With just under six minutes left in the game, Brian Washington held the ball in the paint, looking for a pass. He claims not to have heard someone yell from his bench, “Take it!” but that’s what he did anyway, throwing down a monster jam to give Cimarron-Memorial’s boys basketball team its biggest lead of the night to that point.
It was the exclamation point on a night when the 6-foot-5-inch senior had 28 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and six blocks to lead his Spartans to an 80-68 victory over visiting Cheyenne on Monday.
“I just saw a lane, and I dunked it,” Washington said. “I didn’t hear that, but I’m pretty sure someone said that. They’re always saying that.”
It’s hard to say what the most impressive part of Washington’s night was. His game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds jump off the page, but it could have been his seven assists from the center position, or perhaps his defensive prowess keeping the Spartans (6-2) in a game that looked like it was Cheyenne’s for the taking.
The Desert Shields (5-3) controlled the early part of the game, taking a 34-28 lead into halftime that could have been bigger. Washington blocked four shots in the first few minutes, forcing Cheyenne to the outside and virtually eliminating any scoring in the paint.
But it caught up to them, and once the Spartans started rolling, they wouldn’t stop. They started the third quarter on a 14-2 run, which included a 3-pointer from George Tribble, assisted by Washington, to give Cimarron its first lead.
“With his defense and his rebounding, he gets guys inspired to play,” Cimarron coach Daryl Branham said. “I would say he’s the best passing big man in town.”
Tribble finished with 18 points, including three 3-pointers on dishes from Washington. And while Washington was just three assists shy of a triple-double, once Cimarron established its lead he trailed back to play defense, rarely passing center court the rest of the night as the Spartans cruised to victory.
Senior Kavon Williams led the Desert Shields with 16 points. Damino Bonty scored 13, and Hahsonie Laushaul added 12 points for Cheyenne.