"It's All About The Game"

Defense turns DCIAA semi contests






Ron Bailey, Publisher

Strapping up created winners.

February 26, 2015 - The adage 'Defense wins championships' was in full effect last night during DC Interscholastic Athletic Association Semifinal playoff action at Dunbar High School. The final will occur Friday the 27th, at Coolidge High School.

Following are game and recruiting reports.

Coolidge 67 Eastern 56

The victorious Colts (22-6) and Eastern were locked in a close battle, with Coolidge actually trailing 35-41 going into the fourth quarter. Next came a Colt run fueled by back to back three pointers from junior guard Lamar Lee-Kane (16 points) and a deadly diamond press - sometimes trapping in the frontcourt, others more of a zone press variety. Coolidge never looked back.

"Oh yeah, we watched film and saw they didn't have any point guards that could handle pressure" afterward said junior swingman Justin Route, who led the game with 21 points. His and-one play attacking the tin expanded the Colts' fourth quarter scoring spree to 14-4 over the periods first two and a half minutes.

Justin Route of Coolige, attacking the rim.

"We had to do something different. They're a good team" noted Coolidge head coach Vaughn Jones of that 1-2-2 press. After indicating improvement in his team's rebounding during the last 16 minutes was also a key to victory, Jones continued, saying "That pressure really, really hurt them in the second half".

Other important Colt schemes included a horns offensive set, of which Jones said "It's something that we do, I think it worked well", and a 2-3 zone that seemed to stymie Eastern in the first half, a point Route agreed with.

Eastern (17-6) got 14 points from senior guard Anthony Broadus, while classmate and fellow backcourt guy Dajuan Greene dropped 11 points. Junior forward Jamarko Pickett logged 15 points for the Ramblers, who may be invited to participate in this year's DC State Athletic Association championships.

Recruiting Notes:

Justin Route, 6'5", 180 pound junior swingman, Coolidge - A perimeter player capable of slashing to the cup and hitting spot up threes, Route, a lefty, has received recruiting love for a while now.

"I just got interest from Tennessee and Texas" he shared, while the likes of "USC, Boston College" and others have offered scholarships.

Route must get stronger for college, play harder more conistently and work on his open court handling with both hands for college.

He's on the short list for best DCIAA player. Is mulling travel team offers from "(DC) Premier, (DC) Thunder, and (Team) Takeover".

HD Woodson 67 Theodore Roosevelt 52

Up just 32-28 at intermission and 42-38 going into the third quarter, fans in Dunbar's state of the art gym expected the game to end in a similarly close fashion.

Not; HD went on a 21-5 run, blowing the game wide open. Strapping up made it happen.

"We just had to keep playing defense, keep the intensity up said junior HD forward, Antwan Walker (12 points). He and his teammates did a good job of defending TR's initial flex action, forcing the Rough Riders into one on one situations.

After forcing a miss and rebounding the rock, HD initiated a lethal fast break, exploiting TR's porous transition defense last night. Senior swingman Calvin Tibbs took full advantage of it scoring four of his 12 points on thunderous, run out dunks.

HD Woodson turned up the defense, leading to a victory.

In addition their fast break attack, the Warriors were able to score on dribble handoffs twenty feet from the rim, where they ended up getting to the rim because of confusion at the point of attack and tardy TR rotations. Junior forward Kavon Montgomery also scored 12 points from HD, now 27-5 on the year.

D'Vonte Kay, a senior point guard, paced the game with 16 points for TR (10-18). Sophomore forward Donald Brewer finished with 10 points.

Recruiting Notes:

Antwan Walker, 6'6", 210 pound junior forward, HD Woodson - Long and aggressive, Walker willingly cleans the glass, defends the paint and is a constant presence. Walker also can hit the corner and elbow jumper.

Joins Route on the short list for the best in DCIAA this season. For college needs to work on face up scoring, and back to the basket moves/footwork.

HD's head coach, Trey Mines noted "Duquense and UNC-Greensboro" have shown firm interest and tendered schollie opportunities, with the latter's effort being spearheaded by former DeMatha and Maryland standout Duane Simpkins, who Mines indicated "offered three weeks ago". Other schools like Cincinnati and Rhode Island have probed.

In terms of the travel team circuit, Walker indicated "I don't know yet" which organization he will compete with.

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