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Seniors lead Woodland past Maynard Jackson

By Brian Paglia

bpaglia@news-daily.com

Before the boys basketball game between Woodland and Maynard Jackson on Monday night, seniors Elliot Davis and Darius Tookes were two of the final players honored during the senior night ceremonies. They walked down the court with their escorts, nearly 2,000 points scored between them for their careers.

Fittingly, with Woodland feeling the affects of a snow-induced weekend layoff from basketball, the Wolfpack was carried by its senior stars in a 67-58 season-finale victory over Maynard Jackson. Davis and Tookes combined to score 38 points and provided the steady offensive production that's become the hallmark of their high school basketball careers.

"Since day one they've been the leading scorers for us," Woodland coach David Bice said. "That's what they're supposed to do."

With Eagle's Landing's victory against Mary Persons, the Wolfpack (16-9, 12-6) remained tied with the Golden Eagles (16-9, 12-6) and ensured itself no worse than the No. 4 seed in its region tournament that beings Wednesday at Locust Grove.

But with three minutes left in the game Monday night, that outcome appeared tenuous. Maynard Jackson (6-14, 5-11) had cut Woodland's 43-26 halftime lead down to six and began to dictate the game's tempo.

Jaguars guard Nathaniel Heard (22 points) could not be guarded one-on-one, scoring nine points in the third quarter alone. Darrell Andrews (10 points) and Antavious Earls dominated the boards for a stretch, which led to four straight putback layups that made it 61-55 in the fourth quarter.

"Heard is a good player. We knew that going in," Bice said. "He did some things. He broke us down pretty good."

After a first half in which its offense appeared equally smooth in transition and half-court situations, with Davis and Tookes seemingly always open beyond the arc -- they combined to make five 3-pointers -- and six other Wolfpack players scoring, the second half gave Bice and his team reason for concern.

Woodland barely made half its free throws (16 of 30) and had more turnovers (6) than field goals (4) in the third quarter.

"Everybody didn't play as well as they could've played," Tookes said. "But we still came out with the win. We did what we had to do."

Indeed, before Maynard Jackson could sustain its comeback any longer, Davis and Tookes scored Woodland's final eight points. With enough defense, the Wolfpack were in good hands.

"Both of them will tell you they didn't play their best," Bice said. "They can play better. But it's a fitting senior night that they did well."

Woodland girls 48, Maynard Jackson 46

For one half the Lady Wolfpack looked like a team that had lost 10 of 13 games in the season's second half.

For the second half, Woodland showed the potential its young roster contains.

The Lady Wolfpack (8-17, 7-11 Region 4-AAA) knocked off region leader and No. 10 Maynard Jackson with a commanding second half performance.

Sophomore guard Jasmine Strozier led Woodland with 17 points and seven rebounds and freshman guard Morgan Jones added 15 points.

Iesha Heard led the Lady Jaguars with 13 points. Marqueisha Smith had nine points, six rebounds and five blocks. Zanquavious Parks added nine points and 10 rebounds.