DCIAA Boys' Basketball

McKinley, Ballou Advance to DCIAA Boys' Final

By Alan Goldenbach
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 27, 2009

McKinley's Anthony Myers knew that as long as he didn't stop to think, there was just enough time to win the game.

After Anacostia tied the score in a D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association semifinal game with seven seconds left, Myers tried to get teammate Niarmah Harper's attention. It took Harper an extra second or two to notice. By then, Myers had the ball on the left sideline at midcourt and time was running out.

Myers took one more dribble and then, as he absorbed a hearty body shot in midair, let it fly from about 22 feet left of the key. The buzzer sounded a split second before Myers's shot swished through for a 57-54 victory.

"I was calling at him to get the ball into my hands," said Myers, who had a game-high 19 points. "I really wanted to drive, but he got it to me late, so all I had time to do was just try to get a shot off. It felt real good" as he let it go.

McKinley, which was closed for renovations from 1997 to 2004, will play for its first DCIAA championship since former All-Met Victor Page led the Trainers to the 1994 title. They will play tomorrow night at 8 against Ballou, which defeated Coolidge, 60-52, in the evening's second semifinal.

McKinley (17-5) struggled on offense for much of the game, as 6-foot-7 junior forward Antonio Jenifer had to sit out after drawing two technical fouls Wednesday in the Trainers' quarterfinal victory over Theodore Roosevelt. McKinley went without a field goal for 3 1/2 minutes, and faced its largest deficit, 50-40, with 2 1/2 minutes left.

Then the Trainers went to full-court pressure and scored 11 points in 57 seconds -- including nine by Harper -- to take a 51-50 lead. The Trainers still led by one after a pair of Anacostia free throws followed by a layup by Myers with 43 seconds left. Then Myers hit a free throw with 20 seconds left to make it a two-point game.

Anacostia drove downcourt and Travon Smith (15 points) put in a rebound to tie the score at 54 with seven seconds left. It was just enough time for Myers.

In the second game, Ballou led 12-1 after the first quarter but missed several opportunities to put away Coolidge (17-8) early. The Colts came back and tied it at 35 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

Ballou (20-9), though, then went on an 11-1 run over the next six minutes, started by a 16-foot jumper and a coast-to-coast layup by Eugene Watkins to seize control. Coolidge never got closer than seven the rest of the way. Ballou's Donte Thomas scored 13 of his game-high 19 points in the second half.

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