McDONALD – With a big matchup looming against first-place Seton-La Salle Friday night, Washington couldn’t afford another slipup in Section 4-AA play Thursday night at Fort Cherry.
The Prexies, who were beaten by Chartiers-Houston Wednesday night to fall two games behind Seton-La Salle in the loss column, needed a win against the Rangers to right the ship heading into their matchup against the Rebels.
Head coach Mark Gaither’s team made sure it took care of business early against the Rangers in a 71-49 win.
Washington’s Quorteze Levy took the opening tip in for an uncontested layup and then the track meet began.
“After playing last night, we needed to get off to a good start and run and attack the hoop,” said Gaither. “We stressed that. We got off to a sluggish start last night and had to fight back and we needed to get some easy baskets and limit them to one shot at the other end. I was happy with the way we started.”
The Prexies opened the game with a 16-4 run, with all of their baskets coming on layups in transition.
Wash High (8-2, 14-5) led 20-8 after the first quarter and 40-18 at the half.
Levy was the beneficiary of many easy looks at the rim as he scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half.
When they weren’t running up and down the floor, the Prexies were making it very tough for the Rangers to score, limiting Fort Cherry (3-6, 7-9) to only one shot most trips down the floor.
The Prexies controlled the glass throughout and made all of the hustle plays thanks to an inspired effort from DeQuay Isbell, who was one of three Prexies players to finish with a double-double.
Isbell finished with a game-high 22 points and 11 rebounds, also blocking four shots as his effort on the defensive end set the tone for the game.
“I always try to bring energy,” said Isbell. “It doesn’t matter if it is on defense or offense. Today, I just made an effort to stop them and I was in a good position to grab a lot of rebounds.”
Despite the big halftime deficit, Fort Cherry didn’t quit and opened the third quarter on a 16-4 run. However the Rangers never got closer than 11 as the big first half hole turned out to be too much to overcome.
The Rangers were led in scoring by Justin Iskey, who came off the bench to score 15 points.
“We just got off to a terrible start,” said Fort Cherry head coach Robert Baeir. “We missed shots and they turned them into two points quickly. Isbell also killed us again at both ends of the floor. The team that showed up in the second half is who we are. I don’t know why it took that long because we needed this one. The way I figure we need two wins to make the playoffs so we better rebound quickly.”
In addition to Isbell’s big effort, Levy finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds while Nate Swart chipped in 15 points and 11 rebounds.
“Every section win is big,” said Gaither. “I wouldn’t prefer to play three nights in a row, but it is what it is. We didn’t give a good effort against Seton last time so I am excited to play them on our own floor, leave it all on the floor and see what happens.”