Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Washington Post Web Videos

WEB VIDEOS with The Washington Post

I have begun a new venture with The Washington Post, profiling the top returning football recruits in the Washington D.C. Metro area.

All videos produced by Atkinson and Co.

Pete White, St. John's College High School


I made Steinberg's Blog at

Hokie Wiper Fluid, and More Pith
Hokie shooting drill: Release, rotation, Splash.

All your additional Week 15 pith comes after the jump, but first a few programming notes.

1) If the Hokies had reached 75 points last night, all the fans at Cassell would have gotten free window washer fluid? Washer fluid, really? That's their giveaway? Did the local Kmart run out of Little Tree air fresheners? Is there a "bag o' mulch" night coming up?

2) Morgan State, nearing its first MEAC title in 31 years.

3) The A-10 Tourney re-ups with Atlantic City. I know attendance wasn't great last year, but is there a better spot for an Atlantic 11-based league to hold its tourney? Sure beats Charlotte.

4) A Georgetown student columnist wants the school to apologize to Craig Esherick. Who is doing what now, you ask? Why, he's calling George Mason games on the Verizon FiOS1 local TV channel with WaPo prep writer B.J. Koubaroulis, and VMI games on MASN with Jim Hunter, and

5) Don't forget to enter the Atlantic 11 March Challenge. There's talk of adding a pair of pajamas to the prize mix.

T.C. Williams beats Woodson

Titans Boys Move On

T.C. Williams Coach Ivan Thomas and his staff tracked missed layups during the fourth-ranked Titans' 48-32 victory over W.T. Woodson in the Northern Region boys' quarterfinals.

"We missed seven," said Thomas. "If we made those, we could have put it away early."
Thomas's halfhearted disappointment, however, merely was an attempt to find room for improvement following a nearly flawless performance.

Nine players scored, and the defense used a deliberate mixture of five zone and man-to-man approaches that confused the Cavaliers (19-7) into five turnovers in each of the first two quarters.

The Titans (24-3) held No. 11 Woodson 28 points below its season average.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hoops Notebook

Flint Hill Boys Hold Off Potomac School
From Staff Reports
Tuesday, February 26, 2008; E06

With his team clinging to a 42-40 lead with 27 seconds left in last night's Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament final at Potomac School, Flint Hill Coach Rico Reed convened with his assistants at midcourt, strategizing a way for his team to hold on to a two-point lead against a conference foe it had lost to twice this season.

Huskies senior Jeff Stewart was just feet away from his coach, calling for a less schematic approach while slamming his open palm into each of his teammates' hands.

"We came too far to lose now," screamed Stewart, who scored seven of his team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter to spark a 14-6 game-clinching run as Flint Hill rallied from a 10-point deficit.

Flint Hill (23-5) corralled the game's final two rebounds off its own missed free throws and held on for the 42-40 victory. The Huskies and Panthers (21-7), the regular season champions, will share the league title.

The Huskies host Fork Union Military Academy (12-14) tomorrow in the first round of the Virginia Independent Schools Division I state tournament.

Potomac School enters the VIS Division II state tournament as a No. 3 seed and has a first-round bye. The Panthers will play the winner of St. Anne's Belfield (16-7) and Peninsula Catholic (12-6) at home Thursday.

Potomac School junior guard P.J. Miller (27 points) scored 12 of the Panthers' final 16 points and was the only Panther who scored in the final period. . . .

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Langley Basketball

Malik Powers Langley to Title
Senior Forward Has Double-Double
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, February 24, 2008; D13

As his teammates cut down the net following a 55-34 victory over McLean in last night's Virginia AAA Liberty District tournament final, Langley senior Ahmed Malik peered over his right shoulder and smirked at his biceps.

"I'm still skinny," said Malik, a senior forward who had 17 points and 10 rebounds to give the Saxons their first district title since 2003 in front of 2,200 at South Lakes.

In the girls' final, Madison beat Langley, 46-32.

Malik added 15 pounds through an intense workout regimen this summer and joined an offseason AAU team for the first time in his high school career.

The 6-foot-5 senior "picked a good night to have one of his best games of the season," Langley Coach Travis Hess said.

"Tonight made everything you do in the offseason worth it," said Malik, who showed off his improvement through a diverse body of work in the third quarter.

He hit a deep three-pointer, took a charge on the ensuing McLean possession and finished a strong post move with 3 minutes 54 seconds left in the quarter to give the Saxons a 32-14 lead.

