fourth quarter, following a slew of turnovers, Porac put his hands in the air and said “Hey! We’re in white!”
It’s surprising that Porac didn’t do the same after his Titans threw the ball away on three consecutive possessions in a 30-second stretch in the third quarter, each of which led to uncontested layups which ballooned the lead to 17.
“We focus on defense because we’re a small team so we have to rebound and push,” said McFadden, who averages 16.3 points per contest.
Added Adkinson: “We have to set the tone on defense so we can set the tone on offense.”
St. Andrew’s 73, Albert Einstein 53
St. Andrew’s (8-4) 24 15 23 11—73
Einstein (2-6) 12 19 12 10—53
St. Andrew’s — Marcus Adkinson 18; Cedrick McFadden 14; Jonn Consor 12; Arman Izadpanah 8; Patrick Collins 8; Kevin Stafford 6; Myles Law 5; Drew Singleton 2.
Einstein — Mikah Rhames 18; Abe Camara 18; Josh Ogburn 17.