AAA Patriot Girls

Rest Goes a Long Way As Lee Tops the Titans

By Preston Williams
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 3, 2007

While the T.C. Williams girls' basketball players were in Atlanta for a holiday tournament, the Lee girls were in their own gym, polishing fundamentals, shooting free throws, watching film or amusing themselves with games of knockout and kickball.

That relatively sedate break seemed to make the Lancers even more ready for action when they finally had a game to play, as they demonstrated last night in a 76-69 Patriot District win at No. 17 T.C. Williams, which was unbeaten in the league last season.

It was Lee's first game since Dec. 22.

"I think [having the break] was better for us just to get prepared for them," said sophomore guard Priscilla Moseh, who finished with 17 points, 6 steals and 7 rebounds.

Lee (7-0, 3-0) built a 12-point halftime lead and stretched the cushion to 18 before weathering two Titans runs in the second half.

Each time, the Lancers -- who had lost by five and two points to T.C. Williams last year -- kept the Titans (7-4, 2-1) just out of reach. Having to sustain T.C. Williams's scoring bursts, mainly from sophomore guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt (36 points), made the victory even more gratifying.

"We told them that they're going to be in close games. Don't fold up the tent. Just stay in the course of what we do," Lee Coach Rudy Coffield said. "These girls have grown up."

Lee 76, No. 17 T.C. Williams 69 Double digits: Lee had four players in double figures: forward Kristine Mial (18 points), guard Priscilla Moseh (17), guard Kashei Hopkins (17) and forward Jay Babineaux (14). "We're not a one-horse show," Coach Rudy Coffield said. Patriot Games: The Patriot District now looks like at least a three-team race, with T.C. Williams, Lee and West Springfield vying for the title.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company