"I owe a lot of my offense to [Malik] because he's a great screener, and he rolls so well that he's a threat any time," said Langley senior Ryan Davenport (16 points), one of four Langley guards who thrived outside as Malik owned the inside.

Langley (21-4) won its fourth straight and ended the fifth-seeded Highlanders' run of upsets.

That included victories over South Lakes (17-6) and Woodson (18-6), perennial powers that have combined for five district championships since 2000 and won three of the last five Liberty District titles.

McLean fell to 14-11.

"It's kind of surreal right now," Hess said. "This is what we've been working for for three years."

In the girls' game, after picking up her fourth foul with 4:08 left in the third quarter, Madison's Marygrace Jay played with a cautious vigor, scoring eight of her team-high 16 points during a 17-3 fourth-quarter run that lifted the Warhawks.

"In the championship game, in the last quarter, the one thing you don't want to be doing is playing with caution," said Jay, a 6-foot-3 forward bound for Holy Cross who sparked Madison (24-1) to its 24th straight victory and first Liberty District title since 2004.

AAA Liberty Basketball Finals Boys' Up Next: Langley will host Stuart (15-8), and McLean will travel to Mount Vernon (15-8) in the first round of tomorrow's region tournament.

Girls' Up Next: Madison will host Washington-Lee (6-18), and Langley (14-10) will host Yorktown (18-6) in the first round of tomorrow's region tournament.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Boys' Basketball Notebook

Boys Basketball Notebook
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, February 21, 2008; VA22

Robinson guard Jimmy Brewer has become an overnight Internet sensation.

After sinking an 75-foot buzzer-beating shot to stun Herndon, 62-59, last week, Brewer became a fan favorite thanks to a YouTube clip posted before he awoke the next morning.

"People I don't even know are coming up to me, and they're like 'Nice shot, Jimmy,' " said Brewer, a 5-foot-11, 155-pound junior.

Robinson led for much of the fourth quarter, but Herndon rallied from a nine-point deficit and hit a three-pointer that tied the game at 59 with four seconds left.

"We actually did a terrible job of holding on to the lead," Robinson Coach Matt McKeag said after the game.

Brewer caught an inbounds pass from Brandon Kuter.

"I flashed to the corner, and the Herndon team kind of started celebrating," said Brewer, who took one dribble past the opposite free throw line and lofted a high-arcing shot that connected after time had expired.

"That initial feeling was just amazing," Brewer said. "I didn't know what to think at first, and then everyone was rushing the court, and I was still trying to comprehend what was happening."

Brewer's shot gave Robinson (9-12 overall, 7-5 conference) its first victory over Herndon (11-9, 6-6) since it joined the Virginia AAA Concorde District in 2004.

The shot also gave Robinson the third seed in this week's district tournament and dropped Herndon to fourth.

"It just floated right in," McKeag said. "I mean it didn't hit any backboard or anything. It was just a one-in-a-million shot."

T.C. Is Perfect in District

T.C. Williams defeated Hayfield, 57-52, on Friday to complete its third consecutive undefeated season in the Virginia AAA Patriot District.

After winning 48 consecutive games against district opponents, the fourth-ranked Titans (19-3, 14-0) enter this week's league tournament in search of their third straight district title.

"This year it means a lot, because nobody clearly expected us to do it this year," said Titans Coach Ivan Thomas, who has also posted a 58-3 record against Northern Region teams since taking over the program in 2005. "There was doubt at the beginning of the year, not only from the outside but even in our own building."

Senior guard Travis Berry (14.9 points per game), junior guard Edward Jenkins (13.7) and 6-foot-7 senior guard-forward Anthony Winbush (12.7) led the returning Northern Region champion Titans back into the postseason.

Although T.C. Williams has the second-most prolific offense (68.5 points per game) in the Patriot District, behind region-leader Annandale, Berry, Jenkins and Winbush are not among the league's top five scorers.

"If we get balance, then we can go further," said Thomas, who is 12-2 in the postseason. "Our system is built like that, and it's a testament to those guys. They can see the benefit of playing together."

Nick Cafferky Feature

Injured 'Sports Junkie' Maintains His Focus
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, February 21, 2008; VA14

Through a window near his wheelchair, 17-year-old Nick Cafferky can see the top of a 20-foot-tall chain-link fence that wraps around a full-size basketball court in the back yard of his Great Falls home.

Four 35-foot light poles tower above the green court, and another hoop in the driveway is lowered to "dunking level."

