For Quince Orchard, this was the perfect setting for ending Northwest boys basketball season after they were knocked out of the football playoffs this season by eventual state champions Northwest. What made it even more motivating for Quince Orchard was it was at Northwest but their fans outnumbered the Jaguars fans. When the final buzzer sounded off, it was the same result as Northwest once again ended Quince Orchard’s season by beating them 53-41 in the first round of the basketball playoffs.
For Northwest players like Rodney Snider and Jordan Fairfax, they have already been in this playoff atmosphere were they either win or go home during football season but it was the same mindset which was stay focused and play ball.
Both teams started off slow as they played exceptional defense against each other while both teams had careless turnovers which led to a 8-5 advantage for Northwest after the first quarter.
Poor shooting and turnovers would continue between the two rival schools as they went into halftime with Northwest holding a slim 20-19 lead.
Whatever was said to the Northwest players at halftime seemed to wake them up as they turned up their defensive pressure and started attacking the basket which was sparked by Junior Donnie Gaines and Senior Xavier Bradley as they expanded their lead 38-32 going into the fourth quarter.
Northwest would continue to apply pressure as they saw their lead balloon to 15 points at one point as Snider and Bradley took over on offense while defensively juniors Reagan Zamena and sophomore Caleb Minus made timely stops for Northwest.
For Quince Orchard, their season ends with a 8-15 record but against Northwest, senior Jake Sieniger led his team with 9 points while sophomores Damon Daniel chipped in 8 points. They fought throughout the whole game but could never shake free from the tough defense the Jaguars played.
When asked what got the Jaguars going in the second half, Snider said”We played as a team swinging the ball until we could get a good shot also we were playing really good defense And the crowd helped us out a lot!”
“We just got in it. We knew we could beat them so we went out, got them to turn it over and converted. The press worked and we played together on defense as well.” Caleb Minus speaking confidently about his team.
Xavier Bradley added “We stepped up our defense and forced turnovers. Offensively, I was off in the first half but Coach Jamil and Coach Butler told me to keep attacking and my teammates believed in me so I turned it around in the second half.”
Bradley led Northwest with 15 points while Gaines added 12 points. Snider had a good all-around game with 9 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Northwest will take on Clarksburg in the second round of the playoffs on Monday
Story by Dominique Butler