The Suitland Rams made it like clockwork against the Charles H. Flowers Jaguars on Jan. 7: speed it up then slow it down, speed it up then slow it down.
The explosive formula helped the District Heights, Md. school leap out to a 40-17 start—but it nearly cost them that big lead before they held on to claim an 82-65 home win and remain undefeated in Prince George’s County, Md. 4A League play.
Led by senior guard and top scorer Nicho Tyson (17 points), Suitland ran circles around Flowers in the early going, using a dizzying full court trap to frustrate their Springdale, Md. rivals and get open for some easy transition points. By the time Flowers got a handle on Suitland’s trap, it was too little, too late.
Flowers made a second half run to cut a 23-point deficit to just eight points at 65-57 with 2:32 left in the final quarter. But a questionable foul call sent Flowers coach Billy Lanier into a storming tantrum, leading to his ejection and six free throws and possession for Suitland. Suitland received two foul shots for the original foul call and four extra for the two technical fouls that Lanier racked up.
After Suitland converted five of the six free throws, senior guard Carl Brown slipped to the back of Flowers’ defense for an easy layup which swelled his team’s lead to 72-57 with less than two minutes remaining, all but sealing the win for one of the league’s top teams.
“I thought my kids showed some resiliency tonight,” Suitland coach George McClure said. “I told them in the pregame warm-ups that Flowers was going to make runs. I told them it was going to be a game of runs and whoever can stop the other team’s runs the best would win. We really haven’t been in that situation this season against a good team but we held them off and I’m hoping we learn from it. Flowers is only going to get better and I think we’re only going to get better. It’s a big win.”
Suitland improved to 8-1 on the season and 6-0 in league play. Flowers fell to 5-4 on the year and 5-1 in league play.