This had been Cafferky's haven, where he became what Langley High School boys' basketball Coach Travis Hess called a "sports junkie."

In August, Cafferky was swimming in Dewey Beach, Del. He dived into a wave, and everything changed.

"When I hit the sand, I heard a crack, and I immediately knew what had happened," said Cafferky, who was paralyzed in the Aug. 12 accident. "I realized I couldn't move, and I started taking water. . . . I was almost positive I was going to die. I wasn't scared about it. I had already accepted that I was done. In the water, I had accepted it."

Cafferky was rescued by lifeguards, but his spinal column was crushed at the C-5 vertebra, leaving him a quadriplegic, with no movement or feeling below his chest and with fair motion in his arms and limited control of his fingers.

Before the accident, Cafferky was a referee, coach and player with Great Falls Basketball, a youth league, where he befriended Langley varsity basketball players and played with six of them on the Great Falls Rapids, a select travel team.

There's a separation now, however, between basketball memories from before the accident and after.

"There was only one sad time in all this," said Nick's mother, Elisa. "It was between Nick and his dad."

In the family's living room, from beneath his sideways-cocked baseball cap, Cafferky shifted his eyes toward his father, Mike.

"He was just getting to a point where he could swat me and then taunt me in front of all my friends," Mike Cafferky said, as he recounted the moment that he and his 6-foot-4 son realized there would be less use for the backyard playground they had designed six years ago.

"This is one of the things where I'm surprised with myself," Nick Cafferky said. "I'm not bitter about not being able to play; I just enjoy watching it right now."

And watching Langley's basketball team, which entered this week's Virginia AAA Liberty District tournament as the No. 2 seed with an 18-4 record -- its best season since 1983 -- "has been as much a part of his therapy and rehabilitation," Elisa said. "Nick still feels like he's a part of all these activities."

For the past three years, Cafferky, an aspiring sportswriter, has interviewed and written about Langley athletes for his column, Caff's Corner, in the student newspaper, the Saxon Scope. He continues to put out the column, with the help of voice-recognition software.

Just as Langley basketball has been crucial to Cafferky's recovery, Saxon players say he has become an inspiration to the team.

"When we warm up and we see Nick come through the door, we'll all whisper to each other, 'Yo, Nick's here, Nick's here,' " said Langley junior forward Derek Baker. "I don't know if it pushes us, but it kind of brings us down to Earth. . . . For me personally, growing up with the kid and seeing the condition he's in, I want to just go out and, not win one for Nick, but it's like, he's here, so let's give him a good show."

Learning to Function

Although he has continued the column, Cafferky hasn't returned to school. He expects that to happen March 3, at which time he will also resume his duties as the Scope's sports editor. From this month's edition of the paper:

A fter a crushing loss to the rival McLean Highlanders earlier this season, the Saxons had two paths to choose from. Either they could fall apart and end a good run, or come together and be the best team that Langley has had in years.

"He's been doing a lot of his work from rehab," said Mary Dolson, an English teacher and faculty adviser for the Scope.

Cafferky has spent the past four months in inpatient and outpatient care at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, a rehabilitation facility that specializes in restoration therapies.
Scabs have formed on his elbows where mat burns wore away the skin as he practiced lifting himself during grueling physical therapy sessions.

"I don't just want to be able to do those things, I expect to be able to do them," Cafferky said. A dark stubble has developed over his sharp cheekbones, hiding evidence of the 45 pounds he lost during a 51-day recovery period in the Intensive Care Unit at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.

According to Elise Babbitt Welker, a spokeswoman for the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Cafferky transfers in and out of his wheelchair with supervision and without the use of the transfer board he required initially. He can dress with minimal assistance. He is able to roll right and left independently and requires minimal assistance to move from lying down to sitting up and vice versa.

"His therapists and physician have never heard him say, 'Why me?' or feel sorry for himself in any way," Welker said.

Despite Cafferky's five-day-a-week rehab sessions, which often leave him exhausted, he has been to almost every Langley boys' basketball home game this season and a few road games. He often finishes rehab early to make the trip from Baltimore.

Langley senior Ryan Davenport is one of several players who keep in touch with Cafferky through phone calls, text messages and Facebook chats.

"When it first happened, everyone came to the hospital and was very nice," Davenport said. "The hard part then comes when you start getting further and further away, and people start forgetting. Just having a conversation and staying in touch now can go a long way."

