Team captains Ben Dizard, George Marshall and Delano Meriwether held the championship plaque high. Then they gathered with the rest of the Sidwell Friends players and coaches in a gymnasium corner to take one more commemorative photo.
It has been quite some time since the Sidwell boys' basketball team had a moment like this to cherish. Sidwell already had earned the title by going 12-0 during the regular season in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference. Last night, the Quakers added to their list of achievements by winning the league's first postseason tournament.
Dizard scored 13 points and Marshall added 11 as Sidwell held on to beat Flint Hill, 38-36, at Georgetown Day.
"Last year, I happened to look up and see all the banners in gymnasium and I assumed [the basketball team] had a couple," said Duane Simpkins, Sidwell's second-year coach and a former University of Maryland standout. "All the way in the corner was a discolored one from 1970. This is really rewarding. These kids haven't won much of anything in basketball."
Simpkins is hoping to build Sidwell (18-9) into one of the area's better private school programs. The Quakers beat Bullis earlier this season and lost to No. 19 Bishop McNamara by two points. They held the lead throughout last night's game, and baskets by Ricardo Rush and Dizard made it 38-33 with 2 1/2 minutes left.
Flint Hill got within 38-36 on a three-pointer by Jawuan Lockhart, but the Huskies (15-14) were unable to score on their final four possessions.
Winning a title "really hasn't sunk in yet," said Marshall, a senior forward. "Maybe it will when I go off to college and come back and see that big MAAC banner."
Sidwell Friends 38
Flint Hill 36
Long Time Coming: Sidwell Friends went 12-0 during the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference to win its first outright league title ever in boys' basketball.
Two Men Down:Flint Hill played without leading scorer Calvin Croskey (ankle) and guard Emani Fenton, a Cornell football recruit who missed the game because of a death in the family.