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2023 Governor's Challenge: Day 4 Notebook

By Marcus Helton, 12/30/23, 2:45AM EST


AZ Compass wins in debut, Roman Catholic pulls out a thriller, and more from a frenetic fourth day of action.

AZ Compass guard Jeremiah Fears shoots as DeMatha's Kade Sebastian jumps to defend.

AZ Compass guard Jeremiah Fears shoots while DeMatha's Kade Sebastian defends.

AZ Compass Wins in Gov Challenge Debut

SALISBURY, MD - The fourth day of the 2023 Governor’s Challenge featured some of the event’s highest-profile players and matchups.

Chief among those pairing was the meeting between Arizona Compass Prep and DeMatha Catholic (Md.), which featured future Division I players all over the floor.

In the end, it was Arizona Compass’ collection of talent that came out on top.

Oregon-bound 2024 guard Vyctorius Miller scored 10 of his game-high 14 points in the second half as the Dragons picked up a tough 57-49 win over the Stags.

“[The key] was just our mentality,” Miller said. “We know that we work too hard to lose a game that we know we can win. So we just wanted to come out there and do the things that we can control. The shots weren’t falling in, but we started getting to the cup and they started getting in foul trouble and we got to the line. Everybody got into their rhythm at the end of the game; the main thing was just defense.”

2025 guard Cameron Miles had 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists for AZ Compass, which found itself in an early hole but fought back.

“We started out slow, that’s all it was,” Miles said. “We had to keep the energy up, but our main thing was our defense and coming together as a team.”

The win came in AZ Compass’ first-ever Governor’s Challenge appearance. The well-traveled group is no stranger to playing tough opponents in unfamiliar environments.

“You’ve got to improvise, you know?” Miller said. “I mean, we all signed up for this at the end of the day. We knew that our travel schedule was going to be crazy, so we all signed up for this and we just embrace the moment every time in every state we go to.”

Ashton Meeks had 11 points for DeMatha, while Kade Sebastian had 9.


Roman Catholic (Pa.) 2025 forward Shareef Jackson.

Roman Catholic (Pa.) 2025 forward Shareef Jackson.

Trailing by five points against Bishop McNamara (Md.) with under a minute remaining, Roman Catholic (Pa.), was in need of a big play.

In a span of 40 seconds, the Cahillites seemingly made all of them.

Roman Catholic went on an 8-0 run in the final minute to erase a five-point deficit and take the lead, and watched McNamara wing Qayden Samuels' potential tying heave from halfcourt rattle out as time expired to pick up a wild 50-47 victory.

“I’m not going to lie, you know how it is - especially when you're down with that little time - you are nervous, of course,” Roman Catholic 2025 forward Shareef Jackson said. “But after seeing how we were overall still in that game - you know how you can see your teammates kind of getting low when you’re losing, but that time I looked around and saw my teammates were really into that game, so I wasn’t worried at all when we were coming out for that last minute.”

The 6-foot-7 Jackson had 17 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Cahillites, while Hunter Johnson had 10. Johnson was fouled while scoring the go-ahead bucket with 2.9 seconds to go, and made the free throw to put his team up three.

“It was really a team game, especially with how we were playing that couple of minutes,” Jackson said. “Hunter Jackson with an And 1, Sebastian Edwards with two back-to-back steals. So really towards the end of the game it was more about finishing, and when we finally got over that hill, it was like, ‘Yes, now we can finally just play defense and hopefully close this game out.’”

On McNamara’s final possession, Samuels got a look - albeit a difficult one from halfcourt - and nearly hit it, with this shot rimming out after the buzzer.

Prince Moody had 18 points and Samuels 17 to lead the Mustangs.

“It's incredible,” Jackson said of the win. “I mean, especially considering how the game started out. It's the greatest feeling ever coming back in a game in those last couple of minutes, and coming back to win. But also, for our first game down here, getting a win really puts us in a good state of mind.”


Largo celebrates its Bracket Championship.

A day after they had to survive in the final minute to pick up a victory, the Largo (Md.) Lions made sure they wouldn't have to stress much on Friday.

The Lions led from start to finish in a 68-41 win over Constitution to win their Bracket Championship.

Cam Ward had 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Lions, while Emmanuel King had 13 points and La’Tre Yawn 10 points, 6 assists and 4 steals.

“We had to execute our plays better and execute closing out games,” Ward said. “We just had a mentality like, ‘They can’t compete with us.’ So once that started going through and we started understanding what it was, we just capitalized off their mistakes.”

The Lions wanted little time getting started.  Ward outscored Constitution by himself in the first half, notching 17 points as the Lions built a 37-16 lead.

“[The bracket title] means a lot,” Ward said. “It’s going to give us a lot of momentum going into the New Year, so now we just have to finish out the regular season and then focus on a state championship.”

Kyree Latimer and Perry Fields each had 9 points for Constitution.


Rock Creek Christian White (Md.) 2025 forward Kam Wylie.