School Support

Some entries on Cafferky's blog, at, detail his struggle and frustration. But much of his writing is related to what he has seen on the court this season:

Jan. 15:
After therapy, I went to the Langley game, where we played the best team in the district [Madison]. It was as good of a game as anyone could have imagined. I got a little worried in the second half when we were losing, but thankfully we won in overtime.

Jan. 27:
These last couple of days have been pretty good for me. On Friday, I resumed therapy, but this time Austin and Kyle took me and best of all, Langley beat McLean in the rematch in McLean's gym. . . . Anyways, the game was really tight and we won another game against McLean. The best part was I actually got to hold the Rotary cup (the trophy they gave to the winner of the game).

For its season opener Dec. 4, Langley had a "Nick Cafferky Night," in which proceeds went toward helping pay for equipment that Cafferky needs for home-based therapy, which he will start next week. More than 500 students wore dark-green T-shirts with "Team Nick" written in yellow letters across the front.

"It was just so heartwarming," Mike Cafferky said.

In the family's home, a 12-foot banner with "Welcome Home Nick," in Langley's green-and-gold school colors, hangs in the living room. Beneath it, Elisa Cafferky holds up a laptop computer with a picture of Nick Cafferky sitting in a beach chair just 20 minutes before he dived into the wave.

"There's going to be a day when I get back into basketball," Cafferky said. "My triceps just aren't there yet."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gwynn Park

No. 2 Jackets Top Largo, But Fight Mars Ending
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, February 20, 2008; E08

Second-ranked Gwynn Park's 75-63 win at No. 15 Largo last night came to a premature end with 35.8 seconds remaining after a hard foul, then escalated into a melee involving fans and players.

Gwynn Park was in command when Yellow Jackets junior Corey Anderson was fouled hard underneath the basket. Officials signaled a technical foul, and Anderson had to be restrained and removed from the gymnasium by two police officers and another person whom Gwynn Park Coach Mike Glick identified as a family member.

Anderson's reaction, coupled with the officials calling off the game, triggered a bench-clearing shoving match between the rival squads. Fans from both schools quickly became involved, with punches being thrown by fans and players.

Police officers, school officials and coaches from both schools helped restore order as the teams were sent to their locker rooms.

Police officers on the scene said there were no arrests and no serious injuries.

"In 15 years of coaching I have never been a part of anything like that," Glick said. "It's just an unfortunate ending, but it doesn't take away from the fact that it was a hard-fought game."

The game included three technical fouls and was physical from the outset. Largo's 6-foot-11 senior center, Maurice Sutton, was ejected with 2 minutes 59 seconds left in the first quarter following an altercation that left Gwynn Park senior Ronnell Leggett (16 points) with a cut over his right eye.

Largo Coach Lewis Howard said Sutton's ejection set the tone.

"There's two sides to every story," Howard said. "And the side of the story that I'm sitting on is that the kid hit him first."

By rule, Sutton -- who was in the locker room during the game-ending brawl -- will not be able to play in Largo's next game.

According to Prince George's County Athletic Director Earl Hawkins, any further suspensions will be issued by the schools' principals.

"The only thing I can say is that the code of conduct is always enforced," Hawkins said. "If they are at school and at a school activity, the code of conduct must be followed."

Led by 6-2 senior guard Harold Washington's 24 points, Gwynn Park (21-0, 17-0 Prince George's 3A/2A/1A) clinched the 2A South Region's top seed.

The Yellow Jackets will also play in next Wednesday's Prince George's County title game against Laurel, to be played at Wise High School.

Gwynn Park has now accounted for half of Largo's losses this season. The Yellow Jackets won, 80-50, at home on Jan. 18.

"They beat us at their place handily," Howard said. "Tonight was going to be a dogfight, and it was going to be that barring ejections and technical fouls or what have you because it's a competitive game in a competitive atmosphere."

Largo Forward Aaron Martin scored 23 points to lead the Lions (17-4, 14-3).

"It doesn't really matter how it ended," Howard said, "because hopefully they will bring home the 2A state crown and we will bring home the 3A state crown and all this was a glorified practice."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Georgetown Prep Boys' Basketball

Little Hoyas Dig Deep
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, February 17, 2008; D06

As his teammates' shouts of joy echoed through the locker room wall behind him and an assistant coach stood nearby staring at the Interstate Athletic Conference trophy, Georgetown Prep senior guard-forward Alvin Tucker rolled his eyes toward the ceiling, trying to grasp the irony of last night's 58-53 victory over Bullis.

The Little Hoyas, plagued by miserable three-point shooting in two regular season losses to the Bulldogs, used the long ball to rally back from a 10-point deficit in the IAC tournament final at St. Albans.

