Guthrie Gets Chance To Make 'Statement'

By B.J .Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, April 10, 2009

Rafiel Guthrie quietly shrugged his way off the court following his District All-Stars' 113-104 victory over the Suburban All-Stars in the preliminary game before last night's Capital Classic at Bender Arena.

"I was trying to make a statement," said Guthrie, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior from Cardozo. "I just want to follow my dream and play college basketball."

Guthrie, who led the DCIAA in scoring with 28.2 points this season, might have played the last game in his basketball career last night.

Named the most valuable player in the D.C. City Title game in both 2006 and 2007, Guthrie has failed to garner looks from top Division I powers, but has tepid interest from Morgan State, Delaware State, Hampden Sydney and Virginia State.

"It's hard to get looks at that school," said Guthrie. "That's the problem, people just don't know me."

Last night, Guthrie seized the moment on a bigger stage as he shot 8 for 11 from the field, 1 for 1 from the three-point line and added six rebounds to his team-high 17 points.

He scored 11 points as he led the District All-Stars back from a 58-50 halftime deficit.

Potomac School senior P.J. Miller put away a bevy of early breakaways to put the District up 10-3, but Lake Braddock senior Dominic Morra organized a patient attack and distributed no-look passes that sparked a 12-3 run to put Suburban up, 40-34, midway through the first 20-minute half.

Morra, a senior who led the area in scoring with 29.7 points per game, finished with a game-high five assists.

C.D Hylton's Keith Mitchell converted most of Morra's offerings en route to his 17 points.

"I just feel like we proved something," said Mitchell, a 6-6, 230-pounder who also had 10 rebounds. "That the competition out by us is just as good as it is out here."

Tied at 91 with less than seven minutes left, the District All-Stars rode seven scorers as it closed the game on a 22-13 run.

Bishop McNamara's Lawrence Smith led the game-clinching charge with six of his 14 points.

"We just wanted to play physical and go for the win," said Smith, a North Carolina A&T-bound senior. "This is just an honor to be here. I didn't even expect to play in this game."

Miller (14 points) helped put the game away as he continued to take advantage of fast breaks, earning "quick baskets," he said. "My main thing was to get my hands on a lot of balls and try to push the pace for my team."

Dunbar's Dartanion Lesane (10 points), Potomac School's Brian Freeman (10 points), McKinley Tech's Anthony Myers (11 points) all scored in double figures, while Episcopal's Given Kalipinde added eight points and helped control the pace for the District All-Stars.

The Suburban All-Stars got strong efforts from Lee's Frank Holloway (16 points), T.C. Williams's Ed Jenkins (13 points) and Paint Branch's Stephen Griffin (10 points).

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