With senior forward Jermaine Porter and junior guard Eric Carroll, Walbrook High has two of the area's most versatile basketball players, making for an effective inside-out combination.
Yesterday, the two were at their best inside. Carroll scored 25, Porter added 23 and No. 5 Walbrook dominated No. 7 Gibbons on the boards en route to a 66-61 victory at Walbrook.
The victory improved Walbrook to 11-5 overall and kept the Warriors unbeaten (5-0) in the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference Division II. Gibbons dropped to 16-10 overall and 3-3 in the league.
Walbrook and No. 2 Southern, which is also unbeaten in the league, meet in a showdown for first-place Friday at 3:30 at Southern.
Both Carroll, a muscular 6-foot-1 shooting guard, and Porter, a 6-7 small forward, were relentless on the boards, constantly putting in second shots. Walbrook out-rebounded Gibbons by 47-21, including 28 offensive rebounds.
"He [Carroll] came to play today," said Walbrook coach Gus Herrington. "The thing I told the kids was they have to play the game. I can't play it for them. They have to go out and want to win and do the things it takes, and I thought he did that today."
Walbrook dominated inside despite playing without 6-7 junior center Andre Rafus, who sprained an ankle Friday against Southwestern and did not dress for yesterday's game.
Carroll scored six to spark a 12-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter that turned a one-point Walbrook lead into a 51-44 advantage. Gibbons never got closer than four the rest of the way.
"It wasn't so much their first shots but the second and third shots," said Gibbons coach Ray Mullis. "They physically beat us up inside."
Junior guard Troy Queen led Gibbons with 18. Senior forward Chuckie Lee and senior guard Quintin Moody each had 12.
Lee helped Gibbons build a six-point lead in the first half. Lee, a 6-2 forward, scored six to spark an 8-2 run midway through the second quarter that gave Gibbons a 22-16 lead en route to a 34-28 halftime advantage.
But in the third period, the Crusaders managed just four points, hitting two of five from the field and committing three turnovers. It was the second straight game in which Gibbons managed just four points in a quarter.
"I don't know what it is," said Mullis. "It's been happening a lot. I've never had a team not ready to play both halves over a long stretch."
Walbrook scored 11 third-quarter points. The Warriors started the quarter with a 7-0 run to take a 35-34 lead. Gibbons went ahead 36-35 on a jumper by Queen, but Walbrook took the lead for good at 39-36 on back-to-back baskets by Porter and Carroll. Porter (six points ) and Carroll (five) did all the scoring for the Warriors in the third quarter.