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Turner slides into starring role for Stafford

Watching the Stafford boys’ basketball team play at North Stafford on Tuesday night, it wasn’t very difficult to spot Indians senior forward Damean Turner.

During a second-quarter sequence, Turner was the player recording back-to-back blocks and later, as part of Stafford’s third-quarter rally that locked up a 56-54 win, Turner was the one taking a full-court pass and slamming home a right-handed dunk.

Turner finished with a game-high 22 points and seven rebounds as Stafford improved to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the Commonwealth District.

“He’s got a lot of energy,” teammate Jamal Wilson said, “and he’s scoring good buckets for us, too.”

Wilson, who’s a senior captain and one of three returning starters for Stafford after averaging 14.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game last season, recalled working out this summer with Turner.

While Turner didn’t see a lot of varsity time last season, he started to come out of his shell during conditioning sessions and offseason workouts, Wilson said. Turner started to become authoritative on the court and demand the ball.

“I already knew when we were working out during the summer that he was going to be good and that he could help the team be successful,” said Wilson, who finished with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting against North Stafford.

Turner said his game is very much predicated on emotion and he tries his hardest to stay upbeat at all times. The minute he starts to get lackadaisical, Turner said, his game suffers and his shots are no longer falling with such consistency.

That’s why when he had the opportunity to make a statement with his third-quarter dunk, he did it. Not to show up North Stafford or to create a spectacle, but instead Turner realized the energy he would get from slamming one home and delivered.

“I have to make sure I keep it up because if I get down I won’t get back up,” Turner said. “I have to make sure I stay in the game.

Of the dunk, Turner said, “It gave me an adrenaline rush. I had to get up there and put it down. I just got it and took it.“

Stafford started strong and grabbed a 17-10 lead after the first quarter. In the second period, though, North Stafford used a 13-4 run to go ahead, 26-21, on a layup from Daniel Huggins, who is one of two returning starters for the Wolverines this season.

The two teams were never separated by more than three points in the second half until -- of all people -- Turner hit a pair of free throws to give the Indians’ a two-possession lead with 3.6 seconds left.

Tied at 49 with less than a minute to play, Wilson slashed his way to the basket, drew a foul and completed the three-point play to set up Turner’s two free throws.

One bright spot for North Stafford was point guard Darius Paramore, who missed the past two games because of a trip to see his sister in Mississippi. But Paramore returned to tally a team-high 20 points, which included a pair of 3-pointers.

“When you have a point guard who can shoot it as well as he can and someone who gets us into our offense … he played a heck of a game,” North Stafford Coach Brad Lear said of Paramore.

Besides Paramore, Trejon McGee finished with 10 points, Kenneth Somuah added nine and Gary Boone chipped in with eight. Gaither Mason had nine points and Mitch Young had five for Stafford.

The Wolverines (4-1, 2-1) travel to Colonial Forge on Friday and host Hylton on Saturday, while Stafford travels to Mountain View on Friday.

By Jason Mackey  |  December 16, 2009; 12:31 AM ET
Categories:  Boys' Basketball , Commonwealth District , North Stafford , Northwest Region , Stafford  
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