DMV’s Top Defenders
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In this article we’ll discuss some of the best defenders in the DMV as well as what makes them excel at that end of the floor in an era that prioritizes 2-way prospects. 12 defenders, 3 states, 7 different leagues-…
In this article we’ll discuss some of the best defenders in the DMV as well as what makes them excel at that end of the floor in an era that prioritizes 2-way prospects. 12 defenders, 3 states, 7 different leagues- join us as we dive into the players that defend at the highest level in our area.
Jr ’26 6’2 G Paul VI
-Active, physical defender that can comfortably guard 1-3 at a high level. Slides his feet well defensively, navigates screens well to stay between his man and the rim, contests shots well, gets into passing lanes. Despite his size, understands leverage and can get underneath bigs to force a contested look in the paint or compete on the glass. Equally good on or off the ball, blocking a ton of shots from the weakside- especially when you consider his size and position.
’25 5’11 PG DeMatha
-One of the most unheralded players in the area, the two sport athlete spends his time locking up opponents on the gridiron as a defensive back and as a point of attack defender on the hardwood. Wallace understands the importance of winning the low battle to immobilize taller and stronger matchups, meets and fights over ball screens very well, gets into passing lanes, and steers his matchup towards vulnerable parts of the floor along the sideline or in the corners. His quick, active hands lead to a lot of steals and deflections but he has the wherewithal and balance to stay down on ball fakes to get a good contest on shot attempts.
Patrick Ngongba Jr ’24 6’11 C Paul VI
-Ngongba turned heads last season as a defensive anchor for a very good Panther season en route to the WCAC Championship and a 31-4 season. The Duke pledge’s commitment to improving his body paid dividends as he played injury-free basketball that allowed him to stay on the court for longer stretches. Ngongba is a menace defensively as a shotblocker in the paint, erasing 11 shots in the last two games of the WCAC tournament.
’25 6’1 PG McNamara
-Played well defensively in a matchup against the area’s best perimeter scorer at his position this summer in a game againstand St Frances Academy during DMV Live, forcing 6 steals- 3 of which he turned into baskets at the other end in the first half. Very strong for his size, fights to beat his matchup to the spot and forces his man to reject ball screens and pushes them out to less effective scoring zones towards halfcourt or on the sideline. Can guard either guard spot and will hold his own on switches with wings. Will be the primary POA defender for a McNamara team that will need him to set the tone on that end of the floor.
’25 6’5 G Sidwell
-A fluid 6’5 athlete that is strong enough to guard 3s and some small 4s but also has the quickness to stick with guards– Rougier-Roane is an extremely-valuable piece for Sidwell. Typically gathering at least 2 steals and a block per game, I’ve seen him get as many as 11 blocks in a game this past summer in DC Live that was apart of a triple double. Really interested to see how often Coach Singletary employs him as a helper to trap in the halfcourt, versus playing more of a free safety role.
’25 6’3 G Bullis
-I don’t think there’s a player who has grown more on this end of the floor than Stevens, who leverages his athleticism and quickness to get underneath ballhandlers or disrupt passing/driving lanes. Incredibly valuable as a help defender, even at just 6’3, due to his shotblocking ability. The quickness and aggressiveness to correctly time errant passes often lead to highlight finishes in transition that usually get his offensive game going.
’25 6’3 G Mt. Zion Prep
-Montgomery will take his 2-way talent to the prep team this year at MZ to bolster a defense that can use his playmaking. Montgomery traces the ball well with his hands to force deflections, misses, and blocked shots with regularity. The athleticism, frame, and footspeed allow him to guard 1-4 at the high school level– the competitive drive and focus on that end of the floor force opponents to send his matchup away from the action to avoid his disruptive nature in ball screens.
’25 6’4 G St. John’s College HS
-Another combo guard prospect that has really come along on this end of the floor, Witherspoon has shed titles as a 1-way impactor as a scorer, showing an effective ability to guard 1-3 at a high level this summer with his new team. His defensive IQ and positioning make him difficult to screen and get past in the halfcourt, he doesn’t make unnecessary gambles and stays attached to his matchup while weaving through ball screens and motion. If he can prove that he can also guard some 4’s at the high school level, it will only add to his appeal as a prospect pushing for high major status.
’26 6’6 F St. John’s College HS
-Chase’s ability to guard at a high level led to early trust and impactful minutes in a strong freshman campaign for the reigning WCAC champs. He moves well enough to hedge ball screens and get back to rollers, contests shots well, and understands where to be to collect defensive rebounds before outletting and getting out in transition. As he continues to grow and add quickness into his repertoire, his ability to guard 3-5 at a high level while expanding to defending guards on an island after screens– the defensive versatility figures to earn him looks from coaches craving that type of defender.
’24 5’10 PG Jackson-Reed
-McRae has proven to be a valuable point of attack defender over the years for a Jackson-Reed team that needed a lynchpin. Quick hands with an ability to anticipate where a matchup is going with his next move towards the basket, McRae is a menace to get by defensively and covers ground quickly on closeouts
’26 6’5 W Mt. Zion
-One of the biggest sleepers in the area, I believe Norcome has the potential to be an incredibly high-level defender with his ability to communicate, covers ground well with long strides, long arms and explosive changes of direction. If he can continue to develop the ballhandling and offensive polish, I think his 2-way potential can propel him to MM+ recruit status.
’25 6’7 W Flowers
-The combination of length, athleticism and timing have served Bowles well as a shotblocker to this point in his career– and I believe he has the potential to guard all 5 positions on a high school basketball floor as early as this year. An extremely fluid athlete that can cover ground well on closeouts or switches, his versatility makes it difficult for opponents to matchup-hunt against a good Flowers team.