By Patrick Olson
Powered by 23 points from Mariek Isom, Bowie beat Austin High 59-53 Tuesday night at Burger Gym. “I’ve got to get better executing on offense and playing better defense,” the humble 6’6” forward said afterward. The Bulldogs completed a season sweep of the Maroons. “I thought we played hard,” Bowie coach Celester Collier added. “We’ve got to get better and tougher mentally.”
Isom joined Paul Baxter, Ryan Smith, William Jefferson and Zach Nunnery in the starting lineup for Bowie (21-6, 5-1). Patrick Strake, Dorian Parks, Chris Moore, Blake Mascheck and Matt Jones began the game for Maroons coach Andy Dudney. Baxter and Isom each sank shots off the glass to begin the contest. A spin move and subsequent field goal by Baxter built the Bulldogs a 9-5 advantage. Bowie’s 1-3-1 zone stifled Austin High (16-8, 2-4) interior penetrations early in the game.
Strake connected on a pair of free throws to tie the game 12-12. Dorian Parks nailed a three pointer later that gave the Maroons a 15-14 lead. An inside basket by Jefferson put Bowie on top 20-18. Baxter’s field goal over the Austin High 2-3 zone put the Bulldogs in front 26-23. A bucket inside by Ray Mayes preceded a field goal by Baxter that gave Bowie a 32-26 lead at the half.
After Isom hit a trey to open scoring in the third quarter, Baxter delivered his second dunk of the game extending the Bulldogs’ advantage to 37-26. Having constructed a double-digit lead, Bowie passed extensively before Isom hit another three point shot.
Parks provided the majority of the offense for the Maroons, finishing with 22 points on the night. Production in the paint by Parks cut the Bowie lead down to 54-49 before four consecutive free throws from Isom kept the Bulldogs on top.