Clay molded the inside play of the Black-Hawks while Lockett and Pedersen helped weather several runs by Hylton to improve to 3-1 on the season. For the Bulldogs, this was their season opener since their season had been delayed due to the fact that the Hylton football advanced to the state semifinals. Three Hylton players Ahmad Brooks, Jerome Quinata and Endor Cooper were on that squad.
Pedersen, a 5-7 sophomore, scored 11 of his team-high 15 points in the second half and made four free throws in the final 46 seconds to seal the win. He also chipped in six rebounds and three steals.
The ultra-quick point guard Lockett, despite only managing two points, was the difference for the Black-Hawks both offensively and defensively. He repeatedly broke free to feed Clay, Pierce Madison (14 points) and Derick Harris (13) for a trio of double-digit performances. Lockett, a 5-6 senior, finished with five rebounds, six assist and four steals.
“Marcus is an awful strong player,” Brooke Point coach Joe Kania said. “He did a great job out there. You know he originally had gone to Hylton so I think he was familiar with some of their players and style of play.”
Harris, a 6-5 senior, scored 10 of his 13 points to help the Black-Hawks (3-1) to a 29-23 halftime lead. After trailing 12-8 after one period, Madison came off the bench in the second quarter, scoring nine points, to ignite the Black-Hawks to an 21-11 run to end the second quarter.
Clay, who originally started his prep career at Hylton, started at center for Brooke Point and had his hands full with the more physical Bulldogs, namely Ahmad Brooks.
But the 6-3 senior responded with 11 points, nine rebounds and one blocked shot. According to Kania, resiliency was the key.
“We just weather a couple of storms. We got off to a bad start and they were playing more physical than us. Then we came back in the second quarter and got physical. Then late in the game they executed a good run-and-jump defense that was giving us problems and we were able to weather that storm by getting some key baskets and hitting our free throws.”
Brooks, a 6-5 senior, who hadn’t played basketball since his sophomore season because of a broken ankle last year, finished with a game-high 17 points and hauled down eight rebounds. Having only four days of practice may have hindered the football standout — he made only 3 of 7 foul shot attempts.
Rickey Pinckney crashed the boards for the Bulldogs for 15 points, a game-high 10 rebounds while Curtis Granby also contributed 11 points and eight rebounds.
Hylton first-year coach Kevin Brown, who coached and played at North Stafford, was no stranger to the Brooke Point gymnasium.
“It was strange coming back but it was a good basketball game. We expected some jitters since this was our first game, but if we can play four quarters like we did in the fourth quarter we will be okay. We just need to play.”
Brooke Point is back in action Wednesday night when it hosts Potomac and Hylton has a Friday night date with Potomac.