HYATTSVILLE—The 2019 Capitol Hoops Summer League season started in late May, with many of the area’s top high school boys basketball teams taking part in the action. On June 3, St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes Upper School (SSAA) of Alexandria, Virginia joined in on the fun as they took care of business against Landon School in a lopsided 100-57 victory.
Once the Saints jumped out to a 10-2 lead early in the first half, they took advantage by attacking the rim, nailing their layups and outrebounding their opponents.
A reason SSSA dominated is that Landon only had five guys make it to the game, as the Bears’ starting five played the whole 32 minutes.
“It was a good win,” said SSSA’s Andre Screen. “They were an undermanned team. I don’t think it’s a representation of their whole team, but we played good today. Overall a good effort with everyone.”
SSSA led 24-13 midway through the first half, while Landon came back to cut the deficit to only a few points at one point. Despite this, the Saints led 53-30 at halftime and then outscored the Bears 47-27 in the second half.
“We only had five guys,” said Landon Summer League Coach Eric Herring. “It’s really hard to keep up with their pace when we only have five guys. But they fought hard, we were only down three one time. But those guys just had a lot of ammo.”
Herring also stated that the reason for only having five players was that most of the students were taking exams at the time. “After that, you’ll see a full team, a full roster,” said Herring. “We’ll be back.”
Despite the dominating loss, Kino Lilly led Landon with 24 total points and six rebounds. He also went 3-for-11 from three-point range and 3-for-5 from the free throw line.
“They were big,” said Lilly. “Since we don’t have enough size, it’s pretty difficult. But it’s good competition, we need that.”
Herring believes that Lilly will be a key player in the future, as the team falls to 2-2 to start the Capitol Hoops season.
“Kino’s a good, young player,” said Herring. “I’m excited to get him into the gym this summer to work on his game because he’s going to be a name to look out for throughout next year, I guarantee you that.”
Meanwhile, the Saints outnumbered the Bears’ only five players with a total of 14. However, SSSA Head Coach Mike Jones says that his team needs to improve on defense.
“We started off really soft,” said Jones. “We’ve got to pick it up on the defensive end. We had 17 turnovers. So there’s a lot of things we need to improve on.”
The Saints also proved to be dominant on the boards, as they outrebounded Landon 70-33.
Screen proved to be the star for the Saints with 19 points and 14 points, finishing with a double-double. SSSA’s Xavier Lipscomb also scored 19 points for the winning team. The duo played well off each other throughout the game as they have been teammates since sixth grade.
“We have the chemistry,” said Screen. “We had a good day today. Everything was good.”
But even though the two worked well on the court, Jones still critiqued his team on the defensive end.
“I’m happy that they scored,” said Jones. “But on the defensive end, they didn’t play well.”
Two other Saints players who put up double figures were Chris Milton and Kurt Samuels, who dropped 11 and 10 points, respectively.
With a 3-0 start, Jones believes that his team will have a successful Capitol Hoops Summer League 2019 season.
“I think we can do it,” said Jones. “We are in really good shape. All the guys, they’re in good shape, so we’re going to do a lot of running, and just play well.”
“I think as the competition increases, I know the better the competition, the better I play,” said Screen. “As teams get harder, I think everyone just got to step up to the table and we’re going to deliver.”