H.D. Woodson junior Breonn Hughey swished a three-pointer 16 seconds into Monday’s D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association girls’ basketball final against Wilson, calmly dropping her head as ball met net to start back the other way.
The ninth-ranked Warriors were just getting started in a thorough 81-29 win at Coolidge, and it was hardly a surprise that Hughey, a third-year varsity player, provided the first blow on the way to the team’s eighth straight DCIAA title.
Hughey has represented a constant for Woodson, offsetting the graduation of an accomplished senior class, including All-Met Jephany Brown, and the departure of All-Met Coach of the Year Frank Oliver Jr. Still, the Warriors never missed a beat with their new-look lineup, resulting in another title celebration.
Rather than moving on to the City Title Game opposite WCAC champion St. John’s as in past years, Woodson will play in the inaugural DCSAA tournament, kicking off the eight-team event on Wednesday against Ballou.
“When [the newcomers] played for other teams, they already knew what we were about,” said Hughey, who scored a season-high 20 points. “When they came in they were ready to work hard, and we already work hard, so we’ve been all working hard together.”
Woodson (22-8) pushed the tempo from the start with senior Erin Blaine (17 points) often sneaking behind the Wilson defense for easy looks that built the advantage quickly.
Hughey, the team’s pass-first floor general, did her part in transition, but she also thrived in the halfcourt set, knocking down a season-high five three-pointers, all in the game’s opening 17 minutes. She’s no stranger to shining on the big stage after scoring 19 points in last year's City Title Game win over Good Counsel.
“That’s the one thing about Breonn: When she’s on, she’s on,” said Blaine, a Riverdale Baptist transfer. “I tell her all the time to take shots. She loves the assists, but she’s a shooter, really.”
Meantime, Wilson (20-12) never got comfortable on the offense end, falling behind by 25 points before the end of the first half. Woodson did not allow more than two field goals in any quarter. Junior Mercedes Saurez led the Tigers with 13 points.
Associate head coach Mike Gray led H.D. Woodson on Monday as he has since Coach Henry Anglin was placed on administrative leave in January . He’ll continue to lead the Warriors, who had won three of the past five City Title Games, as they try for a state title.
“Of course, the change [in the playoff format] is a little upsetting to us,” Gray said. “We really wanted to have the opportunity to play the City Title Game, but we’re excited about the state playoff championship, as well.”