Before No. 9 Georgetown Prep pulled away from Whitman for a 54-48 win and before the Little Hoyas shook off a second-half, Whitman junior guard Jaden Pierce had his moment.
It came in the second quarter at Georgetown Prep and brought cheers from both the Vikings and the Vikings. Pierce, a recent transfer from St. John's, took a break from a defender. In so doing, he also shook free from his shoe. But no matter – he still made a three-pointer.
He tried to put his shoe on his heels back on defense but could not. Growing frustrated, he threw the sneaker to the bench to focus on the possession. He kept slipping, but a whistle finally gave him time to put his shoe back on.
It's possible the Vikings (0-1) may have gone better in the first half, when they dug themselves to a 12-point hole before figuring out the Little Hoyas' full-court press.
Georgetown Prep improved to 2-2 with the win.
"I thought that it was a pretty sloppy game actually, but at the end of the day, good teams find a way to win," Georgetown Prep Coach Ryan Eskow said. "We still got a lot of work to do, so it's nice that it's a long season."
One takeaway for the Little Hoyas was the effectiveness of their press, which flummoxed the Vikings in the first half. Offensive, Whitman 's Zone, finding holes for open layups and clean looks at three – pointers.
Quentin Southall and Miles Somerville led the Little Hoyas with 11 points each. Brendan Shaver led Whitman 12, and Jason Lewis added 11.
"When we have DeJean [Desire] in the middle and he gets the ball, people tend to crowd around him, "Prep forward Beluolisah Oranye said. "Then it's easy to dump down or kick out for a three."
When things grew stronger in the fourth quarter, the Little Hoyas forced turnovers into consecutive possessions, including a steal by Southall. He ran the fast break and kicked the ball out to Kamdyn Curfman on the right wing for a three-pointer to push Prep's lead to seven.
"That moment was clicking and clicking," Oranye said of the forced turnovers as he snapped his fingers at the word "clicking."