This past football season, the hard hitting of Gilman linebacker Jamal Cox earned him The Sun's Defensive Player of the Year award.
Yesterday, in the Greyhounds' 61-56 victory over No. 15 Edmondson in the Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference, the 6-foot-2 forward showed he can be equally aggressive on the court.
Cox, a senior, dominated the lane with 13 rebounds to go with his 11 points and two steals. His defensive play held Edmondson leading scorer Devin Ross (16 ppg) to six points.
"Cox affected our inside game tremendously," said James James, coach of Edmondson (3-3, 0-1). "I think we should have keyed on him more. Down the stretch he just raised terror on the inside."
Said Cox: "We knew this was a big game, and that to win we'd have to control the boards. I try to play basketball like the way I play football -- just play low and slide."
With Cox sliding in the middle, Edmondson was forced to shoot from the outside. Guard Randolph Edison picked up some of the slack with four three-pointers and a game-high 17 points.
But late in the game, with Gilman (11-6, 4-0) clinging to a slim lead, the Greyhounds switched to a box-and-one defense focused on Edison. Gilman then scored six straight points to turn a 53-51 lead into a 59-51 lead with 37 seconds to play.
"This was a great team effort," said Gilman coach Tim Holley. "We thought they were too quick for us, so we made it a half-court game. Today we played aggressively and did what we had to do."