David Jenkins Jr. had two quick fouls and four points at halftime.
But it took one shot to get him back on track.
And then one more shot for the sixth-ranked Wilson High School boys basketball team to escape Foss with a 71-67 victory on Friday.
Jenkins drove left, used a jump stop to get past a defender and scooped in a left-handed layup with 25 seconds remaining for what would be the winning shot in a game the Rams mostly trailed.
“I told Montre (Lofton-Brown): ‘I’m going to get this bucket,’ ” Jenkins said. “ ‘But after this bucket, we have to get a stop.’ And it ended up happening.”
The stop came courtesy of 6-foot-6 sophomore Emmitt Matthews Jr., who scored a game-high 26 points. He shifted as a help defender and blocked a shot from behind at the basket from Foss’ Daeshawn Wayne.
Lofton-Brown secured it and got it to Jenkins, who hit two free throws to seal it with 8.6 seconds remaining.
Jenkins scored nine of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, with his pull-up 3-pointer with about six minutes remaining seeming to get him going.
“He’s Dave Jenkins. He’s never off,” Wilson coach Dave Alwert said of Jenkins, who entered the game averaging 25.1 points. “He’s just got to get into a rhythm. And once he hits that first one, it’s on.”
Wilson (9-2, 5-1 3A Narrows) didn’t take its first lead until near the end of the third quarter and rebounded from Wednesday’s loss against Lincoln.
That third quarter was when Matthews took control. He had a stretch of 10 consecutive points for Wilson in one stretch and scored 14 points total in the period. And Alwert credited senior Ezaias Ruebel-Harris for his hustle play as the spark Wilson needed.
“It just shows that we aren’t a one-dimensional team,” Matthews said.
“The good thing about (Matthews) is that he’s progressing game by game,” Jenkins said. “He’s getting tougher game by game. We told him at the beginning of the season that he had to step up. A lot of people don’t like to listen in the beginning, but he’s listened.”
Foss (7-5, 4-2) jumped out to a 9-3 lead early in the first quarter and held Wilson to 14 points in the opening period.
Roberto Gittens twice dunked, and Donald Scott’s basket gave the Falcons a 31-22 lead — their largest advantage of the game — in the second quarter. Gittens and Scott each finished with 22 points.
But Wilson went on a 12-3 run from the end of the second into the third quarter to tie the game at 36. Matthews’ free-throw (as part of his 10 straight points) gave Wilson its first lead with 2 minutes, 17 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
What happened to Foss in the second half?
“Concentration,” coach Mike Cocke’ said. “Young team. We try not to use that as an excuse, but as the game goes on, we sometimes lose concentration. I can’t call timeouts every possession to talk about the concentration. We just kind of lost focus of what the game plan was and Wilson was able to execute.”