Night to Remember for Montrose Christian

Adrian Bowie
Adrian Bowie's put-back to beat the buzzer gives Montrose Christian a memorable victory over Oak Hill, which was riding a 56-game winning streak. (Toni L. Sandys - The Washington Post)

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Tuesday, March 7, 2006

It took some time to clear the court, half an hour to clear the bleachers at Coolidge High and still plenty of fans lingered near the entrance to the gym after Montrose Christian stunned Oak Hill, 74-72, Saturday night, ending the Warriors' 56-game winning streak.

"It's the kind of game that people are going to be talking about for years to come," Montrose Christian Coach Stu Vetter said.

The victory elevated Montrose Christian to No. 1 in The Post's Top 20 and is expected to knock Oak Hill from the No. 1 ranking in USA Today. But there were plenty of other reasons for the game to be remembered.

The collection of players on the court was one of the most talented one will find at a high school game. Many observers believe that Montrose forward Kevin Durant and Oak Hill forward Mike Beasley, though only a junior, would be headed straight from high school to the NBA if not for the professional league's new age restriction. Oak Hill point guard Tywon Lawson, Vetter said, is as good at his position as any player Vetter has seen at the high school level.

And then there was the winning shot, delivered by junior forward Adrian Bowie on a putback as time expired.

Add it all up, Vetter said, and it was certainly one to remember.

"This game could become the benchmark for the future as far as great games go," Vetter said, noting DeMatha's 1965 victory that snapped the 71-game winning streak of Lew Alcindor's Power Memorial team. "The benchmark has always been the Power Memorial game, but that was a long time ago in a different era."

Whether the Montrose victory will be remembered the same way as DeMatha's remains to be seen. That 1965 game was before a capacity crowd at Maryland's Cole Field House; this past Saturday's was before 4,000 at Coolidge.

Still, there is little doubt that the game was one of the best in some time in the Washington area.

"We had a great [team] talk after the game, we realized they were part of something very special," said Vetter, whose team finished 20-2. "As the years go by, this game becomes even bigger you'll see these players go off and be great college stars as well as great NBA players. And people will say, 'Yeah, I was there.' "

-- Josh Barr


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