Northwestern Boys Complete Turnaround With State Title
Northwestern also overhauled its look, though it used a slightly different manner, adding several transfers. Forward Jerry Follot came from Central African Republic. Forward Jannik Freese came from Germany. Point guard Chaise Lancaster transferred from The Heights. Forward Leslie McKinstry joined the basketball program as a sophomore. The additions brought a new level of intensity to the Hyattsville school.
"Practice has been lively, and so has the locker room with the international players," Dickens said.
As Potomac (24-2) put together a banner season, Northwestern's was much more turbulent.
Expected to be one of the Washington area's top teams, the Wildcats struggled at first. They lost their opening game by 21 points to DeMatha, then dropped a game to Suitland. Northwestern won its third game, beating C.H. Flowers, but later forfeited the victory for using an ineligible player.
By late January, after a four-game losing streak, the Wildcats were 5-8. They also were playing all of their games on the road because of water damage to their gymnasium floor.
"I had a feeling it was going to be one of those weird years," Dickens said. "But we got ourselves together, and we worked hard, we worked hard. Just long hours at the school."
Things began to turn around with a 65-52 victory over Suitland on Jan. 23, starting a run of 12 victories in 13 games to close the season. The Wildcats' only loss was 79-77 in overtime to Eleanor Roosevelt, a game in which Green was elbowed in the mouth and suffered a cracked front tooth.
He had a dentist appointment scheduled for last Thursday, only to cancel it because of Northwestern's game against Glen Burnie in the state semifinals.
"They understood," Green said. "I had a big game at Comcast Center. They knew."
Green will go back to the dentist today to have the root of the tooth removed, and next week he will get a fake tooth. It might be painful, but he said he does not care.
"Not at all," Green said, a gap in the middle of his wide smile. "It's all worth it. All I have to do is look at the trophy, and the pain will go away."
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