Seton, H.D. Woodson geared up for City Title Game at Verizon Center

By Preston Williams
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 14, 2010

It used to be a given that the WCAC girls' basketball champion would win the City Title Game. It happened every season but two during a 15-year stretch that ended in 2007.

The sure thing in recent years, however, has been that H.D. Woodson will qualify for the annual event. The No. 10 Warriors, after snaring another DCIAA title, will make their fifth consecutive appearance when they face No. 5 Elizabeth Seton at 3 p.m. Sunday at Verizon Center. They could become the first team to win three consecutive City Titles.

"It would be huge," Warriors Coach Frank Oliver said. "It would speak volumes for the program and the legitimacy of what we've been doing over the last six years. It's good to be in a position to three-peat, but it would be even nicer if we just continued to maintain what we've been doing."

The game will feature two All-Mets from last season who are headed south next season for college -- H.D. Woodson point guard Ronika Ransford (Georgia) and Seton wing Tyaunna Marshall (Georgia Tech).

H.D. Woodson (21-5) has won more than 70 consecutive games in the DCIAA, and most of its nonleague games are out of the area, including four games (three of them losses) at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona. So the City Title Game is one of the Warriors' few opportunities to showcase themselves locally against a top team. H.D. Woodson's last local loss was to Notre Dame Academy more than two years ago.

The Warriors played only two games this season decided by single digits. Seton (23-8), the fourth different WCAC champion in as many years, played 10 games decided by such margins. The Roadrunners are vying for their first City Title since beating H.D. Woodson for the title in 2001.

Seton played Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the Bishop Walsh Invitational Tournament in Cumberland, so the City Title matchup will be the Roadrunners' fourth game in as many days. H.D. Woodson has been idle since March 6.

Seton won five games during the 2005-06 season, the season before Coach Jazz Perazic took over the program. So reaching the City Title Game is an accomplishment that was not even a realistic goal for many seasons.

"Oh my gosh, it means a lot," Perazic said. "It cannot be put into words. It's such a huge thing for the kids and their families. It's bragging rights and who knows what else."

Both teams are already looking ahead to next season. Oliver said that H.D. Woodson has been invited to Hawaii for a holiday tournament and perhaps will try to play in that event and the Nike tournament.

Perazic said she had strongly considered pursuing a college coaching job but instead intends to stay at Seton.

"I don't think I can [leave]," she said. "This is too fun."

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