The Washington Post

Girls’ basketball: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Tolu Omokore, Kaila Charles help turn back Bowie

Few of the girls’ basketball teams in Prince George’s 4A have the offensive firepower or defensive aggressiveness of No. 5 Eleanor Roosevelt. And none of the others have center-forward Tolu Omokore.

Thursday night against Bowie, one of those conference rivals that just might have the size and skill to derail the Raiders , the 6-foot Omokore established herself as a difference maker, snagging 11 offensive rebounds in a characteristically relentless inside effort to help her team withstand a furious fourth-quarter charge in a 58-50 win.

“Tolu dominated as usual,” Roosevelt Coach Delton Fuller said. “She’s averaging 15 to 20 [rebounds] a game. She’s just dominating.”

Neither team shot well from the floor or the free throw line, so the second-chance points Omokore provided proved vital to Roosevelt (4-0, 4-0 Prince George’s 4A), both in building a 13-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter, and in hanging on when the Bulldogs (3-3, 2-2) cut that lead to one with just more than three minutes to go.

When that lead collapsed, sophomore guard Kaila Charles held the Bulldogs off almost single-handedly, seizing the game by sinking three straight shots in less than a minute — none without a defender in her face, one with three charging her.

“I was just trying to motivate us to take the lead,” Charles said. “Be calm, but still score.”

Charles finished with 21 points, driving the Raiders’ scoring attack. When the offense sputtered, Omokore’s work got it going again. Asked her secret to tracking down caroms, the junior laughed. “I don’t know. . . . I just jump.”

“She’s like a magnet,” Charles said. “It makes us happy [when Omokore gets a rebound] because we get another chance to score.”

Omokore’s presence was all the more glaring because of Bowie’s shooting struggles through the first three quarters. But the Bulldogs, generally a strong outside shooting team, stayed close enough to make a charge — until Charles and Omokore turned the Bulldogs back.

“We all know her game,” Bowie Coach Chris Ferguson said. “Half the girls on our team played with her in the summertime. They know: All she’s going to do is rebound.”

Chelsea Janes covers the Nationals for The Washington Post.
Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.