The Sidwell Friends boys lost one Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference game in the regular season — on a buzzer-beater at St. Andrew’s in January. On Sunday in the conference tournament championship game, the Lions again had a chance to beat the clock and the Quakers.
“That was a huge block,” said Sidwell point guard Cameron Gillus, who had 13 points. “Jalen showed what he was capable of on the defensive end.”
Top-seeded Sidwell (24-4) works hard to stifle its opponents on defense, and its half-court press gave the second-seeded Lions (22-6) fits. The Quakers held Marcel Gardner of St. Andrew’s to six points, all of which came in the first quarter.
“We just have a tradition here of toughness, defense — we’re known for that,” Sidwell Coach Eric Singletary said. “The kids have an expectation of playing well and competing with anybody that goes on the floor with us.”
Sunday was the third straight championship game meeting between the teams. St. Andrew’s won in 2020 before Sidwell claimed the banner last year. Coming off the bench, Acaden Lewis led the Quakers with 14 points.
“Credit to St. Andrew’s for coming in with a great game plan,” Singletary said. “Against a conference opponent that knows you so well, it’s just about the players at that point. Our kids were making plays, and we just made a few more than they did.”
Freshman point guard Lawrence Brown paced No. 12 St. Andrew’s with 14 points, and senior guard Mason Jones added 11. The Lions held all-MAC forward Caleb Williams to five points, but the Sidwell junior still made an impact.
“I want to provide that leadership role as someone who’s been here before,” he said. “Making sure my voice is always constant, getting rebounds, getting stops when we need them — just doing anything else I can do when the shots aren’t falling.”
Next up for the Quakers: a chance to defend their D.C. State Athletic Association title.