City Title Game preview: DeMatha takes on Theodore Roosevelt and St. John's faces H.D. Woodson
Boys: No. 4 DeMatha (25-7) vs. No. 20 Theodore Roosevelt (25-5)
How they got here: After the two teams tied for first place in the regular season, DeMatha beat Gonzaga, 51-48, to win its third consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title. Theodore Roosevelt used buzzer-beaters in its final two games to win the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association title for the second time in four years, including a 62-60 victory over Eastern in the tournament final.
What to watch for: DeMatha has had its ups and downs all season, often within each game. But the Stags appear to be playing better of late as they chase their third consecutive City Title. The tandem of forward Mikael Hopkins and center BeeJay Anya can dominate inside. Add forward Jerami Grant to the mix and DeMatha can shut things down inside defensively, averaging more than 10 blocks per game. At 6 feet 4 and 220 pounds, senior forward Devin Gallman was a unique force in the DCIAA. Gallman can bring the ball up against pressure and attack the basket. The key for the Rough Riders, though, is point guard Ezell Starks, whose quickness and pinpoint passing often make opponents forget that he can also consistently make jump shots.
Girls: No. 3 St. John's (29-2) vs. H.D. Woodson (18-11)
How they got here: St. John's defeated No. 8 Good Counsel, 62-54, on Feb. 28 to win its first WCAC title since 2004. H.D. Woodson defeated Coolidge, 75-31, on Feb. 26 for its sixth straight DCIAA title.
What to watch for: St. John's weathered a tough conference schedule behind junior guard Mooriah Rowser (15.7 ppg) and sophomore Lindsay Allen (13.7), who has a penchant for big scoring outputs in important games (nearly 19 ppg against ranked opponents). Appearing in its sixth straight City Title game, H.D. Woodson matches up well with the Cadets with one exception: 6-foot junior forward Jephany Brown, a strong rebounder who has scored 20 points or more in nine games.