HYATTSVILLE, Md. -- After a short layoff, the area’s top hoops stars were back in action March 29 for the Metro Challenge 60 at DeMatha Catholic High School (Hyattsville, Md.).
Some of the top players and Terps targets saw action for a short period of time, while others were no-shows. However, one of the Terps top targets, Markelle Fultz, had no problem picking up where he left off after helping guide DeMatha to a WCAC championship.
Playing for Team Lawson in front of many home supporters, Fultz decided to leave an indelible mark on this one-day, nine-game tournament. The most exciting contest of the day pitted Team Olapido, led by Antwan Walker and Dequan Bracy, among others, against the aforementioned Team Lawson and Fultz.
From the opening tip, Fultz decided he was going to own this game. And that is exactly what he did, finishing with 35 points on 14-of-23 shooting, 2-for-6 three pointers, 5-of-6 free throws along with three offensive rebounds.
Although his offense was outstanding, we were more impressed with his leadership and the way he guided his teammates throughout the contest. No one can criticize Fultz for his effort and play on both ends of the court. While some players may have been there to get into playing shape, Fultz was flying to every loose ball and playing excellent, in-your-face defense.
On the offensive end, he made sure his players were engaged and in the flow of the game. But at halftime, his squad was down 43-31, and Fultz decided to help fuel a comeback by being more aggressive on offense by looking for his shot to lead the team back.
One sequence seemed to change everything as the junior guard started to look unstoppable. It began with a sensational block on defense and ended with a beautiful assist for a breakaway dunk on the other end of the floor. The crowd was buzzing and it was sensing Fultz was beginning to feel it. His energy level seemed to double anyone else's on the floor.
Fultz seemed to be everywhere and after hitting a few long-range jumpers, he brought the Lawson team back from a large deficit to force overtime at 80-80. Fultz had at least three breakaway dunks during this stretch, leaving no doubt about his quickness and athletic ability. His jumpers were picture perfect as he hit only twine on many occasions and seemed in a zone.
Fultz definitely brought a no-quit attitude to this game that rubbed off on his teammates. For Terps fans hoping for the best, one can imagine a Fultz/Anthony Cowan future Terps backcourt if the Terps can land the Stags star guard as for on this day, Fultz ruled the court. It was fun to watch and fans can look forward to watching him again as a senior.
From the start of the 2014-15 season until now, his game has improved markedly. It will be interesting to see what he has in store for the spring/summer as he continues his ascension up the national rankings, and with the Terps firmly in play.
Fultz Starts Spring With a Bang
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