No. 2 Good Counsel glides into the Abe Pollin City Title Game against No. 5 H.D. Woodson on Tuesday night at Verizon Center boasting one of the top trios ever in Washington Catholic Athletic Conference girls’ basketball — senior wing Faith Randolph, junior point guard Lindsey Spann and junior forward Amanda Fioravanti.
The WCAC is known for cranking out college players and top-caliber teams, but it is unusual for one team to boast this kind of talent at three positions at the same time. All three were first-team all-WCAC selections, the first such trio for Coach Tom Splaine in his 11 seasons at the Olney school. All three average between 15 and 18 points per game, and all three shoot 70 percent or better from the free throw line.
“I get that comment from college coaches consistently, just on how tough it is to stop all three of them,” said Splaine, whose team was the first in league history to go 21-0 in WCAC play.
Stopping, or at least limiting, those three will be the objective for seven-time defending D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association champion H.D. Woodson (25-5), which won City Titles in 2008 and 2009, the latter over Good Counsel (30-4). The teams scrimmaged in November.
Any of Good Counsel’s three standouts easily could have wound up elsewhere. Virginia signee Randolph lives near Good Counsel in the Magruder district and considered attending Holy Cross. Fioravanti, who lives in Frederick in the Tuscarora school zone, visited St. John’s and Holy Cross. Spann, whose public school would be High Point or Laurel, considered McNamara and Pallotti before deciding on Good Counsel.
“We work on feeding off each other and having great chemistry with each other,” said Randolph, the WCAC player of the year and the only senior on the team to get significant playing time. “We’ve talked a lot — where we want the ball, where we do best on offense, helping each other out on defense. Just talking to each other more has helped us to know where we do best on the court. We kind of fit more together.”
Best friends Fioravanti and Spann are being recruited by some colleges as a package deal, but when they entered Good Counsel, they were only loosely acquainted from the AAU circuit.
“We didn’t know each other that well,” Fioravanti said, “but we knew somehow we could be the best we could be together.”
“Honestly, I didn’t know how good we could be,” Spann said. “I knew we all had potential and we always worked hard and pushed each other. With that potential and that drive, we knew we could do something big.”
What impresses Splaine is not only the trio’s ability but their attention to detail. Before or after practice or during a break in a workout, they might put in extra time on footwork or some other skill to enhance their games.
“They’re really trying to practice perfection,” said Splaine, whose team has reached six of the past eight WCAC finals, winning four. “I think it’s how they’re wired, and I think they’ve been great for each other. I’ve had some really hard-working teams, but I haven’t had a team that’s stayed this focused for this long. That’s really a credit to what they’ve done individually, and what they’re pushing each other to do.”