"I chose to look at it as this is how it's supposed to be," said a smiling Tucker, who was one of three Hoyas to make three-point shots during a fourth-quarter rally that gave Georgetown Prep the tournament trophy, but not the league title.

Because the IAC tournament is based on a point system, Bullis already had wrapped up the league title before last night's game.

Tucker finished with a game-high 11 points.

Georgetown Prep (18-7) -- the tournament's No. 3 seed -- had shot 4 of 33 from the three-point line in its first regular season loss to Bullis (19-7) and made eight shots from behind the arc in its second regular season loss to the Bulldogs.

"There is irony in that," Georgetown Prep Coach Dwayne Bryant said.

The Hoyas shot 8 of 28 from behind the arc last night, but connected on 5 of 8 three-pointers in the fourth quarter to rally from the double-digit deficit.

"You do kind of live or die by the three," said junior guard Paul Llewelyn, who made two of his three three-pointers in the fourth quarter to spark a decisive 23-8 run. "We kind of died by it early in the season, but it came through in the end."

Georgetown Prep shot 3 of 20 from the three-point line through three quarters and trailed 45-35 entering the fourth.

"I just told them to relax and have fun," Bryant said.

Trailing 48-42 with 4 minutes 49 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Llewelyn connected on a high-arcing three-pointer and then followed Tucker's game-tying three-pointer with another deep three-pointer that put the Hoyas up 51-48.

"Even after we shot 4 of 33 against them the first time, we didn't change anything," said sophomore guard Markel Starks, who scored six of his 10 points in the fourth quarter, all on three-pointers. "We stayed with it and it worked."

Georgetown Prep 58 Bullis 53

Not Quite Done: Bullis is scheduled to play Riverdale Baptist on Tuesday.

Petkovich's Punch: Nick Petkovich, Bullis's Lafayette-bound senior forward, led all scorers with 15 points.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Gonzaga vs. DeMatha Basketball

Hard-Charging Hummer Gives Eagles a Boost
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, February 16, 2008; E09

Two plays in Gonzaga's 61-44 victory at DeMatha last night showed just how angry Eagles junior Ian Hummer is about missing out on a perfect regular season.

Both sequences ended with the 6-foot-6, 215-pound forward picking himself off DeMatha's court.

"He took tonight as a personal challenge," Gonzaga Coach Steve Turner said.

Hummer, who was in foul trouble and spent much of Eagles' 45-42 loss to DeMatha on Jan. 15 on the bench, played with a reckless abandon last night as he scored 23 points and hauled in 12 rebounds as the top-ranked Eagles avenged their only loss of the season in front of a capacity crowd.

Gonzaga (27-1, 17-1) has won 10 straight and enters next week's Washington Catholic Athletic Conference tournament as the top seed. DeMatha (18-9, 12-6) had its winning streak ended at six.

"I just remember going into the locker room after that loss and it was just so dismal," said Hummer, a left-handed junior who is drawing mid-major collegiate interest. "It was weird to win 17 in a row and then lose."

Hummer single-handedly outscored DeMatha, 7-6, in the second quarter on a series of physical moves, including a post-up, baseline drive and putback that rallied Gonzaga back from an early four-point deficit and gave the Eagles a 23-20 lead at halftime.

Trailing 16-13 with 6 minutes 36 seconds left in the second quarter, Hummer accepted a feed while in full stride and barreled down the middle of the lane with three defenders hanging from his limbs, but with his eyes locked on the hoop.

"I kind of knew I wasn't going to get [the dunk]," said Hummer, who crashed hard.

He was also fouled hard on a breakaway in the second half, which also bounced him hard off the hardwood.

Hummer added eight points in the third quarter as five Eagles scored, including two three-pointers by Cedrick Lindsay (six points) and five points from Harvard-bound slasher Max Kenyi. The Eagles went on a 23-10 run to take a 46-30 lead into the final quarter.

"[Hummer] takes up a few people in the post," said 6-4 senior forward Cam Johnson, who scored much of his 13 points on a variety of open looks underneath the basket while Hummer was being double-teamed. "It leaves so much open for me, so I'm just basically padding my stats."

No. 1 Gonzaga 61 No. 8 DeMatha 44

Achilles' Coach: On Monday, Gonzaga Coach Steve Turner had surgery to repair the Achilles' tendon he ruptured during a victory over Carroll on Feb. 5. Turner was on crutches and sitting during most of last night's victory.

