February 17, 2018

Boys hoops: No. 1 Wise uses 20-0 run, Howell’s unconscious shooting to dismantle No. 6 Bowie, 73-49

Photo by Austin McFadden/MSA.

UPPER MARLBORO — Brandon Howell backpedaled to half-court with a sly grin. The senior guard couldn’t help it.

“I knew I was on,” Howell said when he drilled a 3-pointer five feet past the arc to expand Wise’s lead to 11 points over Bowie deep in the third quarter on Tuesday night.

It was one of five unconscious treys Howell connected on, which all served as galvanizing blows to a Bowie team that seemed lost defensively. From there, No. 1 Wise geared into cruise control to dismantle the No. 6 Bulldogs at home, 73-49.

The Pumas (12-0) shook off a flat start when they trailed 9-2 in the opening three and a half minutes to remain one of two unbeaten teams in the state of Maryland. Wise started 1-for-5 with a pair turnovers while yielding to Bowie’s first 4 of 5 attempts – three wide open layups and a put-back forced Wise Coach Rob Garner to burn an early timeout and switch from man-to-man to a matchup 3-2 zone.

Wise rattled off a 20-0 run spanning five minutes to take a 22-9 lead at the 5:42 mark in the second quarter. Mike Speight triggered the game-altering stretch when he kissed a floater off the glass, and Howell’s first 3-ball gave the Pumas an 11-9 advantage and a lead they would not lose.

After Bowie’s 4-for-5 start, they only converted 34 percent of their shots for the rest of the game, and finished on 18-for-46 shooting with a 21.4 percent mark from downtown (3-for-14)

“That 32, it’s something that we go to,” Garner said. “We go to it when we feel we can make a change in the game.”

Bowie countered with an 8-2 run to draw within seven, 24-17, with just under four minutes left until halftime. An unconscious catch-and-shoot 3 from Howell (23 points on 5 of 8 from deep) stretched Wise’s lead back to double-figures, 29-17, right before the intermission, where they led, 32-23.

The closest Bowie got in the second half was 32-26, and moments after that, Howell bombed another pulverizing 3 to push the Pumas’ advantage to 38-28 – this one came deep in the right corner.

The Bulldogs lurked, but never pulled within three possessions, due in large part to Howell’s jolting shooting display. He drilled his fourth and fifth 3’s in a 35 second span to conclude the third quarter, which gave Wise a 45-34 and 48-37 lead.

“He gets me pumped up,” senior 6-foot-6 forward Darron Barnes (eight points and 15 rebounds) said of Howell.

Senior guard Michael Speight (12 points, five rebounds and three assists) then chimed in: “When (Brandon) is on, he wakes up everybody.”

Wise opened the fourth quarter with an 8-2 spurt to pad their lead to 58-39.
The Pumas shot 45 percent from the floor and assisted on 16 of their 23 made field goals (23-for-51). Point guard Brent Pegram finished with 17 points, seven assists and three steals.

Wise has sat atop the MSA Top 25 poll for all nine weeks and still hasn’t tallied a blemish in the loss column. The key to it all?

“We’re just having fun with it,” Pegram said.

About Kyle McFadden 396 Articles
Kyle McFadden is a graduate from Linganore High School's Class of 2014, a sports junkie and general news-hound. He got his start as a sports writer in January 2014 for Linganore's student-run newspaper The Lance, where he wrote 13 articles. McFadden then launched his own blog in October 2014 called The Beltway Dispatch covering collegiate, local high school and professional sports. Formally known as The Beltway Dispatch, McFadden and Evan Engelhard merged respective platforms in June 2015 to make what is now Maryland Sports Access. With baseball, basketball and golf experience, McFadden brings ample knowledge to the helm of MSA. McFadden covers a wide variety of sports in football, baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and specializes in the collegiate and high school levels. McFadden volunteers his time at Damascus Road Community Church -- serving as a mentor to the youth, basketball coach at the varsity and junior varsity levels, and leads a small group of high school sophomores every Wednesday night. Although he's only been around journalism since January 2014, he's a high school sports reporter for The Baltimore Sun and freelancer for The Frederick News-Post. McFadden's work has also appeared in DMV newspapers The Aegis, The Capital Gazette, The Daily Times (Delmarva Now), The Hometown Observer, Howard County Times, Germantown Pulse and The Towson Times. He's also won two Mike Powell Excellence in Journalism awards and has appeared on The Best of SNO, which showcases top student work of high school and college journalists. McFadden currently studies at Frederick Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Maryland in the fall of 2018 to work on a bachelor's degree in journalism with aspirations to be a national college basketball writer.
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