HYATTSVILLE – The Bullis School came up short in a tight game against St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School (SSSA) in the Capitol Hoops Summer League semifinals on July 2, falling to the Saints 62-60.
The Bulldogs controlled much of the first half and early parts of the second half before SSSA made the final push to advance to the July 3rd championship game against DeMatha Catholic High School. The Saints would ultimately win the summer league title, 65-62, over the Stags.
Jared Cross had a game-high 24 points for the Saints, and guard Xavier Lipscomb was a factor all over the floor with 13 points and 9-for-12 free throw shooting. Malcolm Alexander finished with 22 points to lead Bullis while Rodney Rice Jr. added 16 and six rebounds.
The Bulldogs led 58-55 with over four minutes left but did not score again until 20.9 seconds remained. During that scoreless drought, the Saints’ Jamal Barnes hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 3:27 to go and Cross hit a jumper on their next offensive possession to take the lead.
Bullis had chances to answer back but came up empty on three straight possessions. After rising senior Kurt Samuels split a pair of free throws to extend the lead by two points, Rice answered with a layup for the Bulldogs with 20.9 seconds left.
Barnes then missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw situation, setting up one final possession. With the Saints trapping, Rice tried to throw the ball to Alan Kane, who overran the pass and saw the ball corralled by Lipscomb before Bullis could pass half-court to end the game.
In the first half, the Bulldogs overcame a hot start from Cross to take control of the game. The rising senior scored 16 of the Saints first 19 points in the first eight minutes. Once that barrage stopped, Bullis began to attack with Cole Hanin (bottom right) running the offense and the quartet of Alexander, Kane, Erik Reynolds (top left) and Rice attacking SSSA inside and out.
A Rice 3-pointer gave the Bulldogs a 32-22 lead with 3:23 remaining in the first half, the only double digit lead for either team.
The Saints did not fold and clawed back, retaking the lead with 5:16 remaining. Bullis responded with a small push to take the lead, only for SSSA to make one more basket to seal the victory.