Stag-nant: DeMatha committed five turnovers in both the second and third quarters and went scoreless for 4 minutes 6 seconds during the second quarter.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Basketball Notebook

Boys' Basketball Notebook
Court Report This Week in Northern Region High School Basketball
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
February 14, 2008; VA24

W.T. Woodson senior Greg Whitaker knew what his problem was last year and how he could fix it.

"I just had to put the candy away," said the 6-foot-6 forward. "Last year, I was about the same weight, but I had some fat on me."

Whitaker has spent the past year transforming his body, dropping from 225 pounds to 210 and then using the school's weight room and track to build up his muscular 230-pound frame.

A much leaner, stronger and faster Whitaker has powered his way to a team-best 15.8 points per game. He also leads Woodson in rebounds (9.8) and blocks (1.4).Regarded by the Virginia AAA Liberty District's coaches as the league's top post player, Whitaker is third in scoring in the district.

"There are guys that go to the weight room because they know it's going to help them, and then there's guys that really like to go to the weight room. He really likes to go to the weight room," Woodson Coach Doug Craig said.

Whitaker goes to the school's weight room four days a week, and he holds this year's school records in the bench press (325) and power clean (265) and is second in the dead lift (455).

He has a parallel squat score of 355, according to the school's weight-training teacher, Jim Dutrow.Whitaker's transformation has helped the Cavaliers (15-5, 11-1) into first place in the district and has also drawn interest from college programs, including those at Mary Washington, St. Mary's, Randolph Macon, Gettysburg and Catholic.

"I'm not going to be the tallest player in college, so I had to put on some strength," Whitaker said.

. . .Seniors Kyle Condon and Tim Prowitt hope to take Potomac School (17-4, 9-1 Mid-Atlantic Conference) to its first state championship since their older brothers won it all in 2002.Peter Prowitt is a senior forward at Stanford, and Ross Condon, a former Villanova guard, is an assistant coach at Radford.

Behind their little brothers -- Kyle, a four-year starter at point guard, and Tim, a 6-foot-7 forward averaging 15.7 points per game -- the Panthers (17-4, 9-1 Mid-Atlantic Conference) are ranked No. 7 in the Virginia Independent School League Division II state poll.

The Panthers also have Division I recruits in 6-8 junior Brian Freeman (15.3) and 6-2 junior P.J. Miller (17.4), who were a big force in Saturday's 69-48 drubbing of Hampton Roads Academy (21-4). That victory has made the Panthers a contender for a state title.

"I just want to remind them that this opportunity is once in a lifetime," Potomac School Coach Sean Whalen said. "They have to realize the concentration it takes to win a state championship."

The Panthers have been focused, winning six straight and 10 of their last 11, including a season sweep of Flint Hill (18-5, 8-2).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Westfield vs. Chantilly Game

Westfield Rallies, Wins 6th Straight
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, February 13, 2008; E05

Westfield senior forward Willie Snow's days of anonymity may have officially ended last night.

It's hard to stay under the radar when you score 18 points and collect six rebounds and two blocks to lead your new team to a 57-49 home win over Virginia AAA Concorde District rival Chantilly.

Snow, a 6-foot-3 transfer from Paul VI Catholic playing just his fourth game for the Bulldogs after becoming eligible earlier this month, helped Westfield recover from a 14-3 first-quarter deficit.

Westfield sent its three leading scorers -- seniors Maurice Hubbard, Jamie Richardson and Jon Gaston -- to the bench after they picked up two fouls apiece with less than three minutes left in the opening period.

But Snow made two of his three three-pointers in the first half and then combined with Richardson for 14 points in the third quarter to spark a 21-8 run that put the Bulldogs up 38-35 going into the fourth quarter.

"I just waited for my opportunity," said Snow, who said he transferred to Westfield at the end of last year and that his transfer cleared him for play this semester. "I love the big games."

The addition of Snow could have an impact on the Northern Region postseason, but Bulldogs Coach Doug Ewell says he wasn't concerned with when his new player arrived, just so long as he did.

"I don't know much about it," Ewell said of Snow's transfer. "I try to stay out of all that stuff. All I know is that he became eligible this semester. He came to practice not guaranteed anything and he still came to play."

No. 14 Westfield (18-2, 10-1) won its sixth straight and overtook No. 12 Chantilly (18-2, 10-2) for the inside track for the top seed in the upcoming Concorde District tournament.

