The District of Columbia State Athletic Association basketball tournament featured an expanded field in its second year, and tonight’s finals at the Verizon Center will offer intriguing matchups that will serve as rematches from regular season games earlier this winter.
The girls’ final, which tips off at 6, will pit Georgetown Visitation against top-seed St. John’s, while Maret will meet Theodore Roosevelt in the boys’ title game at 8.
No. 4 St. John’s (24-7) was dominant in its first meeting with the ninth-ranked Cubs (27-3) on Feb. 8, winning 70-48 behind 17 points and 14 rebounds from sophomore center Sarah Overcash. The Cadets were playing without star guard Amari Carter in that game, but were still able to generate one of their best offensive performances of the season behind the play of Overcash and guard Britani Stowe, who scored 16 points and added seven rebounds. It was also one of St. John’s best second-half defensive efforts all year, as the Cadets held Georgetown Visitation to just two points in the third quarter, dealing the Cubs just their second area defeat.
After his team defeated Wilson in last weekend’s DCSAA semifinal, St. John’s Coach Jonathan Scribner warned that Thursday’s final would be much different against the streaking Cubs, the Independent School League Division AA champs who have won eight straight since that point, three of which came against a talented National Cathedral squad. Carter will be back in the lineup tonight against Georgetown Visitation, which will counter with a talented backcourt of its own, led by speedy sophomore Alexis Gray (14 points per game) and a frontcourt led by Sarah Tierney and Ana Hagerup, who combine for nearly half of the Cubs point production.
After taking down the St. John’s boys in the DCSAA semifinal last Sunday, Theodore Roosevelt (24-6) is now looking for redemption Thursday against a Maret team that blew the Rough Riders out back in December.
The 12th-ranked Frogs (22-7), the Mid-Atlantic Conference champions who beat Cesar Chavez in the DCSAA semifinals reach the title game, received 20 points from Steffen Davis and 19 from Drake Goddard in a 77-60 win the in the first meeting with the Rough Riders, and Austin Vereen added 16. Davis has been the catalyst to the Frogs run through March, as the guard is averaging 16.2 points per game (he’s also hit 72 three-pointers this season), and Goddard (11 ppg) has scored in double figures in eight straight games.
No. 10 Theodore Roosevelt has evolved since that December loss, though. The Rough Riders are one of the area’s hottest teams at the moment, winning nine straight games that includes the DCIAA championship over Dunbar, two wins over Coolidge and last week’s upset of No. 5 St. John’s, the tournament’s top seed. Led by point guard Johnnie Shuler (who is averaging 15.1 points per game and had 19 against the Cadets), the the run-and-gun Rough Riders have scored 80 or more points in six of their last eight, and have eclipsed the 90-point mark twice in that stretch.