H.D. Woodson 49
Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Top-ranked Bishop McNamara turned in such a dominating performance in its 91-49 victory Friday night over H.D. Woodson that at halftime the Mustangs took a moment to enjoy the experience en route to winning their first City Title Game.
The Mustangs stood on the sidelines during intermission watching as the school's cheerleaders and dance team entertained the crowd at George Washington University's Smith Center. The players then returned to the court to score the most points ever in a City Title Game and complete the season with a 24-game winning streak. McNamara eclipsed the record set by O'Connell in 1991 when it defeated Coolidge, 80-52.
"It was about the experience because this is about the whole school and community," said suspended McNamara coach Michael Bozeman. "I wasn't worried sitting on the sidelines about whether they would stay focused. I knew they were focused. This is the best basketball team in the area."
H.D. Woodson simply could not contain the area's most potent offense, which entered averaging an area-high 75 points per game. The Mustangs took advantage early by forcing nine turnovers to take a 19-9 lead at end of the first quarter.
McNamara opened the second quarter with the same intensity, and closed the first-half with a commanding 41-18 advantage. Sophomore center Iman McFarland paced the Mustangs with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. Senior forward Kalika France added 10 points and junior forward Antelia Parrish and junior center Chauntise Wright finished with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
"I knew it was going to be tough," said Woodson Coach Bob Headen, whose team was making a record ninth City Title appearance. "We knew that they would run and try to tire us out. The only thing we could do was to try and slow them down. They are a very talented team. We got beat by a good team. But I thought we had a great season."
The loss marked the end to a remarkable run for the 13th-ranked Warriors, who lost six of their first 12 games. But Woodson put together a string of nine straight victories, including a 54-53 victory over previously undefeated Theodore Roosevelt, to claim its 17th District public schools championship.
The Warriors were led by senior guard Shaunta Richardson and Shameka Lee, who scored 13 points each. Senior forward Jameka White added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
But the evening belonged to McNamara. Since taking over the program four years ago, Bozeman's goal was to create a powerhouse. For the past two seasons, McNamara shocked some of the top teams in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, but failed to advance to the league championship.
This season, the Mustangs captured both the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title and the Bishop Walsh Tournament championship in Cumberland, Md., last weekend with 20-point victories over No. 11 St. John's. They did so without their coach after he was suspended for the remainder of the season for violating rules by scheduling too many games.
The Mustangs also withstood the loss of three players, who quit the team early in the season.
"This is my first championship, and I want to enjoy every moment," said France, who arrived at McNamara in Bozeman's inaugural season and endured a 15-17 campaign. "There were tears in my eyes because I was so happy that finally we did this."
Added senior guard Genet Moore: "We just wanted to end this season on the right note. We've been through so much as a team that a lot of people don't know about."