All articles are written by YJDP Student Sports Writers and edited by mentors from The Washington Post prior to publishing.
Two days after an energetic win over Anacostia in the quarterfinals of the DCSAA Tournament, Maret earned another resounding win against the third-seeded Cesar Chavez High School team Sunday afternoon at American University’s Bender Arena.
Fresh off of their second MAC Championship in as many years and a dominant victory on Friday night in their opening game of the DCSAA Tournament, the Frogs rolled into Bender Arena and controlled the game from the start. They dictated the pace against quick Cesar Chavez by corralling defensive rebounds and slowing down the pace when necessary to prevent easy transition buckets.
In the half-court setting, Maret throttled the Eagles’ offense. Early on, Chavez settled for long jump shots early in the shot clock and refrained from attacking the basket. They opened the game with four three-point attempts on consecutive possessions—all misses—and did not record their first field goal until 1:30 remained in the first quarter. Cesar Chavez then began to attack the basket and closed the gap to nine by the end of the quarter. That would be as close as they would get the rest of the way.
Maret continued its stellar offensive performance during the second quarter, controlling the offensive glass and getting high percentage shots around the basket. A frustrated and stifled Chavez offense could muster only three points during the period as Maret pulled away. Junior Austin Vereen led the way for the Frogs with 10 first half points, and Maret ended the half leading 40-14.
Cesar Chavez shot just 20% from the field in the first half and attacked the Maret defense hard during the third quarter with success, drawing fouls in the paint against an aggressive Frogs’ defense. But Maret had an answer for every Cesar Chavez basket. The Frogs were led by double-doubles from Juniors Austin Vereen and Alex Peltier, but had a balanced scoring attack that featured four starters in double figures. Tyler Thompson led the way for Cesar Chavez with 14 points, but Cesar Chavez struggled offensively the entire afternoon with just two players reaching double figures.
The Frogs offered another stalwart defensive effort in the fourth quarter, giving up just four points as Maret cruised during the final period. Maret’s student section, a frenetic and animated group of over 40 boisterous fans, spent the final minutes cheering on younger players who had yet to see playing time for Maret during the regular season. One of Maret’s two sophomores on the team, Travis Thein, chipped in three points -- much to the approval of the student section.
The Frogs will face Roosevelt High School in the DCSAA Tournament final on Thursday evening, March 6th, at the Verizon Center. Roosevelt upset highly ranked St. John’s College High School 84-77 to a clinch a spot in the finals.