Part of the plan for H.D. Woodson guards Georgianna Gilbeaux and Breonn Hughey was to linger in the corners during the inaugural D.C. State Athletic Association girls’ basketball championship game, where the No. 8 Warriors thought there might be open shots against the Georgetown Day defense.
Those shots made the difference in H.D. Woodson’s 60-42 win on Monday night at Verizon Center.
During a stretch of about 1 minute 40 seconds that bridged the third and fourth quarters, Gilbeaux hit two three-pointers from the right corner and Hughey added another to help increase a four-point lead to 17.
“We love the corner,” said H.D. Woodson assistant coach Mike Gray, still soaking wet from the water-bucket treatment he received from his team upon entering the locker room after the game. “Depending on how we operate the offense, it’s wide open for us. It’s one of our sweet spots, if you will.”
“When you swing the ball fast, and you’re in the corner, the corner was open,” Hughey said. “We like shooting in the corners and we practiced to make our threes in the corner. In warmups we tried to shoot close and get used to the basket and then we stepped out.”
Georgetown Day Coach Bobby Asher said the plan was to try to limit the Warriors’ leading scorer, senior forward Erin Blaine, and tempt H.D. Woodson (25-8) to shoot from the outside.
The first half of that plan worked well — Blaine scored only six points, 13 below her average — but the Warriors made many open jumpers.
“They shot the ball great,” Asher said. “It wasn’t like we were surprised, but you’ve got to pick your poison with them.”
Even Asher’s lucky sweater, a gray and black striped garment with a 13-game winning streak, could not save the Hoppers (17-8). He purposely left it behind in a Verizon Center locker with the hopes that it will end up on the back of Wizards guard John Wall.
The new DCSAA girls’ event, an eight-team tournament featuring teams representing District public, private and charter schools, did not include any Washington Catholic Athletic Conference teams, including No. 1 St. John’s. It was still a big deal, though.
“It was exciting, a great experience,” said Gilbeaux, a Coolidge transfer who scored eight of her team’s first 13 points on Monday night. “My first-ever state championship. I was just determined, being here for the first time. I had to get all my jitters out in warmups and build my sweat up for when we began the game.”
Gilbeaux and Hughey combined for 32 points and six of their team’s seven three-pointers.
“We’re just thankful to be the first team to win it from the girls’ side,” Gray said. “The opportunity to be here at this event is great.”