The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Boys’ basketball Top 20: Paul VI affirms No. 1 ranking with dramatic WCAC title win

Dug McDaniel kisses the championship trophy after Paul VI defeated Bishop McNamara for the WCAC boys’ basketball championship. (Craig Hudson/For the Washington Post)
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The Paul VI Panthers, a national power with a legacy of success, had their season defined by a freshman Monday night. In the closing seconds of a tense WCAC title game, with the Panthers trailing Bishop McNamara by one, Jaquan Womack laid the ball in the hoop and carved his team’s name into area basketball history.

The Panthers are one of two champions to emerge from a hectic week. In the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference, Sidwell Friends completed a dominant, undefeated league campaign by throttling St. Andrew’s on Sunday in the title game. The Quakers lived up to their reputation as the area’s best defensive team by holding the Lions to 38 points.

In Virginia, the state quarterfinals are set and will feature nine local programs: Battlefield, Hayfield, Fairfax, Loudoun County, Loudoun Valley, Patriot, Riverside, South Lakes and Washington-Liberty.

With the Maryland playoffs also in full swing, legacies are being defined every day on the hardwood.

1. Paul VI (26-4) Last ranked: 1

The Panthers cemented their status as the WCAC’s best team by topping McNamara, 43-42, on Monday night.

2. Sidwell Friends (26-1) LR: 2

With Sunday’s win in the MAC championship game, the Quakers completed an undefeated season in the private school conference.

3. Bishop McNamara (21-4) LR: 3

The Mustangs saw a dominant WCAC season end with heartbreak against Paul VI.

4. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (18-3) LR: 4

The Saints were off this week as they celebrated their Interstate Athletic Conference tournament victory and looked ahead to the start of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association bracket.

5. Hayfield (29-0) LR: 6

The seemingly unstoppable Hawks won the Virginia Class 6 Region C bracket, beating Fairfax by 37 points in the region title game.

6. DeMatha (18-7) LR: 5

The Stags saw Sunday’s WCAC semifinal against No. 3 Bishop McNamara slip away in the second half.

7. Wilson (26-4) LR: 8

The D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association champions will be the No. 2 seed in this week’s D.C. State Athletic Association tournament.

8. Gonzaga (17-8) LR: 7

The Eagles couldn’t keep up with No. 1 Paul VI in the WCAC semifinals, falling by seven.

9. Patriot (25-0) LR: 10

The Pioneers beat rival Battlefield for a fourth time in the Virginia Class 6 Region B title game.

10. National Christian (30-9) LR: 9

The Eagles dropped two of their three games against national opponents at the Big Shots Prep Nationals event in South Carolina.

11. South Lakes (23-2) LR: 11

After winning the Class 6 Region D bracket, the Seahawks will face Fairfax on Friday in the Virginia state quarterfinals.

12. Archbishop Spalding (24-10) LR: 12

The Cavaliers fell to Mount St. Joseph in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association semifinals.

13. Churchill (21-1) LR: 13

After winning the inaugural Montgomery County championship, the Bulldogs opened the playoffs with a win over Walter Johnson.

14. Bowie (15-1) LR: 14

After a first-round bye, the Bulldogs began the Maryland postseason with a win over C.H. Flowers.

15. Westlake (19-2) LR: 16

The Wolverines defeated St. Charles in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference championship game before opening the Maryland playoffs with a win over Patuxent.

16. Douglass (16-3) LR: 18

The Eagles earned a thrilling overtime victory against Eleanor Roosevelt in the Prince George’s County championship game.

17. Episcopal (16-7) LR: 17

After finishing as the runner-up in the IAC tournament, the Maroon will be the No. 4 seed in this week’s VISAA tournament.

18. Eleanor Roosevelt (13-5) LR: NR

Four of the Raiders’ five losses came against ranked opponents.

19. Bethesda Chevy-Chase (17-3) LR: NR

The Barons topped rival Whitman in the second round of the Maryland playoffs.

20. Bishop O’Connell (17-12) LR: NR

The Knights finished the regular season with an upset of No. 1 Paul VI but fell short in the WCAC quarterfinals against No. 8 Gonzaga.

Dropped out: No. 15 St. Charles, No. 19 South County, No. 20 St. John’s

On the bubble: Friendship Tech Prep, Loudoun County, St. Charles, St. John’s, Thomas Stone