Jump Start – Patriots earn first league win

WAMAC Basketball - Fort Meade 83, Fort Lee 76

Fort Meade’s Sam Porter (No. 15) drives past Fort Lee’s Tyleel Graham (No. 20) to the basket during Saturday’s home game at Murphy Field House. The Patriots’ 83-76 victory improved the team’s WAMAC conference record to 1-2. (Photos by Nate Pesce)

After two opening-season losses on the road at Naval Support Activity Bethesda and Fort Belvoir, Va., the Fort Meade Patriots varsity basketball team earned their first win of the 2018 Washington Area Military Athletic Conference season Saturday with a 83-76 victory over the still -winless Fort Lee Travellers at Murphy Field House.

Fort Meade Patriots’ Matt Lamolli (No. 13) and Fort Lee Travellers’ Tyleel Graham (No. 20) jump off for possession of the ball at the start of the Patriots’ home game Saturday at Murphy Field House.

“I thought they [Patriots] played well defensively, especially in the second half,” said new Patriots head coach Gary Robinson. “… We slowed down their main guy.”

Robinson said that as the season progresses, he looks forward to getting even better on defense. His ultimate goal, he said, is to win a championship

“I’m looking for a successful season — championship or bust — that’s for me,” Robinson said. “That’s just the way I think. You just have to win a championship, that’s what you play for. So that’s what I’m looking for.”

It’s early in the 10-week WAMAC regular season, but coach Robinson already likes a lot of what he’s seen so far.

“We’ve got a young team, so we’re learning some basic things about defense, offensive sets,” he said. “But we’re getting better each game.”

As far as personnel, the coach does have some veteran leadership on his young team. He points to guard Kiandre Blunt as one of his floor generals.

“When the game gets kinda tight, I lean on him,” Robinson said. “He’s a very talented guy. He’s been with the program for a while, so he understands what I need from a point guard and shooting guard.”

Another team veteran is Sam Porter, a player that Robinson said is one of the “main guys” on the inside who can pass and post-up.

Saturday’s leading scorer was Qunice Langford with 17 points. Forwards Ryan McGhee-Coleman, who Robinson relies on for scoring and said “can really put it up,” and Larry Bailey chipped in with 12 points each. Porter added 11.

The Patriots’ new head coach Gary Robinson (center) talks with the team during a timeout. His ultimate goal is to win a championship.

The win improved the Patriots’ WAMAC conference record to 1-2. They will hit the road again Sunday for Game 4 to take on Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

“The goal is to win a championship,” Robinson said. “But I want these guys to learn and understand how to play the game right. That’s one of the big things.”

Fort Meade’s Ryan McGhee-Coleman (No. 30) puts up a shot as Fort Lee’s Dejan Brown (No. 13) and Therman Brown (No. 22) play defense. Saturday’s leading scorer was Qunice Langford with 17 points.

Editor’s note: The Patriots’ next home game is Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. at Murphy Field House.

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