Digital Harbor’s boys basketball team has something to prove.
Sure, there is only one returning starter from last season’s Class 2A state championship squad. And yes, the Rams have to play a tougher schedule since they moved up to Class 3A. But they’re on a mission to prove they’re still among the best teams in the state.They began that mission on Monday by defeating Carver in the season-opener 58-38. Gabe Shongo led Digital Harbor in scoring with 11 points, followed by Ronald Epps (the lone returning starter), who scored eight.
“The kids are focused,” coach Johnny Grimes said. “They want to prove to everybody that even with the transfers that left, that this is still a good program and that we’re still going to be competitive.”
The Rams built their performance on a series of runs, beginning with a 9-0 run to close the first quarter to give them a 14-5 lead. Carver cut the lead to 20-16 in the second quarter before the Rams exploded again with an 8-0 outburst to help give them a 28-17 lead at halftime.
When play resumed, the Rams widened the lead behind junior forward Charles Turner-Cox’s seven points, all of which came in the third quarter and in succession. First Turner-Cox put up lay-in and was fouled, converting a three-point play the old fashioned way with 3:38 remaining in the third. He then put in the Rams next four points.
“I’m the type of guy that’ll come off the bench to help the team, donate to the team,” Turner-Cox said. “I’ll do what Coach needs me to do.”
Tyrone Williams scored with five seconds to go in the third to give the Rams a 48-27 lead heading into the fourth. Though the Rams controlled the tempo and the flow of the game, Grimes said there are some concerns he noticed on the floor. Turnovers—14 in the first half—and free throw shooting were problems throughout the game.
“We’ll have to go back to the gym and keep practicing,” Grimes said.
The Rams may have a new look on their roster this season as they vie for a playoff run in an always-loaded Baltimore City. But it’s up to them to pick up where last year’s squad left off.
“As long as we play Digital Harbor basketball, we’re going to be successful,” Turner-Cox said. “A lot of people thought we wouldn’t gel together last year. And then we made it happen.”
by Jason Butt