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Posted at 10:12 AM ET, 01/23/2013

Letters of Interest: Woodson gets healthy, Paul VI runs the gauntlet

We might as well begin our second day of Letters of Interest by addressing Monday’s biggest local basketball story: Junior Etou’s eligibility.


Bishop O'Connell forward Junior Etou blocks a shot during the Knights’ Jan. 11 win over DeMatha. (Jonathan Newton - THE WASHINGTON POST)
Many of you probably read the Deadspin.com report citing several FIBA Web sites that listed the O’Connell senior forward as a 20-year-old. FIBA responded to our inquiry early this morning, confirming that the birthdate they have on file for Etou — whose full name is Luc Tselan Tsiene Etou — is June 4, 1992, which would make him 20. However, Knights Coach Joe Wootten and a WCAC official rebutted the report, citing documentation in the school’s possession that proves Etou was born on June 4, 1994 and is 18. Check out today’s paper or this link for more details.

Now for a recap of Tuesday’s action:

• No. 12 W.T. Woodson won its 12th straight game by defeating AAA Patriot District foe T.C. Williams , 64-54, to complete the season sweep. After losing to the Titans in the district tournament each of the past two years, it appears the Cavaliers are primed to reverse that trend. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Woodson is getting healthy at the right time. Alex Boock, who scored 12 key second-half points Tuesday, and big-bodied Patrick Halloran are both back, bringing further balance to the talented squad.

• Elsewhere in the Northern Region, Centreville won its first AAA Concorde District contest by upsetting Chantilly, 56-47, behind Matt Sedlock’s 24 points. The result marked the Chargers’ third straight loss, making things even more interesting in the bunched-up district standings with Herndon, Oakton, Robinson and Westfield.

• Coaches often use the cliché that the season is a marathon, not a sprint. Well, Paul VI put its endurance to the test recently, playing five games in the last six days. After beating McNamara on Tuesday night, the Panthers emerged from their gauntlet with a 4-1 record, including a win against national power Montverde (Fla.).

Much credit goes to Marcus Derrickson. The highly touted sophomore forward appears to have found his rhythm, averaging 16.2 points and 11.4 rebounds in that five-game span and justifying the offers schools like Georgetown, Maryland, North Carolina and Indiana have already extended.

Granted, Derrickson isn’t the only local standout drawing interest from Hoosiers Coach Tom Crean. I had the chance to chat with Crean at the Hoophall Classic about his affinity for the region’s players. Check back in this space later today for details of that conversation and Indiana’s growing pipeline to the area.

• Another upset occurred in the Mid-Atlantic Conference, as No. 9 Sidwell Friends fell to St. James. The 60-58 loss, which came after a two-week layoff for the Quakers, marks the their third loss in four games.

TWEET OF THE NIGHT

Elsewhere in the MAC, Maret senior point guard Marlon Beck orally committed to Binghamton on Monday night after the eighth-ranked Frogs dispatched Potomac School, 50-41. Beck, the team’s leading scorer at 13.6 points per game, scored 10 points with a pair of three-pointers in the win. Check back for more on Beck’s decision later today.

NUMBER CRUNCH: 42

The number of points Marvin Cyrus scored for No. 3 Theodore Roosevelt on Tuesday. What’s more impressive: Cyrus matched the total score for the No. 3 Rough Riders’ opponent, Washington Metropolitan, in the 93-42 victory.

BREAKFAST LINKS

— Tuesday review: How players on the latest All-Met Watch performed in last night’s games

Sarah Wallerstedt stepped up big for Wootton in a 57-52 win against Montgomery 4A South rival Walter Johnson.

Maryland and George Washington have agreed to play in the 2013 BB&T Classic on Dec. 8. By that time, a number of current prep standouts should be in uniform, like Suitland’s Roddy Peters for the Terps and Riverdale Baptist’s Nigel Johnson and Magruder’s Nick Griffin for the Colonials.

— DeMatha Coach Mike Jones was selected to lead the nation’s top high school players for Team USA at the Nike Hoop Summit on April 20.

PHOTOS FROM LAST NIGHT

Check out Katherine Frey’s gallery from W.T. Woodson’s 64-54 win at T.C. Williams last night — a victory that increased the Cavaliers’ lead atop the AAA Patriot District.

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY

No. 19 Oakland Mills at Centennial, 5:30 p.m.

The Eagles nearly handed Oakland Mills a loss in the season opener. Since then, the Scorpions have won their first 14 games, but Centennial is surely out for revenge.

By Brandon Parker  |  10:12 AM ET, 01/23/2013

 
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