George Washington's Jon Elmore threw a nice birthday party this weekend.
On Friday, he turned 18 years old and notched a 79-65 win over St. Albans, a game in which he poured in 29 points. On Saturday, he put the icing on his cake with 26 points as GW and cruised to a 73-54 victory over Ashland Paul Blazer (Ky.).
"It's been a great 24 hours," Elmore said. "It feels good to get the win. Our team is just getting better and better. I think the sky is the limit for us. I have only been here for a couple of weeks, but we definitely starting to mesh together and get our chemistry built up. You can definitely tell when are getting better."
On a weekend where Elmore is receiving presents, GW coach Rick Greene is thankful for the present that he received when the Division I recruit enrolled in GW after spending a year at the Christ School, an all-boys prep school in Arden, N.C.
"He [Elmore] brings exactly what we needed," Greene said. "He would be a good player for anybody and help any team. We needed an experienced, ball-handling point guard. He is obviously one of the best in the state if not the best. He's been just great. He's a good teammate and very coachable. We are very fortunate and blessed to have him."
Elmore also finished with nine rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks for the Patriots (3-1).
After the Patriots took an early 5-1 lead on a Dominik King 3-pointer and a Cameron Hoston layup, Elmore made three consecutive 3s from college range to push the lead to 14-1. The Tomcats (4-2) never recovered.
"John hit those and everyone relaxes a little bit," Greene said. "I think they gave us all confidence even coaching. It's like 'OK, we are off to a good start.' Ashland is very good. I think he [Elmore] just got us all calmed down and excited. They it got contagious."
And contagious it was as Chris Kay joined the 3-point party, inviting King along with him. Kay finished with 12 points connecting on 3-of-6 from three pointers, while King finished with 15 points connecting on 3-of-4 three pointers.
All told, the Patriots sank 12-of-24 from 3-point range. They held a commanding 45-21 lead at the half.
While Greene saw his team take a big step Saturday night, he admits they are far from a finished product.
"I think it [progess] will be small steps," Greene said. "We have Anthony [Dean] (14 points and nine rebounds) who is doing really well as a freshman. We also have some sophomores and juniors. So, it's a lot of meshing. Every game we play a little better. But, I don't think it will be a leap- and bound-type team. We are just going to progressively get better and hopefully become a good basketball team in March."
Nick Miller led Ashland with 13 points and 7 rebounds, while Tyler Stewart and Steven Friley chipped in with 11 points apiece.