ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA) -- At the outset of Friday night's Montgomery County showdown between Magruder and Quince Orchard, it looked like fans in the packed gym were in for a scrappy, low-scoring match-up.
But in the second half, Magruder's offense rallied -- big time. The Colonels' aggressive passing around the key exhausted Cougar defenders in zone coverage and allowed Magruder to triumph, 59-48, over Quince Orchard.
"In the second half, I thought we moved the ball much quicker and that enabled us to get wide-open shots," said Colonels head coach Dan Harwood.
Senior guard Nick Griffin, a George Washington commit, carried the team with 24 points, half of which came from three-pointers. Senior forward Justin Witmer pitched in 20 points.
"Coach, he said, 'You can't hide on offense.' And when they were trapping us, everyone moved to the ball and that's how we got more open shots," said Griffin.
JJ Epps, Magruder's top on-the-ball defender, is out with an injury until February 1. In tonight's game, Magruder mixed in some zone coverage to their typically man-to-man defensive strategy, which is something Harwood says they'll try until Epps returns.
Quince Orchard, as Harwood acknowledged, is a tough team to work around. The Cougars forced multiple turnovers with their trap defense and were aggressive in their drives to the hoop. Quince Orchard senior guard Charles Porter was an especially relentless force on offense.
Next up for the Colonels (9-1) is a road game against Northwest on January 8. The Cougars (7-2) will face Wootton on January 10.