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Montrose's Echefu Plays the Waiting Game

Lavender Chooses College -- and New High School

Most of the Washington area's top girls' basketball players signed their letters-of-intent this week, including Bishop McNamara's Iman McFarland, who signed with North Carolina. Yolanda Lavender not only signed her letter-of-intent with Wake Forest, she also enrolled in a new high school -- Carroll -- and will play for the Lions this season, according to Riverdale Baptist Coach Diane Richardson, for whom Lavender played last season.

Lavender attended Forestville as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Riverdale for her junior year. She was being home schooled this year and was planning to play for the Crusaders, Richardson said, but subsequently was told she was not going to be able to play and enrolled at Carroll. Richardson and Lavender declined to specify why the senior did not re-enroll at Riverdale Baptist.

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Montrose Christian's Uche Echefu, the area's top basketball player, feels no pressure to make a decision on his college choice anytime soon.
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"We tried and we tried, but some things didn't go through, which forced me to go to Carroll, which isn't bad," said Lavender, who also said the school had asked for and received a waiver to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference rule that requires transfers to sit out a year before becoming eligible to play sports. "It's been pretty crazy for a while, but it all worked out for the better."

Although Lavender changed schools, it was Richardson who sent in her letter-of-intent.

"She's still my kid," Richardson said.

Other local players who signed this week included Paul VI Catholic forward Kendra King (Marshall) and guard Sara Vargas with High Point.

Keeping Up With Jones

Switching channels somewhat, but sticking with the prep school theme, Forestville football coach Charles Harley, his team narrowly missing out on a playoff berth, spent Sunday outside Hartford, Conn., watching a former player. Andre Jones, an All-Met defensive back at Forestville last season, is attending Avon Old Farms School to repeat his senior year and become eligible for college. Jones has scored 23 touchdowns in seven games this season, remains committed to Boston College and is getting an important experience, Harley said.

"When you go up there, it's a different world, totally," Harley said. "He's getting an education. Not just in the classroom, but off the field and the things he's opening himself up to that he never would have gotten here. The kid has never worn a tie before in his life. Now he's wearing shirt and tie every day. He was always a polite kid, but even his mannerisms have changed. We were blessed to be able to send him there."


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