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ROCKVILLE—Winter break started for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) on Dec. 21.
However, in the middle of the break, two five-win squads in the Walter Johnson and Wildcats Magruder Colonels boys basketball teams still had to play one week later. The Colonels came out on top for the 67-50 home victory in a hard-fought game Friday night.
The Colonels quickly jumped out to a 10-2 lead early, thanks to the presence of senior Ebby Asamoah and freshman Bankeys Omari, but the Wildcats cut the deficit to five as Magruder led 12-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The Colonels kept the offensive tempo going in the second quarter as Asamoah added nine points to finish the half with 17 points, which included two dunks.
Magruder was able to rebound well and take control of their free throws and shot opportunities to hang on for the Colonels 28-21 lead at halftime, despite a valiant effort from Walter Johnson sophomore Philip Stubin, who put up 11 points, including two three-pointers, in the second quarter.
Then, the second half started, which is when Ebby’s younger brother Chris Asamoah came off the bench and went off.
The junior made a considerable presence in the third quarter by nailing three shots behind the arc to finish the quarter with 11 points. The Colonels led 46-37 at the end of the quarter.
The Wildcats (5-4) were able to compete with Magruder by cutting the deficit to 52-47 as well as one point. Chris Asamoah still could not be stopped, as he once again finished with the same stats as the previous quarter: three shots behind the arc and a two-point shot, once again putting up 11 in the fourth.
“Walter Johnson’s really stepped it up,” said Colonels Head Coach Dan Harwood. “They’ve got some tough kids who really shot the ball well. But the key tonight was Chris Asamoah came off the bench and put up 22 in the second half.”
Converted free throws also worked for Magruder in the end, as junior Travis Crandall nailed five at the line, while Ebby hit two to add to his tremendous performance.
In the end, the Asamoah brothers were unstoppable, as Chris finished with 22 points, including six buckets behind the arc, all in the second half, while Ebby registered 19, including two three-pointers and two dunks. Together, the two combined for 41 points Friday night.
“They’re both great kids, and they work really hard,” said Harwood. “The main thing about both of them is that they’ve improved so much, and each year they get better and better. They’re a lot of fun to coach.”
Despite being on the losing end, Stubin came through for the Wildcats with 17 points, while senior Spencer Mahne finished with 11 points on the night.
“I thought we didn’t get a lot of bounces to go our way,” said WJ head coach Kevin Parrish. “I thought we battled. I mean we had a chance there in the fourth quarter. We had it in single digits and a couple of possessions that we didn’t convert on, and then they hit a couple of threes, and that took any chance I think that we had out of the game.”
Magruder improves to 6-1 on the season and will head to Richard Montgomery next.