The 37-36 victory that ended DeMatha's 38-game winning streak put St. John's in excellent position to gain a share of first place in the second half Metro Conference race, and possibly force a three-way playoff.
Under this year's Metro format, the seven teams are playing two six-game halves. If the same team wins both halves, it will represent the league in the city championship game at Cole Field House on March 10 against the Interhigh League winner. If different teams win each half, they will meet in a playoff, with the loser meeting the Interhigh runner-up in a preliminary game to the championship.
DeMatha won the first half with a 6-0 record, one game ahead of St. John's and two in front of Gonzaga. St. John's victory last week gave the Cadets a 2-1 record in the second half. Gonzaga was 2-0 before Tuesday night's meeting with DeMatha (1-1 in the second half).
The possibility of a three-way tie in the second half exists, which would necessitate all three participating in a special playoff.
Wilson, the defending Interhigh tournament winner and one of the teams picked to finish among the leaders this season, is putting on a late rush to make the playoffs.
The Tigers were 5-5 overall before losing three straight league games. They have come back, however, behind senior all-Met Chris Cheeks (24.1 points), to win three of their last four games, including a three-point decision over Eastern last week. The loss was to defending league champion Dunbar, 59-58.
At 5-6 in league play (8-9 overall) going into this week, Wilson is sixth in the 11-team Interhigh. The top eight teams will make the tournament. The winner (or runner-up if the league champion wins) will play the Metro Conference runner-up in the preliminary game to the city title game.
Because of the bad weather, the Interhigh League teams must average three times a week the next three weeks to finish before the tournament begins March 5.
Spingarn, Coolidge, Eastern and H.D. Woodson appear to have made the playoffs. Wilson and Anacostia need only split their remaining games to make the tournament. That leaves Ballou, Cardozo, McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt seeking the eighth spot.
The Interhigh League girls also have games to make up. H.D. Woodson is far and away the class of the league and should easily repeat as league and tournament champion. Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson, Ballou, Eastern and Coolidge should make the playoffs.