Chantilly, which was led by Justin May's 28 points, had its winning streak ended at seven.
Westfield can clinch the top seed and accompanying first-round bye with a win at Herndon (11-8, 6-5) on Friday.

"I reminded them of that," Ewell said. "No championships were won tonight. It would be bad if we lost focus and didn't play hard Friday night."

Westfield outscored Chantilly 40-22 in the second half as Hubbard added seven points and Richardson took over, scoring eight of the Bulldogs' final 19 points.

"With everyone struggling, it was great to see [Snow] do that," said Richardson, who finished with 19. "A secret weapon? Not anymore."

No. 14 Westfield 57 No. 12 Chantilly 49

Being Defensive: Chantilly, which entered the game as the Concorde's top offense, scoring 69.8 points per game, was stifled by Westfield's defense, which kept the Chargers below its average of 50.3.
Enter Snowman: Westfield senior Willie Snow earned the nickname "Snowman" during yesterday's win. "We call him a lot of things," teammate Jamie Richardson said.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chantilly vs. Westfield Preview

Boys' Basketball Notebook
Westfield and Chantilly Try to Settle Things
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, February 12, 2008; Page E06

Westfield Coach Doug Ewell and Chantilly Coach Jim Smith agree that tonight's game is the biggest in a rivalry that started when Westfield opened in 2000.

"This is one of the first times that both teams are really good at the same point," Smith said.

In a matchup that has often decided only neighborhood bragging rights, No. 12 Chantilly (18-1, 10-1) travels to No. 14 Westfield (17-2, 9-1) looking to clinch the Virginia AAA Concorde District regular season championship and top seed (and accompanying first-round bye) in the district tournament.

Even though Chantilly turned back Westfield, 65-52, in their first meeting Jan. 18, Smith gives the Bulldogs the advantage tonight.

"Our guys know that going over there it's us whose back is up against the wall because I give Westfield a lot of the advantages: playing on their home floor, they lost the earlier game, they are very, very talented," Smith said.

Chantilly has won seven straight on the strength of its balanced offense, which includes two double-digit contributors in Justin May (14.6 points per game) and Robbie Athearn (13.6), and three others scoring just under 10 points a game: Austin Decker (9.5), Jake Nolan (8.6) and 6-foot-10 freshman center John Manning (9.0).

Westfield's trio of seniors -- Jamie Richardson (14.1 points per game), Jon Gaston (10.3) and Ball State-bound guard-forward Maurice Hubbard (13.2), -- have lifted the Bulldogs to five straight wins since losing to Chantilly.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Mount Vernon Boys' Hoops

Mount Vernon's O'Dell Leaves Stuart Hurting
Season-High 17 Points Help Majors Clinch Title, Top Seed
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, February 9, 2008; E07

"You see how it's crooked?" Mount Vernon senior Ryan O'Dell said, pointing to his top left front tooth. "Right here, it's crooked, and I'm kind of mad about that."

O'Dell, a 6-foot-3 forward who missed six games this season after having his tooth cracked in half and the rest of it pushed deeper into his gums, played with a controlled anger last night as he posted a season-high 17 points and four rebounds to lift Mount Vernon over visiting Stuart, 76-72.

O'Dell's performance helped the Majors (14-6, 10-1) win their sixth straight game and clinch the Virginia AAA National District regular season title and top seed in the upcoming league tournament.

It was Mount Vernon's second regular season title in three years.

O'Dell scored nine points in the third quarter as the Majors took a 52-50 lead going into the fourth.

"In practice he's been having some dominating performances, and we've just been looking at him like, 'Dude!' " Mount Vernon Coach Alfonso Smith said. "The thing we've been saying all year is, 'Ryan, if you just work and put in the work and play with some energy, you've got the talent.' "

Sophomore forward Skylar Jones scored eight points in the fourth quarter, including a putback off his own missed free throw that put Mount Vernon ahead 70-69 with 1 minute 8 seconds left.

"I missed my free throw and I just hustled to the ball and once I caught it in the air, I knew I had to put it back up," Jones said. "It feels great knowing that we could come through adversity."

Mount Vernon trailed 34-29 at halftime and by eight points in the second quarter.

Stuart (12-7, 6-4) had its winning streak halted at four.

The Raiders relied on sophomore guard Antonio Harris, who scored 23 points, including two of his four three-pointers in an intense fourth quarter that featured five ties and two lead changes.

Four Majors scored in double figures, including O'Dell, Jones (12 points), Old Dominion University-bound senior guard Marquel De Lancey (13) and junior forward Robert Coleman (14).

