When word came down that Herman Frazier would start at point guard last night, nobody panicked. Not his M.M. Washington teammates, not his coach and least of all the heady senior himself.
"There's no drop-off," he said.
While starting point guard and assist-leader Daquante Thompson served a one-game suspension for his involvement in an on-court altercation during Tuesday's Dunbar game, the Yellow Jackets didn't miss a beat last night against H.D. Woodson in a D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association quarterfinal.
Frazier scored nine points as M.M. Washington defeated the Warriors, 54-43, and advanced to the first DCIAA semifinal in the program's 15-year history, according to Coach Vaughn Jones.
"I knew I had to step up and be a leader, Frazier said. "I know as a point guard I've got control of the floor, and it's my job to get the team motivated."
Jones alleged that in the Yellow Jackets' game against Dunbar on Tuesday, Thompson was struck in the face by a Dunbar player and then ejected for verbally confronting the player, despite no physical retaliation on Thompson's part. DCIAA rules mandate a one-game suspension for any player ejected from the previous game, and the Yellow Jackets' appeal was rejected late yesterday afternoon.
"There was no reason to cry over it," Jones said before the game. "We felt we got a raw deal, but it's my job to get these kids focused and ready for tonight's game."
Frazier did his part, playing generally mistake-free basketball while letting the league's highest-scoring offense go to work. The Yellow Jackets (17-7) made eight three-pointers, including three during a pivotal second quarter in which they outscored the Warriors 18-6 and pushed their lead to 30-19.
Victor Brown led H.D. Woodson (12-12) with 13 points, but the early hole proved too much to overcome for the Warriors, who hit just one three-pointer.
"We knew they didn't have the shooters. That's why we played a zone -- so we could let them shoot and double-team" center Damion Harris, said Kevin Scott, who nailed three three-pointers and finished with 10 points.
In the girls' game, Brittany Hillard scored 31 points and Asiya Smith added 15 as No. 13 Theodore Roosevelt rolled past Ballou, 77-32.
M.M. Washington 54,
H.D. Woodson 43
Up Next: M.M. Washington faces No. 15 Ballou today at Coolidge in a DCIAA semifinal. Ballou has yet to lose to a Washington area opponent this season, but needed two overtimes to dispatch the Yellow Jackets on Jan. 17.
Up Next II:Theodore Roosevelt's girls face Anacostia today at Coolidge. The Rough Riders defeated Anacostia, 79-77, on Jan. 31.