The date of the Dunbar-Theodore Roosevelt girls' basketball game was incorrectly reported in yesterday's editions. The game will be played at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 10 at Roosevelt. (Published 1/1/03)

Eleanor Roosevelt received an early Christmas present -- a late entry into the IAABO Christmas tournament. The Raiders then made good by winning the tournament with a 51-46 victory over then-No. 3 Riverdale Baptist in the final.

"I knew it was going to happen," said Eleanor Roosevelt junior forward Andrea Wright, who had 20 points and 17 rebounds in a semifinal victory over Washington-Lee. "Every year we just kept getting better. To be one of the teams everybody's coming after, it feels a whole lot better."

The fifth-ranked Raiders (7-1) were on a 35-game losing streak when Coach Roderick Hairston took over five years ago. The program slowly has turned around and coaches and players agree this could be one of the school's best teams in years.

"The young people are starting to believe in themselves and each other," Hairston said. "Andrea has come through a lot of rough times with the program. She's seen the good and the bad and has been working extra hard to get to the good. [Kairsten Nunn] is one of the hardest workers, I think, in P.G. County and the state of Maryland."

Hairston said the Raiders were a "replacement team" in the tournament after Bishop McNamara pulled out. They won their first game against H.D. Woodson, 54-34, and held all three tournament opponents to under 50 points. Eleanor Roosevelt's only loss this season was to Oxon Hill, 59-57 on Dec. 17.

Not to be left out, Theodore Roosevelt also is having a successful start to the season. The eighth-ranked Rough Riders (9-0) won the Sherwood Invitational last week and they have outscored their opponents by an average of 23 points.

It will not take long for the Rough Riders to find out whether their New Year's is as profitable as their Christmas season was. Roosevelt plays No. 9 Dunbar (7-1), the defending D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association champion, on New Year's Day.

-- Heather A. Dinich

E. Roosevelt's Andrea Wright gets off a shot between Riverdale Baptist's Erica Pollock, left, and Xenia Stewart at the IAABO Christmas tournament.