By Brian Paglia
Mundy's Mill coach Tu Willingham didn't know what else to do. After a 15-point loss to Riverdale two Saturdays ago, the Tigers' fourth loss in their first five games, Willingham said he felt about as low as a coach could feel.
As a change of pace, Willingham switched places with his assistant coach and let him run practice.
The Tigers responded with their most promising stretch of basketball this season, including a dominating 58-39 win over Union Grove at Woodland in the 2010 Woodland Christmas Tournament.
The win brought Mundy's Mill (4-4, 1-4 Region 4-AAAA) back to .500, gave it a perfect 3-0 record in the round-robin tournament and injected some optimism going into the holidays.
"Union Grove has always been one of the better teams in this area, and I was anxious to play them," Willingham said. "I know they're well-coached, and I've seen them play in the past and they were really good. I thought this game would be a big test to see how we handled success."
Mundy's Mill handled it well from the very start thanks to Darrius Sizemore and Jarvis Moses. The two combined for 20 points in the first half, including the final 10 of a 17-4 run that stretched Mundy's Mill's lead to 29-10 with 3:19 left in the second quarter.
Sizemore scored eight-straight at one point, hitting a coast-to-coast lay-up before knocking down back-to-back 3s. He finished with a game-high 15 points, while Moses and reserve Chris Bryant scored 10 points apiece.
Jaylan McClinton-Wise led Union Grove (6-3, 3-0 Region 3A-AAAA) with 11 points in the absence of standout guard Charles Mann, who did not play with an ankle injury.
The Wolverines got as close as 35-23 on a 3 by Sean Williams early in the third quarter, but the Tigers responded. Rashad Crawford made a lay-up. Bryant got a putback.
When Sizemore slammed an emphatic dunk just before the third-quarter buzzer, Mundy's Mill led 46-27.
"We've learned how to win," Willingham said, "so now when we get down, we can say, 'OK, we've been here before. Now we know what we have to do.' And for younger kids that it so important."
Mundy's Mill girls 57, Union Grove 37
The Lady Tigers got 14 points apiece from Brianna McQueen and Kristina Bridges and coasted to an easy win Tuesday at the 2010 Woodland Christmas Tournament.
Mundy's Mill (7-1, 4-1 Region 4-AAAA) extended its winning streak to seven games. The Lady Tigers haven't lost since dropping their season-opener to No. 10-ranked North Clayton.
Woodland girls 47, Locust Grove 28
The Lady Wolfpack built a 20-point halftime lead and cruised to their 10th win of the season, a school record for the fourth-year program.
Jasmine Strozier led Woodland (10-2, 3-0 Region 3A-AAAA) with 12 points, five rebounds and three steals, while Bendrea Willis had 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Woodland had 12 steals as a team, led by Morgan Jones, who had four.
Sibahya Broderick posted her sixth double-double of the season with 10 points and 16 rebounds to lead Locust Grove (2-10, 0-6 Region 4-AAA).