By Bonta Hill
Going into its Academic Athletic Association Lang Division contest against Mission High School, Washington was looking to put together a complete game, something that its has struggled to do this season.
That all changed Tuesday, as the visiting Eagles made a huge statement by dismantling the Bears 89-66 on their home floor.
Brenden Glapion had a game-high 29 points, Jeremy Jetton had another solid all-around game with 28 points, five rebounds and five assists, but it was the play of center LeVander Moore that set the tone for Washington (12-8, 3-1). Moore was the unsung hero, as his double-double (13 points and 20 rebounds) included seven rebounds on the offensive end, to go along with four steals, which helped the Eagles lead throughout the contest against the defending AAA champions.
While Washington has been prone to blow double-digit leads this season, head coach Jolinko Lassiter reminded his team at halftime to finish strong.
“Every time you can get a division win, especially a big road win like this, we had to earn it coming off a tough loss to [Lincoln],” Lassiter said. “It’s been an Achilles heel of ours to give up leads, but the guys played well tonight and we put together a full 32 minutes for once.”
For Mission (9-9, 2-1), the game was a huge letdown. The Bears were sloppy all night, finishing with 21 turnovers, and struggled from the field shooting just over 33 percent in the game, including 22 percent in the first half that led to a 40-25 Washington lead.
“We were not very good tonight,” said Mission head coach Arnold Zelaya. “It’s kind of been up anddown all year, and this was definitely a down. To be honest, we played like garbage.”
While Mission struggled on offense, Washington had no trouble breaking the Bears vaunted full-court pressure defense.
Moore’s dominance on the glass led to many fast breaks as Jetton and Glapion leaked out for several easy layups.
“I just wanted to give it my all, [because] last Friday [against Lincoln] I didn’t give it my all and I felt I slacked off,” said Moore, who was in foul trouble throughout the contest. “I needed to get myself going today, to set the tone and by my rebounding, I wanted to get everybody pumped, get us in the game, and get us running.”
For the game, Washington shot 58 percent from the floor and led by as many as 26 points in the second half.
The one negative for the Eagles was the 17 turnovers they committed.
“Everybody played as a team, everyone worked together,” Glapion said. “The last two days of practice, everyone was working hard. That just carried onto the court today.”
Antoine Porter led the Bears with 20 points and tried to ignite Mission with 12 second quarter points, but the Bears failed to make any significant dent in the Washington lead.
“I told our team all week that LeVander is tough, and our team knew we had to keep him off the boards,” Zelaya said. “It was real sloppy all along. From shot-selection to shot percentage, it was bad all the way around.”
Brenden Glapion – 29
Jeremy Jetton -28
LeVander Moore – 13
Kenneth Lui – 6
Galen Hall – 3
Antoine Porter – 20
Gione Edwards – 10
Miles Prescott – 9
Travis Price-Moku – 8
Shaquille Fisher – 6