Bishop McNamara (MD) 2024 guard Martin Somerville.
SALISBURY, MD - The 40th annual Governor’s Challenge - twice delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic - returned in style Monday with a full slate of action at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Here’s a look at some of the standouts and stories from the first day of action:
MCNAMARA, ARCHBISHOP RYAN MAKE HISTORY IN NIGHTCAP
It seemed only fitting that the milestone 40th event would provide some history, and it came in the final game of opening night.
Bishop McNamara (MD) and Archbishop Ryan (PA) closed out the day with the longest game in Governor’s Challenge history, battling through five overtimes before McNamara pulled out a hard-fought 104-98 victory.
McNamara 2024 guard Martin Somerville continued his breakout junior campaign with 32 points to lead the Mustangs, who also got big games from 2026 guards Prince-Alexander Moody, Qayden Samuels and Jalyn Collingwood, as well as 2023 guard Chase Lawton and 2024 guard Jaren Curtis. The Mustangs were without star senior guards Jaden Johnson and Jeremiah Quigley, who were out due to injury.
“It was a crazy game,” Somerville said. “We made a lot of mistakes as a young team, but we played through to the end of the game, as simple as that. Every play, we played with energy and it was just that simple; We play until the end, no matter how many overtimes it is.”
Had Somerville ever played a game that long before?
“Nah not that long,” he said. “Maybe two overtimes, but five overtimes? No. But we knew we could stick it out and win the game. I think [the key was] just patience; just sitting back and not rushing ourselves. We made a lot of turnovers - a lot of charges with 20 seconds left and stuff like that . So just holding the ball and taking our time with it and understanding that they had to come to us and they had to stop us; it was that simple.”
Archbishop Ryan jumped out to an early lead in Monday’s matchup, but McNamara clawed back. The teams headed to overtime tied at 66-66.
After three back and forth OT periods, McNamara had a chance to end it, but Ryan 2024 guard Rocco Morabito hit a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds remaining to force a fourth extra period.
In the fifth OT, McNamara went ahead 100-95 lead on a Curtis bucket, but Ryan responded with a 3 to trim the lead to 100-98 with 28.2 to go. They wouldn’t get any closer, with McNamara denying them a late look in the waning seconds and sealing the game on free throws following an intentional foul call and technical foul.
“Obviously two defensive rebounds were key, and then obviously hitting our free throws,” McNamara coach Marty Keithline said. “But just overcoming adversity. Obviously we’ve had a lot of adversity this year - Jaden Johnson is out for a while and obviously JQ is out, but guys are battling and they’re taking the opportunity to try and get out there and make some plays. Today, we obviously had a lot of ‘end of game’ situations, and it's going to help us down the stretch. We had three freshmen on the floor for a lot of the game, and I think we’re ready to get to the next level. We’ve got two more games before we start league play, so I’m excited for that.”
Somerville has generated much of that excitement, stepping up to carry much of the offensive load to start the season. He emerged as a key contributor last season after transferring to McNamara from Georgetown Prep (MD), and has only gotten better. Recruiters have started to take note, with Division I New Jersey Institute of Technology extending a scholarship offer last week.
“I think [the key is] just putting the time in the gym with all my coaches,” he said. “All my guys, I swear, for two weeks straight in the summer we were in the gym. My birthday, we’re in the gym. So it’s no lie, it’s just that simple: we’ve been in the gym all summer, so the work just shows. Both of our seniors are down, but people act like we still don’t have other guys. Everybody steps up and we’ve got high major guys on our team, so they just stepped up and did what they had to do.”
Archbishop Ryan got big games from Morabito, 2024 guard Darren Williams and 2023 guard Michael Paris. They played all five OTs without star 2024 big man Thomas Sorber, who fouled out in regulation.
ST. PETER’S RALLIES AGAINST RYKEN
After a four hour bus ride from New York, St. Peter’s found itself in an early hole Monday against St. Mary’s-Ryken (MD), which opened the game on an 11-0 run.
The Eagles didn’t panic though, and used some red-hot perimeter shooting to erase the gap. St. Peter’s hit seven 3’s in the first half to take the lead en route to a 58-43 bracket victory. They advanced to face Flint Hill (VA) in the bracket final at UMES Tuesday.
“St. Mary’s is a tough team and a good program.” St. Peter’s coach Ryan Woods said, “and we expected them to be aggressive and pressure us and kind of jump early. I just liked how we weathered the storm. I always say ‘take one, give one,’ - we took a punch early, and we didn’t get caught up in what we don’t normally do and we stayed the course and the game plan and we chipped away defensively and I thought that was the key.
2024 forward Qadir Martin scored 21 points to lead St. Peters, which got 11 from 2024 guard Mike Spisto and 10 from 2022 guard Steven Bradley.
“We definitely came out a little sluggish,” Martin said. “You know, a long bus ride from Staten Island, New York. I feel like we had to let that wear off a little bit, and then once that happened we got going, you know? I feel like we weren’t as focused in the beginning, and then once we realized, ‘Yo this team is no joke, and they’re pretty good,’ we woke up. I feel like we took them a little light in the beginning.”
2026 forward Derrick Robinson had 12 points to lead Ryken, while 2025 guard Tim Walker had 11.
POTOMAC HOLDS OFF EDMONDSON
Potomac (VA) took control early in Monday’s intriguing matchup with Edmondson-Westside, using a 9-0 scoring run to help build a double-digit lead.
The Red Storm slowly chipped away, though, eventually taking a late lead before the Panthers made some key shots down the stretch to walk away with a 77-71 victory.
“I just think we stayed physical and stayed aggressive, and we were able to keep the lead,” Potomac 2023 guard Jayden Harris said. “They got back in front by one point and we just locked in and stayed physical and stayed aggressive and made sure we found our shooters, and that’s pretty much it.”
Harris had 23 points to lead Potomac, which also got 20 points - and several key buckets down the stretch - from 2024 guard Peter Mitchell, who finished with 20.
“My teammates were finding me,” Mitchell said. “I was coming off the set play that our coach drew up, and I was getting to my [mid-range] and getting to my 3.”
The Panthers needed every one of those buckets to overcome a big day from Edmondson 2025 guard DJ Dantzler, who had a game-high 28 points to help key the comeback.
“I think the key was really just responding back,” Mitchell said. “They were hitting - we recognized #1 [Dantzler] was finding his teammates and getting to it, but we never folded. I think we got down one, but we came back and got a five-point lead, found our shooters and hit our free throws. And I think our point guard did a great job of not getting sped up and took care of the ball towards the end. We were able to hit shots and get stops.”
Potomac advances to face Downington West (PA) in a bracket final at UMES, while Edmondson faces Oakdale (MD).
Edmondson 6-foot-8 2025 forward Marcus Jackson was impressive with 14 points and was a strong defensive presence as well.
MORE MONDAY NOTES
Flint Hill (VA) advanced to Tuesday’s bracket final behind a strong game from American University-bound 2023 forward Gibraltar Coleman, who finished with a game high- 27 points in a 76-58 win over Sanford (DE). 2024 guard Doyle Brown had 14 and 2024 forward Quinn Gorman and 2025 guard Everett Jones added 12 apiece. … Army West Point-bound Downington West (PA) guard Dylan Blair had 21 points in a 53-35 win over Oakdale (MD). ... Walkersville (MD) 6-6 2023 forward Shey Awuwologe had 22 points in an opening 73-32 win over Kent County (MD).
Edmondson 2025 guard DJ Dantzler.