"It's All About The Game"

DCSSA champs follow similar path to crowns






Ron Bailey, Publisher

Shooting was key in both games.


March 7, 2014 - Verizon Center was turned into the epicenter of high school hoops in Washington, DC proper last night, as the DC Scholastic Sports Association held it's finals. Hail St. John's College Prep's girls, along with Theodore Roosevelt's boys, as they are the 2014 champions. Each changed offensively, shooting their way to 'chips.

SJC, adjusted to Georgetown Visitation's halftime adjustment, prevailing 58-42. MVP, senior guard Britani Stowe led the victorious Cadets in scoring, dropping 16 points and a game high three assists. Her four three pointers helped key the win, as did junior guard Amari Carter's three, fourth quarter long balls long balls, the latter helping SJC outscore Visitation 19-7 in the fourth quarter.

Amari Carter pulling up from distance.

"We just hit our outside shots, making it softer in the middle" said Carter, who finished with 13 points, of her team's second half adjustment. "Got the ball to the middle, attack the rim. Tried to get the ball to the middle".

She went on to note "Railey (Hinton) hit a big shot in the corner, it was probably the biggest shot of the game". Hinton's second half three pointer would be her only points, but seemed to open the flood gates for SJC.

"When they stretched out, we attacked it" continued Carter, specifically referencing Visitations's 2-3 zone. "And when they sagged off we hit the shots".

In the first half, SJC got numerous buckets on the baseline against that zone. At halftime, Visitation's coach Mike McCarthy adjusted, packing it in and taking away any backline looks.

"We were trying to take away the baseline, and when we did, we stopped them" opined McCarthy afterward. He ascribed SJC's late third, early fourth quarter shooting success to "I think we got a little tired, and they are really good. They have good shooters".

SJC shot a shocking 76.9% from three point land for the game, going 87.5% (7-8) in the second half. The Cadets attempted 13 long balls during the game. Overall they shot just 36.8% from the field.

Visitation, led by senior guard Sarah Tierney's 19 points, finished the season at 27-4. Independent League champions, the Cubs shot 44.% from the field.

SJC (25-7) takes its DCSSA and WCAC championships into Bishop Walsh Tournament play this weekend.

Theodore Roosevelt's boys may not have any games left on their schedule, but can now go into the offseason content with being both DCIAA and DCSSA champs, defeating Maret last night 57-53. The Roughriders finished 25-6 for the year. Maret is 27-8 for 2013-2014.

"We wanted to pick it up in the second half" said TR's head coach, Robert Nickens of his team's performance. "In the second half, I thought you saw Roosevelt Basketball. I'm excited about the opportunity to be here".

Terrell Allen at the rim.

As the game wore on, TR's pressure - largely full court man to man with a trap on the first catch - seemed to wear the Frogs , MAC champs, down; they committed four, third quarter turnovers.

Senior guard Drake Goddard (11 points) of Maret denied his team's six to seven man rotation was fatigued facing TR's nine guy substitution pattern, saying "We've been doing this (rotation-wise) since day one". He cited a lack of communication as crucial in their defeat.

Early on, Maret had success with a unique 1-1-3 matchup zone in which the center hedges hard on screen situations. They used it intermittingly.

TR seemed to solve it going down the stretch, continually getting open looks for the likes of senior guard Troy Stancil (15 points, 4-5 on three pointers, three of those in the third quarter), and drives to the cup.

Regarding the Roughrider's adjustment to the 1-1-3, senior forward Jibreel Faulkner shared an inside-out attack focus was key, as was "Move the ball around, be patient with the ball...and get the ball to our shooters like Troy Stancil, who got the MVP tonight".

Senior wing Jalen Barnes led Maret with 17 points, also pulling down six rebounds. The Frogs finished shooting 39.6% from the floor, but went 0-11 from three point land for the contest.

Conversely the Roughriders managed 58.3% from three point land, considerably more than their 38.8% overall mark.
Both TR and SJC can hang this championship on tickling the twine from outside.

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