High School

DeMatha takes home WCAC title with 70-56 win over Paul VI

DeMatha takes home WCAC title with 70-56 win over Paul VI

The senior-laden DeMatha Stags defeated Paul VI 70-56 to capture the 2019-2020 WCAC basketball crown. Led by Earl Timberlake’s 21 points, the Stags pulled away late to capture their second title in three years.

DeMatha entered the final with an overall record of 29-3, but one of their losses came at the hands of the Panthers, 74-65, on February 16th. Monday night, they were determined not to allow recent history to repeat itself. 

The Stags seized the lead early in the first quarter and each time PVI got close, a DeMatha upperclassmen made a big play. 

“Our seniors stepped up for us,” DeMatha coach Mike Jones said. “Obviously everybody is going to talk about Earl [ Timberlake] and Hunter [Dickinson], but we had five seniors who pushed us through all the tough times we had this year. It was a roller coaster ride, but our five seniors stepped up for us all night and really all season long.”

Undoubtedly, DeMatha won as a team on the big stage provided by American University, but it was Earl Timberlake’s performance that stole the show. On a night where the lights were the brightest, Timberlake dazzled the raucous Bender arena crowd, with a virtuoso performance sure to go down in the annals of WCAC lure. 

Not only did he score 41 points, he grabbed nine rebounds and tallied five assists, routinely setting his teammates up in position to make open shots. 

“I'm a team player, I do whatever needs to be done to win,” Timberlake said. “I don’t care about the stats, I just want to win at the end of the day.”

Timberlake got it done on both ends of the floor. His winning efforts included five blocked shots. Serving as a defensive anchor for the Stags, he protected the rim on countless occasions, routinely swatting potential PVI buckets from the sky.

“He’s a big-time player and the I don’t even know if the University of Miami realizes how good of a player he is. I’ve said it and ill keep saying it, there’s not a better defender in High School or College basketball than Earl Timberlake right now,” Jones said. “He’s gonna play basketball a long time.”

Late in the second half, PVI went on a run. After trailing by double-digits, the Panthers' backcourt began to heat up. Trevor Keels knocked down a jumper and Jeremy Roach’s floater cut the Stags lead to 53-50 midway through the fourth. 

With all the momentum on the side of the Panther’s — the game suddenly hanging in the balance, Timberlake responded. The Hurricanes commit hit a contested three-pointer from the elbow over the outstretched hand of his defender. After a DeMatha stop, forward Jordan Hawkins pushed the ball to the middle of the floor before centering it to Timberlake at the top of the key. With three seconds remaining on the shot clock, the senior took a single dribble to his right before pulling up for what would be a three-point dagger.

“I had been struggling with my three-point shot against them, but I never failed to trust the work I put in the mornings and late nights,” Timberlake said. “I took those shots and believed in myself.”

DeMatha’s coach believed in him as well. Jones noted he’s done this entire career.

“This was the same thing he did as a sophomore. We won against Gonzaga behind him hitting big shots for us and getting big shots on the other end.”

Jordan Hawkins scored 17 points and Michigan commit Hunter Dickinson added 10 points and five rebounds for the Stags. Duke commit Jeremy Roach and Trevor Keels paced PVI with 22 points each. 

The victory is DeMatha’s ninth WCAC championship since 2000.

MORE HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL NEWS:

Triple-jumper Jordyn Johnson on her senior season being cut short

Triple-jumper Jordyn Johnson on her senior season being cut short

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 Archbishop Carroll senior track and field student-athlete Jordyn Johnson.

Walking into 2020, I had different notions about my senior year. Starting and finishing my indoor season with great numbers I expected my outdoor season to be a phenomenal way to end my high school career. With the wins I was accumulating, I made first-team All-Met and finished my season ranked in the top 10 nationally in the triple jump but missing out on the New Balance Indoor Nationals and a chance to compete and challenge the best the country has to offer.

Knowing that my outdoor season has been stripped away, it's traumatic because I was looking forward to competing at Mt. SAC relays in California, Penn relays, our WCAC conference championship and our outdoor state championship. The suspension has affected me not only from improving my numbers but it has caused major setbacks in training.

