All season, H.D. Woodson's girls basketball team and its coach, Bob Headen, have been criticized for what appears to be running up the score.
The No. 1-ranked Warriors (26-2), winners of their fourth straight Interhigh League title, have beaten league opponents by an average of 40 points and have surpassed 90 points eight times. Their most one-sided victory was over Anacostia, 97-9.
"It might look like we're running it up but my kids can play," said Headen, whose team had won 49 of 50 games before this season. "I only keep 10 girls and they get a lot of exposure. They attend summer camps and play good competition and they played in two summer leagues last year. My subs play and I can't tell them not to score. They practice all week, too."
Rumors circulated that Headen had received a mandate from the Interhigh athletic director's office to cut down on his victory margin. But Headen and Athletic Director Otto Jordan said that was not true.
"People have told me I was winning too big and I invited Mr. Jordan to the games," Headen said. "He came and saw what I was talking about."
Jordan said he had not sent a letter regarding Woodson's domination of the other 10 league opponents.
"Woodson has an excellent team and as long as the other players perform, it's not embarrassing for them to win by big margins," he said. "All of his players are talented."
Headen says he might leave in players more than he should so they can obtain individual goals, such as winning the area scoring title or attaining double figures.
"It isn't fair to them to come out so early because we're ahead," Headen said. "They work hard, too. They should be able to win some individual honors."
The combination of Woodson's superiority and lack of talent or preparation by many other Interhigh teams are the major reasons for the one-sided scores. The Warriors have had to go elsewhere to find competition.
Woodson defeated ranked teams Wheaton and Southern and lost to a good Crossland team by two points in the IAABO Christmas tournament. Woodson since has beaten Crossland, 84-23. Woodson also easily defeated ranked teams Gar-Field and Seton, as well as Walbrook, a good Baltimore team.
The Warriors were brought back to earth last week when they lost, 78-61, to the nation's top-ranked team, Towson Catholic. The Warriors' best player, junior center Tandreia Green, hurt her ankle in the second period and didn't return. She had 12 points before departing and Woodson led, 32-29, at the half.
"If Tandreia hadn't gotten hurt, it might have made a difference," Headen said. "They have a very, very good senior team but I don't think they are 17 points better than us. We're inviting Towson to come over here and play us next year."
The bad news for the Interhigh League is that Woodson, which should win another league tournament next week, has four juniors -- Green and Kammi Brown included -- and four sophomores among its 10 players.