After H.D. Woodson beat Wilson in last week’s D.C. State Athletic Association semifinal at Trinity, Warriors forward Erin Blaine stayed in the gym “to study” the late semifinal between Georgetown Day and National Cathedral, which the Mighty Hoppers won, 59-41.
The result wasn’t as impressive to Blaine as the play of Georgetown Day’s Caira Washington, a versatile 6-foot-3 forward who is “not a regular big, [who] likes to play every position on the court,” according to Blaine.
“She might be a problem for us,” Blaine said, foreshadowing Monday night’s inaugural DCSAA championship game between H.D. Woodson (24-8) and Georgetown Day (17-7) at the Verizon Center.
Blaine’s attention to detail has become even stronger the past week during the Warriors postseason run, which included last Monday’s resounding 81-29 DCIAA championship win over Wilson, followed by victories over Ballou and Wilson in the DCSAA quarter and semifinals late last week. It will be the fourth year in a row that H.D. Woodson has made an appearance at the Verizon Center for a title affair, (the Warriors beat Good Counsel in the City Title game last season) but the first in which the program will play under the new format.
“It’s the first state championship, I want to be the first one to win,” said H.D. Woodson junior guard Breonn Hughey, who will be making her third appearance in a game at the Verizon Center. She is averaging 10.6 points per game this season.
Georgetown Day will be a different type of opponent than the Warriors typically see, as Blaine observed over the weekend at Trinity. Monday’s matchup between Blaine and Washington, whether the two players are checking each other or not, presents a story line in its own right.
The Riverdale Baptist transfer Blaine (19.2 points per game) is a multi-dimensional guard that becomes the latest in a long line of talented scorers to lead the school to the final day of the season, while Washington (18 points against National Cathedral in a semifinal win) has posted double-double performances in 21 games this season.
Blaine said that she will also have to adjust to the background of Verizon Center, after playing most of the winter in smaller high school gyms. It is a small but important detail for Blaine, who has grown accustomed to making adjustments this season with a new school.
“It will be a different atmosphere as far as where the game is held,” Blaine said, “but the competition level and the atmosphere, it won’t be that much different. I just have to play my game and stay focused. I can’t let that affect me.”