By: Matt Rothman
Marjory Stoneman Douglas boys basketball knew that their 0-2 start last season came back to hurt them when the ranking was released at the end of the season.
Head Coach Teddy Lyons made it a priority to get off to a good start this year and felt like his team did exactly that with a pair of wins in the Palm Beach Central Thanksgiving Tip-Off.
“Our 0-2 start last year came back to get us in the rankings,” Lyons said. “The guys came out really focused. We got a lot of things to work on, but I liked our intensity on defense. We are paying attention to detail, and the guys are really locked in.”
The Eagles picked up wins over Royal Palm Beach and Palm Beach Central High School to move to 2-0. This was also the first time MSD has started the season with back-t0-back wins since the 2015-16 season, in which they won their first nine games. In MSD’s first game, Damerius Summers led the way with 24 points and had ten plus rebounds. Jhalen Phang added 16 points, and Nick Frazier had 12. Evin Jenkins and Kevin Thomas chipped in 16 points, while Jack Servaitis hit a couple of big three-pointers in the 86-58 victory.
Summers had another double-double in the second game and game-high 26 points. He recorded the game-winning three-pointer with seven seconds left to pull out the 58-55 win. Thomas added 13, and Jenkins had eight, but Lyons was most impressed with the play from Dylan Stettner, who came off the bench. He had three steals and had a huge putback basketball.
“He comes in and turns games for our basketball team,” Lyons said. “You need kids that accept their role and bring energy to the team. I couldn’t be happier for him. As a senior, he has carved out a role on this varsity basketball team and is a defensive stopper for us. He does it great and accepts the role, and we love him for that.”
MSD is coming off a season where they posted a 17-3 record in the regular season but were beaten by Boca Raton Community High School in the postseason.
“Nobody liked the feeling that we felt walking out of their last year after losing to Boca,” Lyons said. “We knew that we had an opportunity to make a deep playoff run and we letdown. We kept that sour taste in our mouths, and we are trying to stay focused game-by-game. “
Next, the Eagles will have their home opener on Tuesday, Nov. 29, against Fort Lauderdale High School. The Flying L’s also won 17 games last season before falling to Cypress Bay in the playoffs.
- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and then graduated from the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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