Sherwood Warriors 34- Kennedy Cavaliers 32
SANDY SPRING, MD – 2011 has been nothing less of a rollercoaster for the Sherwood Warriors (11-10). After getting off to a blazing 7-1 start, the Warriors had to forfeit their five wins because junior Jourdain McCants’s athletic waiver form was filled out incorrectly.
Sherwood’s record became a dismal 2-6 after the forfeits and the Warriors dropped four of their next six games. Then the win streak began–in the same week Sherwood knocked both Magruder and Springbrook from their perches atop the Montgomery County 4A East Division. Since then, Sherwood has been riding high and strung together seven-straight wins, the latest of which coming against the 2A Kennedy Cavaliers (15-7) on “Senior Night” in Sandy Spring.
The Cavs jumped out to an early lead as the Warriors started five seniors, three of whom were new to the starting lineup. Brad Kilgore, Tyler Bourque and Eric Reynolds were the three new Warrior starters who clearly struggled against Kennedy’s physical play. After the first quarter Kennedy led 13-2, effectively silencing the normally raucous Sherwood student-section.
“Considering they’re supposed to be giving me 110 [percent], I’d say they gave me 10 percent effort,” said Sherwood coach Dondrell Whitmore. “We didn’t do much of anything well. I feel like going into the playoffs, with our momentum being as high as it should be, I think we came out a little sluggish. Not to take anything away from Kennedy, but I think we could’ve played much better.”
Whitmore entered his usual starters to begin the second quarter and by halftime, the Cavalier lead was down to three points. Junior Charlie Rogers led the way for the Warriors with 14 points and five rebounds on 6-7 shooting. The Warriors’ second leading scorer was junior Scott Bolen, typically the one lighting up the stat sheet. Bolen was pressured all night by the Cavs, and touched the ball mostly in transition when Kennedy senior Eric Williams was not stuck on his hip.
The fourth quarter saw the lead see-saw back and forth. With four minutes remaining, Sherwood took a four-point lead, the largest lead of any sort the entire night, but the Cavs would not be outdone, launching a 6-0 run to regain a two-point advantage.
From then on, the Warriors leaned on Rogers to take them down the stretch. Rogers stole the ball on the defensive end and found Bolen in transition to narrow the lead to two, then was fouled on his next offensive possession and knocked down two free throws to tie the game at 32. After stopping the Cavs on three straight possessions, Rogers hit the game winner–a turnaround jumpshot that banked home as time expired.
However, the hard working Rogers was not content with his game winning shot.
“We didn’t play well the whole game,” he said. “I’m lucky I made the shot, but we should’ve played better.”
Sherwood has been a program that has been overlooked in recent years since its 2005 State Championship season. But after taking down the county’s two powerhouses, the Warriors are proving themselves a team to be reckoned with.
“A lot of people overlook [Sherwood’s] players, said Whitmore, after the game. “I don’t understand why, but I think we like it that way. We do the little things right and surprise everyone.”