After dropping a meeting with Fairfax Christian (Va.) earlier this season, the Rock Creek Christian White (Md.) Eagles were eager for revenge.

They got it Friday, ending the Cardinals’ unbeaten start to the season and capturing a Bracket Championship in the process with a hard-fought 72-69 overtime victory.

“We were looking for this matchup because we lost at first,” Rock Creek 2025 forward Kameryn Wylie said. “We lost - it wasn’t supposed to go that way, and we knew that. We were down 20 and came back and lost by 3. So we knew this game, we were going to come with a different energy. We weren’t going for none of that.”

The 6-foot-7 Wylie was in attack mode from the opening tip, finishing with 25 points, 14 rebounds and 4 blocks.

“My strengths are getting to my dribble pull-up and getting to the rim,” he said. “This game, I was more on the down low because I felt as though they were smaller than me, so I took it to the rim everytime. That’s how I dominated the game, for real.”

Jerome Williams, Jr. had 17 for the Eagles and Machi Chester 12 points and 8 rebounds. 

Elijah Adegbenro had 17 points for the Cardinals, while Isaiah Skinn had 14 and Nijel Howard 12. Fairfax Christian came into Friday 15-0 on the season.

“We had to be aggressive and we had to match their energy,” Wylie said. “We matched their energy and we went above their energy, and that’s how we took the win.”


Hayfield 2024 center Owen Pottenburgh.

Hayfield (Va.) graduated the core of the group that brought the school back to back state championships, but the goal has remained the same for those supporting the current squad.

“We have high expectations for this team this year,” Hawks 2024 center Owen Pottenburgh said, “and so, like, yeah it brings pressure, but it also brings confidence to our group. They want us to get back to where we were last year and the year before.”

So after a narrow loss to Largo (Md.) to open their Governor’s Challenge trip, the Hawks were ready to put the loss behind them and get back to what they know best - winning.

The Hawks controlled Friday’s game against defending Maryland 2A state champion New Town, cruising to a 71-41 victory.

Pottenburgh had 19 points and 2025 guard Parker Cage and 2025 forward Jaylen Lemon added 12 each.

“I thought we needed to play together,” Pottenburgh said, “especially since yesterday towards the end we started losing togetherness. So we regrouped and watched some film. Our 3-point percentage was pretty low and so we got that back up - thanks to Parker - and got a lot of paint touches. I thought that’s what we did to succeed.

Hayfield came out firing, building a 22-6 lead after one quarter. They were never seriously threatened, and outscored the Titans 18-5 in the third quarter to blow things wide open.

“[The key was] Sticking to our game plan,” Cage said, “and trying to come out and put our best effort in.”

Amir Allen led the Titans with 9 points.


Hodan Prep (CN) 2025 guard Jaden Lee.

The morning after a tough 86-82 loss to Rock Creek Christian White (Md.), the Hodan Prep (CN) Nighthawks came into their game with Brooklyn Collegiate looking to get back in the win column.

That mission was accomplished, as 6-foot-5 2025 guard Jaden Lee came off the bench to score 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting and hit three 3-pointers as the Nighthawks closed out their trip south with a 49-42 win.

“I think the loss really affected how we came into this game,” Lee said. “I think we were hungry to win, and it kind of pushed us to be better in all sorts of aspects, like defense and really touching up on offense. … When I came into this game, I just felt the urge to win and I wanted to incorporate my teammates into that. I really tried to get vocal on the bench and get all my teammates involved and just bring up the spirit on the bench.”

The Nighthawks closed their Governor’s Challenge trip with a 2-1 mark, picking up wins over Virginia Academy and Brooklyn Collegiate.

“I think it's a great experience,” Lee said of the trip, “especially playing these different teams and getting into the states and seeing how basketball is played in different areas of the country is nice, I think.”

Tyler Edore had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Lions.


Holy Cross (NY) 2024 guard Jacob Moreno won the Piedmont Airlines Slam Dunk Championship, edging Archbishop Spalding (Md.) 2025 wing Malik Washington in the final. … Rock Creek Christian White (Md.) 2026 guard Mekhi Polk won the Skills Challenge. … Arizona Compass 2024 guard Moses Hipps won the 3-Point Shootout. … More Bracket Champions were crowned, with Georgetown Prep (Md.), Largo (Md.), Rock Creek Christian White (Md.), St. George’s (DE) taking title banners home. … Snow Hill (Md.) 2024 guard Jayden Hudson scored his 1,000th career point in the Eagles’ 75-61 win over Sussex Central (DE). Hudson is the second Snow Hill player to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau at the Governor’s Challenge this week, as 2025 guard Keandre Nixon did it on Tuesday. … Salisbury School (Md.) 2024 forward Pierce Vasquez had the most eye-popping stat line o of the day, exploding for 34 points and 16 rebounds while teammate Tyler Ball went for a triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 10 steals as the Dragons ran past HD Woodson (DC). 79-45.


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