WASHINGTON, DC - News and notes from the More Than Basketball Jump Ball Tip Off at Archbishop Carroll High School on December 1, 2017:
NESBITT BEATS BUZZER TO LIFT VA ACADEMY
A transfer from Bishop Sullivan in Virginia Beach, 2020 guard Amir Nesbitt made the biggest shot of Virginia Academy’s young season, draining a 3-pointer as time expired to lift the Patriot to a 49-47 win over Sidwell Friends.
With 5 seconds remaining, the Patriots trailed, 47-46. After a timeout, Dillon Weems inbounded from under the opposite basket to Kobe Tigney, who took two dribbles upcourt and whipped the ball to Nesbitt on the right wing with two seconds left.
“I was supposed to get the ball on the curl and then pull-up, but they denied me,” he said. “Then Kobe got the ball in the middle and he drove and kicked and then I let it fly.”
Nesbitt caught the ball cleanly and fired it up, with the ball falling through the net just after the buzzer sounded. He finished with 15 points.
“I was kind of iffy [on it going in], but I just had to let it fly,” he said. “Coach [Chris Rhone] drew the play up for me.”
The win was the first of the year for Virginia Academy, which boasts plenty of new faces in its lineup this year.
“The first two games didn’t go well and we lost, but we came together as a team today and we beat Sidwell,” Nesbitt said.”It was really big, they were ranked 11th, so we were trying to make a name for ourselves.”
GILKERSON GOES ON THE OFFENSIVE
As Virginia Academy’s starting point guard, senior Shyheim Gilkerson is counted on to run the offense and set his teammates up for success.
There are times, though, when he’s called on to get buckets on his own, and that’s exactly what he did Friday. With Sidwell threatening to run away with things early - it was 13-5 after one quarter - Gilkerson jumpstarted a sluggish Patriot offense, attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line. Gilkerson tied with Nesbitt for the team scoring lead with 15 points and earned MVP honors. His effort helped to counter a 21-point, 11-rebound performance by Sidwell star guard and North Carolina State commit Saddiq Bey. Sidwell’s Jason Gibson added 18 points.
MARTIN LOOKS COMFORTABLE IN SCORING ROLE
As his team’s top returning scorer, Cesar Chavez 2018 guard Lawrence Martin knew he’d be expected to carry the offensive load this season. On Friday he showed he was more than up to the task, dropping a game-high 33 points in an 81-65 loss to Theodore Roosevelt.
Martin finished 6-of-13 from the field (2-of-6 from 3-point range) and an impressive 19-of-25 from the free throw line, displaying a nice ability to draw and finish through contact. Martin finished behind Chavez graduates Keleaf Tate (Niagara) and Jacob Long (Bowie State) in scoring last year.
The 6-foot-1 Martin also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, and it looking very much like the latest in a long line of standout Chavez guards.
HIKIM POWERS WILSON OVER ROCK CREEK
2018 point guard Ayinde Hikim enjoyed a breakout season during Woodrow Wilson’s DCIAA Championship run a year ago, and it looks like he’s ready to reach an even higher level.
Hikim poured in 26 points grabbed 5 rebounds and added 6 assists to lift the Tigers to a tight 68-67 win over Rock Creek Christian in front of a packed house in Friday’s finale.
Hikim was a major factor from the opening tip, going 5-of-7 from the field while posting 11 first-half points - highlighted by a nasty one-handed dunk in transition.
Hikim currently holds one Division I offer from Quinnipiac, but should surely see that total increase with a strong senior campaign.
HARRIS POSTS MONSTER LINE IN LOSS
With WIlson looking to run away with Friday’s game early, Rock Creek Christian 2018 star forward Jermaine Harris responded, posting 16 of his team’s 30 points at the half. He finished a dominant outing with 34 points and 14 rebounds before fouling out in the final minute.
The 6-foot-8 Rhode Island signee has made marked strides on the offensive end, and his ever-growing arsenal was on full display Friday, as he scored with his back to the basket, facing up, and even from 3-point range.
On one possession in the first half, Harris caught the ball at the top of the key, crossed over left, drove and finished through contact. It was the kind of move Harris wouldn’t have finished even a year ago, and is a testament to the impressive improvement he’s made since arriving from Georgia a few years ago. Rhode Island is getting an absolute steal.
MILES BIG IN SECOND HALF FOR ROOSEVELT
Theodore Roosevelt 2020 wing Darius Miles started slow, but showed up when his team needed him to, finishing with 14 points and 6 rebounds in an 81-65 win over Chavez.
“In the first half I came out slacking, so I had to pick up the energy because the team needed me,” Miles said. “Once the game got close and Coach Rob [Nickens] told me that he needed me, and also my teammates told me that they needed me, I had to just pick it up.”
The 6-foot-6 Miles played a complementary role early as Roosevelt guard Marcus Dockery carried the offense, scoring 10 of his team-high 18 points in the first half.
In the second half, though, Miles got more aggressive going to the basket against smaller defenders. He finished the game 6-of-8 from the field and showed the skillset that has begun to earn him Division I interest.
“I think this year it’s a special group - a real special group,” he said of his team. “We have a lot of shooters and a lot of athleticism.”
MOHAMMED MAKES IMMEDIATE IMPACT FOR CARROLL
2021 forward Aminu Mohammed didn’t make his decision on a high school until late in the summer, ultimately choosing Carroll over a host of interested programs.
He proved to be well worth the wait in his debut, posting 24 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Lions to a 65-50 win over Thurgood Marshall in Friday’s opener. The win marked a key milestone for Carroll, which went 0-22 last year.
He went 10-of-17 from the field while showcasing an impressive offensive arsenal, scoring on dunks, offensive rebounds and jumpers - including a 3-pointer. In the second half he nailed a pretty stepback jumper and made several key shots to help the Lions weather a Warriors rally.
Mohammed should find himself in plenty of Freshman of the Year conversations.