It’s overwhelming when you know all the things you worked hard for is being stripped away within a heartbeat. Not only is it taking away my last track meets in high school but it has caused a delay in my prom and graduation. Something I have been waiting for my entire life.

To deal with this devastating news I have consumed myself with my school work, FaceTime, movies, TikToks with family, going on runs in my neighborhood, and focusing on getting ready for my freshman season of college track at Delaware State.

READ MORE FROM HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS HERE.

 

Q&A with Gonzaga 5-star QB Caleb Williams about why he picked the schools in his final 5

Q&A with Gonzaga 5-star QB Caleb Williams about why he picked the schools in his final 5

Caleb Williams, the 5-star quarterback out of Gonzaga College High School, dropped his final five of college options last Monday: Maryland, Penn State, Clemson, LSU and Oklahoma.

According to Caleb’s father, Carl Williams, they plan to make a final decision about which program he'll attend before the new school year starts. They want Caleb to be able to enjoy his senior season and focus on recruiting other student athletes to come with him wherever he chooses to go.

I had a conversation with Caleb to find out what stood out to him about each of these programs and why they made the cut.

When I think of Penn State, I think, “We Are.” Happy Valley has an amazing football community steeped in tradition. Why are you potentially interested in playing for Coach [James] Franklin?

Other than the 110K fans they have each week -- I’ve known Coach Franklin since freshman year, and I’ve known a few of the other coaches on staff since before then, so it’s all about relationship building.

Beyond that, their fans are great. I went to the Blue/White game, and they were just as loud as if it were a real game and they were playing Michigan or Ohio State.

In considering the [Clemson] Tigers, not only do they offer the “ALL IN” championship culture, but also the potential of playing for a coach like Dabo Swinney, who dances and goes out of his way to connect with student athletes. What attracts you to Clemson?

Like you said, Coach Dabo… he’s a mature kid. He’s awesome [laughs]. He’s awesome and he’s really genuine. He’s a Christian man, and you can’t really beat that.

He doesn’t consider what he’s doing “work.” He loves going in and doing what he’s supposed to do in life. 

LSU is the defending National Champion -- so they have that in their favor -- and Heisman trophy winner Joe Burrow starred at quarterback with the Tigers. Last season’s offensive coordinator Joe Brady has left for the NFL, though. Why are you still considering LSU?

Coach O [Ed Orgeron]. He kind of makes you want to run through a brick wall at times. On game day, when you have that juice running through you, there’s not much anybody else can do to you. When you have love for the game [individually] and are willing to run through a brick wall, you should be unstoppable. 

And their fans… if you haven’t been to an LSU game, you need to go. They say some things I can’t say on social media, but it’s an awesome experience. You’ll laugh and have a great time.

What coach [Lincoln] Riley has been able to do with quarterbacks at Oklahoma is unheard of. Every year they have a Heisman candidate at QB putting up huge numbers. How do you see yourself fitting into that Boomer Sooner system?

If you look at the last four years or so, I believe I can do just about anything Kyler [Murray], Baker [Mayfield] or [Jalen] Hurts have done either physically or mentally. And if you look at the history of Oklahoma football -- they’ve produced hall of famers both at the NFL and college level. Also, with Coach Riley being who he is; an awesome family man and awesome coach, you can’t really beat that.

The University of Maryland makes your top five, and the DMV community is going nuts over that. Coach [Mike] Locksley is building something special. [Wide receiver] Rakim Jarret is attempting to lead the next “Stay Home Movement.” If you choose the Terps, it’ll blow the roof off this thing.

I’ve known coach Locksley and coach Scottie Montgomery for years now. I’ve known coach Scottie since he was at Duke with coach [David] Cutcliffe, Peyton Manning’s coach, and I’ve known coach Locksley since he was at Alabama when they were recruiting me.

Over time, they’ve continued to recruit me and now that coach Locksley is back home, Maryland is on the list.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.