As H.D. Woodson junior Clenteous McCoy III ambled up the court during the biggest moment of Friday’s D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association boys’ basketball championship game against Coolidge, he stared at the same zone defense that had given his team fits all night. But with the pressure mounting and his team’s magical run through conference play in jeopardy of ending, McCoy only had one thought on his mind.
“I just knew I was going to shoot it,” he said moments after No. 13 H.D. Woodson completed its 42-36 come-from-behind victory over No. 17 Coolidge in Northwest. “I was just confident.”
McCoy’s ensuing three-pointer with just more than two minutes remaining gave Woodson (26-5) its first lead since the first quarter and propelled the school to its first DCIAA title in boys’ basketball.
McCoy soon sealed the comeback effort with a steal to set up a fastbreak basket by junior Kavon Montgomery and two more free throws.
But McCoy (11 points) was the only player from either team to finish in double figures on an evening defined by defense. Woodson’s Antwan Walker, the DCIAA player of the year, had just one field goal. Coolidge’s Justin Route, one of the league’s top scorers, scored one point. His free throw gave the Colts a 33-27 advantage with around six minutes left.
A variety of zone defenses by Coolidge (22-7) befuddled Woodson for long stretches, unlike when the Warriors blew past the Colts, 80-59, in December. It appeared as if Woodson might once again fall just short of a championship.
The Warriors lost to Theodore Roosevelt in last year’s title game, which provided motivation throughout this winter. So when Coolidge went to center court to accept its runner-up trophy, Woodson senior Calvin Tibbs (eight points) looked down at his new “DCIAA champions” hat and shirt and began to take stock of what had just been accomplished.
“I just made history right now,” he said.
Anacostia freshman Mya Moya watched teammate Asisha Greene skip toward the sideline flexing her muscles to celebrate a banked-in three-pointer at the halftime buzzer and knew the night would end well.
“She do that a lot,” Moya said. “That’s when I know she’s on.”
Buoyed by Greene’s bravado, Moya looked like anything but a first-year player and took charge as Anacostia pulled away for a 58-45 victory over Wilson to capture the school’s first DCIAA girls’ basketball title since 2000.
Moya’s biggest sequence came with fewer than five minutes remaining after a three-pointer by Wilson’s Tuziah Hall (20 points) cut Anacostia’s lead to 42-38.
The freshman responded with a floater in traffic, forced a crucial turnover by the Tigers (17-9) and nailed two more free throws to give the Indians ample breathing room.
Greene, the DCIAA player of the year, finished with a game-high 21 points and was the catalyst when the Indians (20-9) burst out to a double-digit first-quarter lead. Moya (16 points) joined the fun once Greene’s buzzer-beater gave Anacostia the momentum back.
“I’ve done it twice [before], but this one was big,” Greene said. “We had to push it up more. We needed more. If we wanted to win, we needed more. And we wanted to win.”