By James Wagner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 6, 2011; 11:20 PM
On Sunday afternoon in Northeast Washington, two starkly different histories converged on the basketball court. In only its fourth year as a school and second playing varsity sports, Don Bosco Cristo Rey was competing in the longest running annual high school basketball tournament in the D.C. area, the 64th Saint Anselm's Abbey School Invitational.
Behind its athletic front line and size advantage, it was the new kids that continued to write their school's new history, convincingly knocking off host Saint Anselm's, 63-45, in the tournament final - their season finale.
"It was our goal from freshman year to put our name on the map," said senior Sankun Barjolo, who finished with 13 points, five rebounds and the tournament MVP trophy. "We're the new school and new kids on the block and we felt like this was the tournament that we could possibly win and put our name out there so everybody will know that Don Bosco, we're here to play with competition."
As a new school that opened in 2007, Don Bosco (18-20) has had to play independent of a conference. They played each of the schools in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. They even played regional power, top-ranked Montrose Christian twice this season - both losses for the Wolfpack. But in those games, Don Bosco players grew.
"Our guys, they're seasoned," Coach Frank Simpson said. "They play a lot of games and played against a lot of good competition. They felt they should have been a little more competitive in those games so when we come out and play games like this, we try to make sure we play Don Bosco basketball."
Don Bosco erased a 9-0 deficit with a 19-0 run that ended early in the second quarter, giving them a lead they never relinquished. Early on, 6-foot-7 sophomore Emmanuel Omogbo (12 points, 10 rebounds) proved too much for Saint Anselm's (19-13), which has won the most tournament titles with 19. John Hamm led the Panthers with 16 points.
In the second half, seniors Katrell Henry (team-high 18 points) and Barjolo carried the scoring, combining for 24 points in the final two quarters. With the win, Don Bosco claimed its first tournament title in its first appearance.
"Everybody just wanted to work hard and just win," Henry said. "We came in underrated so we wanted to prove to people that we can compete with anybody else."
|Don Bosco||ST. ANSELM'S|