High School

DCIAA Men's Basketball Final Four Preview

DCIAA Men's Basketball Final Four Preview

The DCIAA has belonged to the Wilson Tigers as of late. They’ve won three consecutive conference championships solidifying coach Angelo Hernandez’s recent proclamation that “the road to the title runs through Tenleytown.”

This year, that could change. Heading into the weekend’s Final Four, the 2-seeded Tigers title coronation feels more in peril than in years past. Many of the teams 2019 standouts are no longer donning the Green and Grey. Dimingus Stevens transferred to Bishop Walsh during the offseason, Mahki and Mahkel Mitchell last played at UMD before entering the transfer portal and Jay Heath Jr. is making his home at Boston College. Furthermore, 2018 stars Ayinde Hikim and Ricky Lindo are not walking through that door either.

The Tigers competition has grown more ferocious as well as they do not enter the weekend as the presumptive favorite; that designation belongs to 27-1, Roosevelt. Coach Nickens 1-seeded Roughriders have made it to 4-consecutive DCIAA finals, losing on 3 occasions to the Tigers and once to H.D. Woodson. Experts believe though that this is the season Roosevelt gets revenge and brings the conference trophy home to the Milk House.

The Final Four grouping is rounded out by 4-seed Dunbar and 6-seed H.D. Woodson, two teams that have proven capable of competing with anybody. 

Here’s a breakdown of the match-ups:

#2 Wilson (22-3) vs. #6 H.D. Woodson (14-10)
Head-to-Head:
Wilson defeated H.D. at Woodson, 78-64 on December 11th
Game Time: Sat 2/15 at 2:00 p.m.

H.D. Woodson
The Warriors went into Coolidge Wednesday night and knocked off the 3-seed Colts. Trailing most of the game, De’Vontae Gliss connected on an off-balance heave as time expired, lifting H.D. to the 69-67 victory. 

The Warriors were paced this season by DCIAA leading scorer Deontay Cozart, who averages 21 ppg. Though they lost to Wilson earlier in the season, this is a different team than the one the Tigers faced in December. They took top-seeded Roosevelt to overtime and have won eight of their last nine games.

H.D. is playing its best basketball at the right time.

Wilson
This year’s Tigers may not have the size, depth or requisite prowess of last year bunch but make no mistake about it, they’re just as capable of winning it all. Wilson has won 13 in a row, including an opening-round shellacking of Ron Brown by a final score of 63-35.

The current iteration of the Tigers relies on space and pace, often using small-ball to spread the floor and seek out advantageous match-ups. 

Miasiah Brown and Nasir Best penetrate the paint leading to open looks for knockdown shooters Eric Morgan and Jay Young. Darren Buchanan is a rim-rocking sophomore capable of doing it all. On any given night, he may lead Wilson in scoring, rebounds and/or assists, while guarding as many as 5 positions. 

Coach Angelo Hernandez has changed the narrative of what it means to be a Wilson Tiger. If he is able to lead his team to a championship this year, it may be his best coaching job yet.

#1 Roosevelt (27-1) vs. #4 Dunbar (15-12)
Head-to-Head:
Roose defeated Dunbar 64-34 at Dunbar on December 11th
Game Time: Sat 2/15 at 6:00 p.m.

Dunbar
Dunbar has had an up and down season, but coach Singletary’s Crimson Tide hopes to ride the wave of their 65-64 emotional victory over Anacostia in the opening round of the DCIAA to an upset of the top-seeded Roughriders.

Junior Michall Cheadle is the key to the Dunbar attack. A terror on both ends of the court, he leads the Tide in scoring, steals and assists. If he and Milton Milling can get going early, the Tide have a chance of standing toe-to-toe with powerhouse Roose.

Roosevelt
Roosevelt crushed McKinley Tech in round 1 by a final score of 64-38.  The victory was the Riders’ 10th consecutive—9 of which have come by double-digits.

Roose was 3-0 during the regular season vs. the other final four contestants, including their 64-34 win over Dunbar. 

Jasir Tremble leads the team in scoring, Ryan Blakey was 3rd in the conference in assists and 2nd in steals. Perhaps the key to coach Rob Nickens’ run for the crown is power forward Marcel Gabriel. The 6’4 senior patrols the interior, averaging 6 rebounds and 2 blocks to go with his 8 points per game.

All DCIAA semi-final and finals are to be played at the Entertainment and Sports arena in Washington D.C. The corresponding girl's games will be played there as well.

A high school senior reflects on having his final high school baseball season canceled

A high school senior reflects on having his final high school baseball season canceled

Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, a number of high school seniors saw their final sports seasons cut short. At NBC Sports Washington, we invited them to share their stories. This one comes to us from Riverside Rams senior baseball player Philip Barbe.

I woke up ready to go play a scrimmage and found out school was canceled. Before I knew it, school was canceled for the rest of the year leaving my teammates and me without a season. 

As a senior, it has affected me heavily. I have always looked forward to my senior night and being able to show all the hard work I’ve put in the past four years. It’s been a challenge waking up every day not being able to do the thing that I love. 

The cancelation doesn’t just affect me because of my baseball season being lost—It’s also because I’m missing out on some important high school memories: senior prom, graduation, and all the other great things that come with being in high school. It’s not even just about me - my parents and family have been waiting for these moments as well. 

The effect this has had goes beyond the players and affects everyone involved.

It’s been completely heartbreaking but I hope that they find a way to give us some sort of season again. Even if we play games like a travel tournament I’d be okay with that.

Just one more opportunity to go on the field is all I want right now.

READ MORE FROM HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS HERE AND HERE.

Top 10 defensive linemen in the DMV for the class of 2021

Top 10 defensive linemen in the DMV for the class of 2021

The game of football has evolved. As offenses shift to spread formations and focus on pace, it has become imperative for defensive student athletes to become faster, more agile and capable of playing in space.

