Chrissy Reese and championship style girls high school basketball are synonymous.
Reese, in her second season as head coach at Georgetown Visitation, helped start the Holy Cross girls team towards an area record 112-straight victories. The Silver Spring school had won 59 of that string before Reese graduated.
Now Reese has Georgetown Visitiation unbeaten at 13-0 this season after a 16-2 campaign last year.
While playing collegiately at Virginia, Reese learned to cope with nagging injuries. She also learned that gaining victories in the Atlantic Coast Conference was a bit more difficult than at Holy Cross, where she averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds and was named metropolitan area player of the year as a senior.
"When I started out, I had my ups and downs," she recalled. "I had ankle surgery my sophomore and junior year, but I didn't miss many games, just some postseason action my junior year."
Playing at forward, Reese had her best season statistically as a sophomore, when she averaged 15 points and eight rebounds.
During summer breaks at Virginia, Reese would return to the D.C. area, and work as a counselor at Holy Cross, and at basketball camps and summer leagues. It was during that time that Reese tutored two players who are now starters for Georgetown Visitation: Peggy Judge and Missy Bigelow.
Reese graduated from Virginia in 1983, with degrees in psychology and sociology. A career as a girls basketball coach was far from her mind.
"I had job opportunities (after graduation)," said Reese, who took a position as a leasing contractor for the Municipal Leasing Company in McLean. "I'm really into that," she said. "I don't work full-time coaching; I was contacted by the fathers of two girls that play for me now."
"They had kept in touch with me when I was in high school and when I coached their daughters (in summer camps)," explained Reese. "They followed me in college and then they contacted me when the (Visitation) position became open."
During her first year as coach of the all-girls (enrollment 500) preparatory school, Reese received help from her father.
Bob Reese Sr., had been assistant basketball coach at Georgetown University (1964-68); head coach at Catholic University (1968-70); and head coach at O'Connell High School (1973-75).
"I got a lot of help from my dad," she said. "I went to him (last year) and I still go to him all the time. If there is anyone who helped me, it's him."
"I'm really happy for her," said Bob Reese, who has been retired from coaching for 10 years. "It's (coaching) a lot of fun for her and the girls. It's nice for them to win, but mainly everybody tries hard. When the season's over, that's it; there's no pressure."
Bob Reese enjoys retaining his coaching emeritus status, but he realizes his limits, and will not wander beyond them. "I go to a lot of practices," he said, "but I try to stay away from the games. I get too nervous. I can't play, and I can't coach; I can't take it."
Maureen Reese, Chrissey's sister, is a senior forward for the Tigers. She finds no problem performing under the watchful eyes of her sister.
"She's a heady player -- smart and a good passer," said Chrissy.
"I can actually talk to her better, because she is my sister," explained Maureen. "I can be more honest with her and the only problem I might have is that I sometimes treat her more like my sister than my coach. But I think (looking at her as a coach) she is great. She has a lot of spirit and makes us all pull together as a team."
"She really didn't look to be a coach," said Bob Reese. "But she has a lot of good leadership qualities and she's strong enough to do the right things at the right times."
Chrissy Reese has also received coaching pointers from her former high school coach, Bill Sheahan (currently women's coach at Mount St. Mary's) and Catholic Coach Jack Bruen, who was player-captain of her father's team at Catholic.
Two memorable games for Reese were, surprisingly, losses -- both to her alma mater Holy Cross. "We lost both games by a total of three points," she said. "I was feeling a little sentimental at first, but once the game started, it was just another game."
This season, highlights include victories over Holy Cross, La Reine and a 42-41 squeaker over Immaculata. The victory over Immaculata was clinched when Judge made two free throws with the Tigers trailing by a point with one second to play.
"She (Coach Reese) just said, 'Concentrate. If you miss, then it won't be your fault. The whole team wins and loses,' " recalled Judge.
"She's a great coach," said Bigelow, the team's leading scorer with 20-point average. "She's kept us well-disciplined and she's changed the team around."
The 5-foot-9 Bigelow, point guard Maura Wach, 5-foot-9 Judge, 5-foot-11 Maureen Reese and 6-3 Sara Strike hope to continue their winning ways and capture their second consecutive Independent School League tournament.
As for Reese, she wants to continue winning as long as she is coaching. "Right now I'm into my business," she explained. "I'd like to try for a career and (continue) coaching on the side. I might like to coach at a college some day, but right now high schools are fun."