Waldorf, MD- On Friday, Jan. 4, the North Point Eagles were victorious over their rivals, the Westlake Wolverines. North Point won the contest 87-65 and improved to (9-1), making a strong case that they are the team to beat in SMAC.

Just 3.1 miles away from one another, many of these players have played with or against one another since they were young. The community and students came out in droves, North Point had to pull out the upper deck of bleachers on the home side and the visitor’s side was filled as well. With an energetic atmosphere the game got underway, North Point won the tip-off, but it was Westlake that scored first when Justin Bryson (Jr.) got a slightly contested look under the basket. The Wolverines suffered a drought following their opening score, as Satchel Ball (Sr.), North Point Head Coach Jimmy Ball’s son, heated up. Satchel led a 10-point run for the Eagles, and he scored 13 points before the end of the first period.

“He did what he needed to do, he took the shots that were there, he didn’t force anything. In the second half, I thought that he forced a couple of things but overall, I thought that he played a really good game,” said his coach and father, Jimmy Ball, after the game. Satchel finished with a game-high 31 points, including 5 threes. He also had 6 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.

The rivalry means a lot to players on both sides, causing emotions to bubble and even team leaders to allow those emotions to get the better of them. This was evident in the play of Magic Hewlett (Sr.) and Asa Williams (Jr.) who both picked up fouls early in the first half, including a technical foul by Williams. Coach Ball said that he “pulled them aside and said, ‘look dude just calm down, I know it’s a big game, you guys are better than that, just take one step at a time. Move the ball and when it comes back to you and you’re wide open take the shot.’”

The first half ended with North Point ahead by 11 points and the Eagles never looked back, stretching their lead through the rest of the game. The Wolverines only led twice in the first half and never in the second. This was due, at least in part, to the Eagles’ ability to limit Westlake’s leading scorer, Junior Cameron Tweedy. “He was the key,” said Coach Ball who then stated that their game plan was not to “let him touch the ball. He’s an unbelievable athlete and that one time we did help off of him, he dunked the ball. We needed to make sure we had a body on him at all times because he’s a hell of a rebounder, too.” The plan worked. Tweedy scored only 11 points and only four of those came in the second half of the game.

“We’ve won nine games, last year we won only 12. That’s a testament to the guys who came back and continue to work as a team and I’m very proud of where they are right now. We still have a long way to go though,” concluded Coach Ball. The Eagles will look to extend their win count to 10 as they face McDonough at home Wednesday.

The Wolverines will try to bounce back from the heartbreaking loss on Wednesday as they travel to Chopticon.

Contact Jerold at staffwriter@thebaynet.com.