Not that style points are ever of any real value, but 20-point wins boost resumes more than one-possession wins throughout the regular season — the same way scoring 90 in a game gives a more lasting impression than scoring 60 does.
Well, as Walt Whitman High School coach Chris Lun and senior Viking Ben Castagnetti acknowledged on Friday night, the time for style points is over.
“A win,” Castagnetti said following his Vikings’ 37-31 win over John F. Kennedy, “is a win.”
“You just got to take it one game at a time,” he said after leading all scorers with 18. “A six-point win looks the same as a one-point win looks the same as a 20-point win.”
“Just happy to get a win,” Lun said. “We’re happy with the win. Our defense showed up to bail the offense out. Any win in the playoffs is a good one so I’ll take it. Kennedy did a great job mixing it up with their 1-3-1 and 2-3 [zones]. They kept us off-balance a bit so … you always want to score more than 37, but, like I said, any win in the playoffs is good.”
That feeling is echoed, and it’s a good thing style points don’t mean much of anything, because they were near impossible to come by during the first round. Of the six 4A games in the county, only one team came away with a thoroughly convincing victory — Col. Zadok Magruder’s 74-58 win over Thomas S. Wootton — and all three of the 3A games were decided by seven or less.
Wheaton needed all four quarter in its 70-63 victory over 1-23 Seneca Valley — though Ibrahim Kallon going off for 34 points certainly was impressionable — the same as Damascus did in a comeback win over Albert Einstein (46-43) and Watkins Mill over Northwood (57-54). Bethesda-Chevy Chase only topped Walter Johnson by six (77-71), Richard Montgomery edged Winston Churchill by a free throw (46-45) and Northwest stumped Quince Orchard by 10.
In the lone relatively comfortable victory, Magruder was highlighted by a season-high 28 points from Josiah Jones, the first time the 6-foot-2 forward has reached the 20s since Jan. 4. Is coach Dan Harwood sold? Not quite, but they’re close, he said.
“He played really well the second half of the year,” Harwood said of Jones. “Everybody is getting more and more comfortable. I like the way we played the second half of the year and we’re not there yet, but we’re getting there.”