HYATTSVILLE — The Capitol Hoops Summer League quarterfinals tipped off on July 1 at DeMatha Catholic High School, as eight schools remain in the playoffs.
The third matchup of the evening featured No. 13 Bishop McNamara facing No. 5 Bullis, but the Bulldogs were able to take advantage of the contest for the 67-64 victory.
“I feel good about the win,” said Bullis Head Coach Markus Townsend. “It is just a continuation of our goal in the summertime, which is to just get better every game.”
Back on June 26, the Bulldogs had beaten No. 12 Flint Hill in the first round of the playoffs. With a win over the Mustangs, they will face one-seed St. Stephens/St. Agnes in the final four.
Early on, McNamara held a 10-5 lead with 12:08 on the clock, but their lead quickly evaporated as Bullis found their groove, thanks to players like Erik Reynolds and William Moreou. Reynolds had an incredible shooting performance in the first half as he converted 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, while also making all three of his 3-pointers.
“It was a long summer,” said Reynolds. “We expected to make (it) this far, so we tried to finish strong.”
Moreou finished the half with nine points, as he nailed all of his shots from behind the arc. While the score was relatively close in the middle of the half, the Bulldogs slowly began to pull away with a 10-point lead heading into halftime.
“We established a goal of studying a standard this summer of how we play, the effort that we give, and we’ve lived up to it,” said Townsend.
Reynolds continued to help Bullis in the second half by adding six more points to finish the night with 17 total points.
“It feels good,” said Reynolds. “Got in there and moved the ball pretty well. It was a good win for us.”
After putting up only four points in the first half, Malcolm Alexander came alive in the second by driving to the hoop, cruising through the Mustang defense and making a few key 3-pointers with 16 second-half points. Alexander finished the quarterfinals match as the Bulldogs’ leading scorer, with 20 points.
“It felt good just to get the W,” said Alexander. “This is what we plan to do, and we’re just getting it done.”
It was not exactly an easy ending as McNamara fought back and cut the deficit to four with 18 seconds left in the game. However, time expired before the Mustangs could finish off the upset win.
Besides Alexander and Reynolds, two other Bulldogs players dropped double digits, as Moreou finished with 11 points, while Alan Kane totaled 13.
“Those guys have been doing it all summer,” said Townsend. “Probably the greatest thing about those guys is that they’re not really looking to score for themselves; they look to make plays for other people, and they’re really willing to do whatever it takes for us to win.”
For the entire Bullis basketball team, winning the 2019 Capitol Hoops Summer League title would mean a lot. They finished the regular season 9-1, tied for third place but winning the title will be the goal, according to Alexander and Reynolds.
“It will be great,” said Townsend. “At the same time, the success of our summer is defined by the goals that we set, which is to improve every game, to set the Bullis standard and just to really get after people defensively.”
“Since we started, that’s been our main goal,” said Reynolds. “If we did that, that would be very special for us to bring it back to our school.”
On the losing side of things, Kenny Womack Jr. led the Mustangs with 19 total points, while Ed Johnson Jr. tallied 15 points and Aaron Russell put up 13.