The most proficient way to slow down a high-octane offense is to beat them with a dominant front-four. Here’s a look at the DMV’s top defensive linemen in the class of 2021.

1. Demeioun Robinson | Quince Orchard (MD)

WDE: 6’4", 225

Offers: 24, including Maryland, Georgia, Ohio State

Demeioun Robinson has amazing get-off. His first step is electric, his movement is smooth with no false steps and little wasted motion. He routinely beats his blocker before the quarterback has a chance to get from under center and once he’s in the backfield, he closes like a heat-seeking missile.

Robinson has excellent length, but he plays with a low center of gravity. He’s a natural pass rusher -- his quickness off the edge is unparalleled in his class. The only hope of getting him blocked is with a strong double-team at the point of attack. He’s too fast, too active and too athletic to be run away from.

Robinson possesses the playmaking ability of an offensive star -- he just so happens to line up at defensive end.

2. Marcus Bradley | Quince Orchard (MD)

DT: 6’4", 275

Offers: 34, including Maryland, Oregon, Ohio State

Marcus Bradley is one of the hottest recruits in the country and it’s for good reason.  He plays big and with bad intentions.

Bradley is a physical specimen and unlike many young men his size, he’s not afraid to use his girth to punish the opposition. Bradley tosses around would be blockers en route to the ball carrier. He has a quick first step and moves well in space which allows him to line up at defensive end when needed.

Bradley is a smart pass rusher -- he often angles his pursuit to create direct pathways to the QB, and when he cannot get home, he does a great job getting his hands up to deflect passes.

3. Taizse Johnson | St. John’s (DC)

DT: 6’1", 290

Offers: 13, including Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Florida

Committed: University of Maryland

Taizse Johnson is an offensive lineman’s worst nightmare; he has the strength of a bear and the feet of a ballerina.

Johnson is stout at the point of attack. When lining up as a 1-technique, he beats one-on-one blocking with ease. He has excellent hands and uses them to get off blocks, allowing him to get penetration and make tackles in the backfield. Johnson plays with a high-motor and routinely pursues runners down the line as well as downfield.

As a pass rusher, he gets excellent push up the middle and his quick feet allow him to be an effective stunt partner with outside defenders. Johnson is both supremely talented and technically sound, a combination not often seen at the high school level.

4. Monkell Goodwine | National Christian Academy (MD)

SDE: 6’4", 260

Offers: 23, including LSU, Oklahoma, Tennessee

Goodwine is a quick and powerful young man who has prototypical size and backs that up with a high motor.

Goodwine has a D-1 physique. He’s strong at the point of attack, making it difficult to run at him and he chases the ball aggressively when opponents attempt to run away from him. As a pass rusher he is relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback. His quick first step allows him to get upfield with ease and he is disciplined enough to double back and close on unsuspecting QBs who think they’ve gotten away.

5. Katron Evans | St. Frances (MD)

DT: 6’4", 320

Offers: 37, including Clemson, Alabama, Georgia

Katron Evans is a force of nature capable of dominating the interior from his 1-technique. Evans is a mountain of a young man who forces, and subsequently splits double teams. He eats up blockers thus allowing his linebackers to run to the ball unabated.

He is effective at clogging rushing lanes. He is strong at the point of attack and is proficient at sliding down the line to make stops.  He uses his violent hands to get push up the middle in passing situations.

6. Colin Mobley | DeMatha (MD)

SDE: 6’4", 250

Offers: 25, including Penn State, Florida State, Maryland

The first thing to notice about Mobley is his size; the young man looks the part. His long arms, strong foundation and tight core give him the necessary physical attributes to exceed all expectations -- and those expectations are high.

Mobley does a great job using hand fighting techniques to disengage from blockers. He is stout at the point of attack and is an efficient pass rusher. Mobley is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential.

7. James Gillespie | Woodbridge (VA)

DT: 6’2", 300

Offers: 10, including Michigan, Penn St., Maryland

James Gillespie has a quick first step and excellent burst for a young man his size. He routinely gets penetration and is a sure tackler once in the opponent’s backfield.

Gillespie’s athleticism is off the charts. His quick feet allow him to track runners down the line and his ability to maintain gap integrity make it challenging to run at him.

8. Terion Sugick | National Christian Academy (MD)

DT: 6’3", 287

Offers: 16, including UVA, Maryland, NC State

Terion Sugick plays the game with bad intentions. A physical young man, he believes in imposing his will on opponents until they give in. He’s a punishing hitter -- his style of play sets the tone for his team.

Sugick does a good job splitting double teams and getting penetration. He has quick and active feet which allow him to routinely disrupt plays in the backfield. He plays the game with an energy and zest that his teammates can easily feed off of.

9. Kenjuan Manuel | St. John’s (DC)

DT: 6’1", 296

Offers: 6, including East Carolina, UMass, Ohio

Manuel is an anchor in the interior of the Cadets’ defensive line. He displays the requisite power needed to beat one-on-one blocking and holds his ground when double-teamed.

Manuel shows short-range burst and stellar lateral movement. When motivated to do so, he lives in the opposition’s backfield. Manuel is a high character young man and will be an asset to any program. Look for him to take major strides this season and bring his potential to fruition.

10. Andre Porter | Ballou (DC)

SDE: 6’3", 260

Offers: 12, including Maryland, Boston College, Pitt

Andre Porter is equipped with size and freakish athletic ability. The strong-side defensive end stands 6-foot 3-inches, weighing 260 pounds, while maintaining the straight-line speed and quick twitch muscle reflexes of an offensive skilled player.

Porter has the potential to be truly special and undoubtedly will prove to be one of the top defensive linemen in the nation, once he is able to get back on the field.

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