Atholton, steadied by Boy, tops Howard

21 points, 14 rebounds help Raiders win, 73-67

High Schools

Boys basketball

February 13, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Atholton's assistant coach, Randy Maddox, calls Brandon Boy "Mr. President," and teammate Jonas Vaitkus compares him to a shark.

They are both attempting to describe his calm demeanor in the face of pressure.

Last night against Howard, Boy played to his reputation with another unemotional, machine-like performance by scoring 21 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in the host Raiders' 73-67 victory.

The No. 20-ranked Raiders (13-5 overall, 13-3 league), trailing first-place Long Reach (15-4, 14-3) by a half game, broke a two-game losing streak.

"We knew we had to get it done tonight," said Boy, who has a 4.0 grade point average. "That was one of my better games. The points were my high for the season. I've been playing the No. 4 position [power forward] recently instead of No. 3, and I'm probably more comfortable at 4 because that's where I've played throughout the years. I moved to 3 this season."

Vaitkus, the team's center, scored 18 points and had 12 rebounds in a must-win game for the Raiders, who lost to Howard earlier this season by two points.

"Our post men made a big statement tonight, and we got balanced play from our guards," Vaitkus said. "Brandon is an unsung hero and doesn't get enough credit for all the things he does. He's one of the best post players in the league."

Guard Brent Stewart contributed 12 points, and guard Jimmy McQuilkin scored seven points and had four steals, four assists and three rebounds.

"Our defensive intensity was good throughout the game, and if you get that, you'll win a lot of games," said Raiders coach Jim Albert. "Brandon works hard and has a terrific attitude. He's a winner."

The Raiders beat Howard (4-11, 4-9) badly on the offensive boards but struggled with their put-backs. They also uncharacteristically struggled at the foul line, going 21-for-36.

Boy was one of the few Atholton players who didn't struggle shooting free throws. He was 9-for-13.

Howard, led by point guard Anthony Bogues (15 points), forward Pierre Wright (11 points) and forward Jamar Robinson (16 points), was 16-for-23 from the line and sank seven three-pointers to stay close to Atholton.

The Raiders' biggest lead was 64-54, but with 38 seconds left, Wright's three-pointer made it 68-65 before the Raiders sank five unanswered free throws. Two crucial baskets by Alex Kapinos helped the Lions to rally.

"We've been struggling to score, so it's good to see we got out of that," said Albert.

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