Being on the team that wins your school’s first district title is a big deal- just ask Meadowbrook’s Monarchs. That’s the feat they set out to accomplish last Friday night. But to do so, Meadowbrook would have to beat the upstart Knights, coming fresh off a huge upset over Petersburg last Thursday, and that they did, dispatching the Knights by a count of 75-43 to claim the first District Championship for the Meadowbrook boys in school history.
“I really wanted to make a statement tonight,” said Meadowbrook standout, Marvin King-Davis. “I knew that we hadn’t gotten a district championship, and I wanted this game badly tonight.”
And the big man put in the work to get what he wanted, and the newest University of Delaware Blue Hen had a game high 23 points and 14 rebounds to go along with two blocks.
Head coach Ksaan Brown sent a text to his players after Thursday’s game, letting them know they had a chance to do something no Meadowbrook team had done before.
“I sent them the text on the bus on the way home,” said Brown. “They all yelled back at me that they knew.”
With that goal in mind, the game got off to a great start for the Monarchs, who appeared to be clicking on all cylinders in the first half, starting the game on a 10-2 run; King-Davis and junior Khris Lane were in sync early on.
“Marvin and I definitely have that chemistry,” said Lane. “Not only are we teammates but when we’re not playing we’re best friends; we definitely feed off of each other.”
Thomas Dale was able to cut the lead to six on a pair of free throws by Jordan Turner, however Meadowbrook led by seven at the end of the period.
Into the second quarter, Meadowbrook began to pull away, starting the quarter on a furious 14-2 run that saw three different players, led by guard Ahmed Fofana, who had seven points during that run and in the quarter. Thomas Dale seemed to be overwhelmed by Meadowbrook’s quickness and size, as Meadowbrook doubled up on them at the half 34-17.
“Their size really hurts us,” said Thomas Dale head coach Eddie Goss.
“It’s hard to match with their size. We got off to a slow start and we lost our confidence.”
The Monarchs stretched their lead over the Knights even more in the third quarter, as King-Davis and Fofana combined to score the first 15 of Meadowbrook’s 20, third quarter points.
Sophomore, Josh Boone and point guard Karsene Denard also got in on the act.
“Anytime we can avoid Marvin getting doubled team, it’s great,” said Brown. “When Lane gets off to a good start, it’s hard to double him unless you bring a guard in, and then you risk Fofana hitting a three, so it’s like pick your poison.”
Meadowbrook’s bench finished the game strong as Renard Rowe and Justin Johnson combined for six points down the stretch in the victory.
The Monarchs also received big-time contributions from Fofana who finished the game with 19 points, and Denard had seven assists and three steals. Jordan Smith led the way for the Knights with 12 points, eight of eight from the foul stripe.
Meadowbrook played two close games in the first two rounds of district playoffs, beating Prince George, who led for a portion of the game, and Hopewell, who was the only team to defeat Meadowbrook by double digits all season.
According to Brown, the adversity his team faced, helped them in the final.
The path to the final for Thomas Dale was an adverse one too, as Petersburg stood in their way of a shot at a district championship.
And they pulled off a shocker of an upset, defeating Petersburg 92-91 on Thursday to advance. In that game, Thomas Dale never trailed the mighty Crimson Wave, and connected on 39 of their 48 foul shot attempts. The Knights got a huge performance out of Smith, a senior, who tallied 38 points and connected on all 20 of his foul shot attempts. Thomas Dale also defeated Dinwiddie in the first round.
Both Meadowbrook and Thomas Dale advanced to the regional tournament which started on Monday. The Central Region Tournament finishes up on this weekend at the Siegel Center, with the championship on Monday evening. Village News will cover the regional tournament in next week’s issue.