West Potomac senior Joe Richards figured members of the T.C. Williams boys’ basketball team would start defending him with a little more urgency after he knocked down a few 3-pointers early in the teams’ Jan. 25 contest.
But as the game went on, Richards kept getting open. So he kept knocking them down.
Richards buried a career-best six 3-pointers and finished with 22 points as the Wolverines defeated the Titans 62-50 on Saturday night at West Potomac High School.
After making a trio of 3-pointers in the first half, Richards made two more in the first three minutes of the second half, helping West Potomac open a 43-29 advantage.
“They weren’t guarding me as I thought they were going to guard me,” Richards said. “They definitely sagged off a little bit and that’s definitely when the chances came open.”
Richards’ final 3-pointer came with 3:31 remaining in the fourth quarter. He knocked it down from the left corner, giving West Potomac a 57-42 lead.
“He’s streaky, but he’s been kind of hot the last couple weeks,” West Potomac head coach David Houston III said. “I saw he missed one from about 25 feet that kind of went in and out, so I knew. The focus in the second half was to try to get him the ball. It looked like he was feeling it.”
Each of the rival schools entered Saturday’s contest with a losing record. While West Potomac earned its fifth victory during a rebuilding year, T.C. Williams’ struggles continued. The Titans lost to West Springfield on Tuesday, dropping their record to 2-14.
The Wolverines and Titans are scheduled to play again on Feb. 4 at T.C. Williams High School.
“They weren’t guarding me as I thought they were going to guard me. They definitely sagged off a little bit and that’s definitely when the chances came open.”
— West Potomac senior Joe Richards
“It feels good to get a win,” Houston said. “T.C., that’s a good win — I don’t care what anybody says their record is.”
DeMornay Pierson-El scored 11 points off the bench for West Potomac. Pierson-El is committed to play football at the University of Nebraska and originally planned to skip his senior basketball season. He had a change of heart.
“I made a selfish decision to not play and I’m just not a selfish person,” Pierson-El said. “It just wasn’t in me. This is my last time around these guys. I probably won’t see them for a long time. We’ll have contact, but I won’t get this year back.”
Freshman guard Alan Treakle scored 13 points for West Potomac.
West Potomac defeated South County on Tuesday and Mount Vernon on Wednesday to improve to 7-8. The Wolverines will host West Springfield at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31.