Weekend walk-through

By Josh Barr, Matt Brooks, Alan Goldenbach and Paul Tenorio
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, February 17, 2011; 6:05 PM

Top-ranked Montrose Christian earlier this week cancelled its game scheduled for Saturday night against 18th-ranked Middleburg Academy because the Mustangs will not play teams that use reclassified players, according to Coach Stu Vetter.

"It is our school policy not to reclassify players and we're not going to play schools that do," Vetter said.

Earlier this season, though, Montrose Christian played Arlington Country Day of Jacksonville, Fla., whose roster includes well-traveled forward Jordan Goodman, listed as a junior. Goodman two years ago played at Seneca Valley when he was a sophomore.

Vetter said he was unaware that Arlington Country Day had reclassified players and believed that since the school was ranked by USA Today and ESPN that they did not.

Vetter added that the policy is very difficult to maintain. For instance, Goodman was attending a school in Dallas when the game between Montrose and Arlington Country Day was scheduled, then later transferred to the Jacksonsville, Fla., school.

Also, in the past two seasons, Montrose Christian played D.C. public charter schools Cesar Chavez, KIMA and Friendship Collegiate, which have had reclassified players.

Middleburg first-year coach Gary Hall said the schools had discussed the situation last month, but nothing was resolved until this week. Hall said he was under the impression that his team did not have any reclassified players because the transfers who are repeating a year of school this year have not reached their fifth year of high school.

"I thought when they entered their fifth year of high school, that's when they become reclassified kids," Hall said.

Montrose Christian has scheduled a game against Cesar Chavez - which does not have any reclassified players this season, according to Vetter - for Saturday night instead. ...

Some former local standouts who transferred out of the area will play in the Presidential Hoopfest on Saturday at Wise High, including last season's All-Met Player of the Year, guard Quinn Cook.

Cook, a Duke recruit who transferred from DeMatha to Oak Hill Academy, will play in the headline event of the four-game showcase, as the Warriors (30-3) play Arlington Country Day of Jacksonville, Fla., at 7:30 p.m. Arlington Country Day is led by Rutgers recruit Jordan Goodman, a junior forward who previously attended Wise, Seneca Valley and Progressive Christian. Arlington Country Day is 19-1, its only loss coming to top-ranked Montrose Christian in overtime.

Saturday's first game has Riverdale Baptist playing Blue Ridge at 3, followed by Princeton Day against Our Savior New American at 4:30. Princeton Day went nearly four weeks between games as Coach Van Whitfield was hospitalized with pneumonia, according to assistant coach Mike White. Led by standout sophomore Chris Thomas, the Storm beat Silver Oak Academy, 91-27, on Wednesday night in their first game since Jan. 21.

"They were definitely anxious to play," White said.

At 6 p.m., O'Connell plays Lincoln of New York City.

Northern Region

Though not all the seeds have been determined in the Northern Region basketball tournament, the next two days could have a major impact on the paths that some of the area favorites face in their hopes for a trip to states.

Several of the region's top teams reside in two districts - the Patriot and Concorde - and those two teams meet in the first round of the district tournament. Thursday night's game will dictate the first of those seedings, but whether Herndon, the Concorde District regular season champion, wins the tournament or not could impact its path significantly.

A tournament win would give the Hornets the top overall seed, and a match-up with the Patriot's fourth seed, with a second-round match-up against the Liberty's second place team - the loser of the Langley-South Lakes final - or the third place National District team, Yorktown. If the Hornets lose Thursday in the semifinals or Friday in the finals, they would move to the other side of the bracket and play the third-place Patriot team and the winner of Langley-South Lakes or Falls Church.

While the Patriot and Concorde District finals have not yet been determined pending Thursday night's results, the National and Liberty championships are set.

In the National, Mount Vernon and Edison, the top two seeds, advanced and will square off in Arlington at Washington-Lee.

The Majors are led by district player of the year Jesse Konadu, a 5-11 guard who has proven capable of taking the team on his shoulders in almost any capacity. Edison, meanwhile, is led by 6-7 junior center Matt Murphy, who is averaging 13.6 points per game, and 6-4 junior forward Tyrone Mackall (12.8 ppg.).

The two teams split their two games this season, with both winning at home.

In the Liberty District, third-seeded South Lakes upset the two-seed, McLean, on a lay up from guard Darius Smith with 1.6 seconds remaining and will face top-seeded Langley for the tournament title.

The Saxons downed South Lakes both times they met this season and have been led by senior David Adams (13.7 ppg.), junior Daniel Dixon (12.3 ppg.) and junior Austin Vasiliadis (10.1 ppg.).

DCIAA playoff set

The D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association regular season ended Thursday night, and teams are preparing for next week's playoffs. The top four teams in both the East and West divisions qualify for the quarterfinals. Each game will be held next Wednesday night at the site of the higher seed.

On the boys' side, Coolidge and Theodore Roosevelt have locked up the top two seeds in the West Division, while Spingarn and Eastern are the East's top two.

Despite struggling against some tough out-of-town opponents, H.D. Woodson's girls are still overwhelming favorites to claim their sixth consecutive title. The Warriors have not lost to a DCIAA opponent since a 46-44 loss to Anacostia on Jan. 25, 2006. Meantime, Coolidge's girls won the West Division title.

The DCIAA semifinals will be Feb. 24, with the boys' and girls' alternating games throughout the afternoon and evening at Coolidge. The finals will be Feb. 26, also at Coolidge.


Friday and Saturday are the last days for teams to boost their portfolios prior to Sunday's Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association regional playoff draw. The teams with the four best records (excluding holiday tournaments or county championship games) earn the top four seeds with the remaining slots determined by random draw.

In Montgomery 4A, three-time defending 4A champion Springbrook (19-2) will get the 4A West's top seed, followed by Magruder (17-3). Churchill is locked into the third seed, though the Bulldogs (15-5) have lost three in a row, after winning 13 straight. They visit Seneca Valley (9-11) on Friday.

The last seed is up for grab between Gaithersburg, Paint Branch, and Wootton. Gaithersburg has been playing well, winning seven of its last nine, including a 49-43 victory over Wootton last Tuesday. Senior forward Kris Westphall had 16 points for the Trojans.

Gaithersburg is at Rockville Friday, while Paint Branch hosts Northwood and Wootton visits Blake.

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