"This feels great," Coleman said. "It's my first regular season championship."

Mount Vernon 76, Stuart 72

Major Struggle: Stuart is having its best season this decade, but the Raiders have posted a 1-22 record against Mount Vernon in the last 10 years.

Tank Is Solid From the Line: Mount Vernon sophomore Robert Smith, nicknamed "Tank," made all four of his free throws with less than 40 seconds left to clinch the victory.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Press Release for Verizon FiOS1 GMU Game

FiOS1, Verizon's Local TV Channel, Produces Live Broadcast, With George Mason Tipping Off Against Delaware in Men's Division 1 NCAA College Basketball

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon's FiOS1 local TV channel will produce its first live broadcast on Feb. 20 when it telecasts the Division 1 NCAA men's college basketball game between the George Mason University Patriots and the University of Delaware Blue Hens. Coverage of the game, at the Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason University, begins at 9 p.m. FiOS1, Verizon's first local TV channel in the United States, already televises local professional and college sports.

"Verizon's FiOS1 is committed to delivering content that touches lives and shows our commitment to communities," said Michelle Webb, executive producer and general manager of FiOS1. "We're proud to bring our customers live coverage of a critical matchup, as George Mason University and the University of Delaware battle on the court in this CAA conference rematch. We look forward to bringing our customers more great matchups throughout the year."

B.J. Koubaroulis, a contributor to the Washington Post, will call the game. Craig Esherick joins Koubaroulis in the booth. Esherick is a former Georgetown University head coach and assistant basketball coach and scout for the U.S. Men's Olympic Basketball Team at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Read More

Link to Mason Story

CSTV story

Wall Street Journal story

Boys' Basketball Notebook

Denny Provides A Lift for Centreville
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, February 7, 2008; VA14

Sophomore Warren Denny scored a career-high 27 points and added 10 rebounds en route to his fifth consecutive double-double to lift Centreville over Herndon, 58-44, on Friday.

It was just the second time Centreville (6-11, 3-6 Virginia AAA Concorde) beat Herndon (10-6, 5-3) since 2001 and the first time since a 53-38 victory over the Hornets on Jan. 28, 2005.
Denny, a 6-foot-2 forward, is averaging 10.5 points and 7.1 rebounds this season.

However, Denny has averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds during a two-week, five-game stretch in which Centreville has posted a 3-2 record and picked up its only district wins.

"He's a great free-throw shooter and that helps when you are active around the basket," Centreville Coach Brian Doyle said.

In Friday's win over Herndon, Denny was 13 of 15 from the free throw line and the Wildcats went on a 23-8 run in the fourth quarter to come back from a 28-17 halftime deficit.

"He's one of those guys that, in addition to having those physical tools, he goes every time and never takes a play off," Doyle said. "He's got a knack for reading the shot and knowing where the rebound is going to be. He's learning to play under control, and his decision making is improving."

Before Friday's victory over Herndon, Denny had 21 points and 11 rebounds in a 74-54 win over Fairfax and 13 and 10 in a 57-45 win over Oakton.

Generals Rebound

Washington-Lee forfeited victories over H.D. Woodson, Falls Church and Jefferson last week for using an ineligible player. The Generals, however, bounced back with a 47-44 victory over Yorktown (10-8, 7-2) on Jan. 29.

Ten Generals scored as the team's leading scorer, Gavin Treweek (15.2 points per game), left the game in the first half due to illness.

The victory moved Washington-Lee (1-17, 1-8) into a tie with Falls Church (1-17, 1-8) at the bottom of the National District standings. Falls Church's only victory was one of the Generals' three forfeits, therefore, the Jaguars held the early tiebreaker heading into the rematch Tuesday at Washington-Lee.

The Virginia High School League denied Washington-Lee's appeal to have its forfeits overturned.
"Our kids were hurt at first, but they understand it and now we just have to move on," Generals Coach Bobby Dobson said. "I feel really good about our team, even though our record is not an indication of how good we are. We are going to surprise some people later on in these games coming up."

Focusing on the Present

Jawuan Lockhart is one of eight juniors slated to come back next season for Flint Hill, which entered this week with 15 wins and with the highest scoring offense (65.7 points per game) in the Mid-Atlantic Conference.

Lockhart, a 6-foot point guard who leads the Huskies in blocks (27), rebounds (90) and assists (104), is just one reason Coach Rico Reed is excited about the future.
But "we don't talk about the future," Reed said.

That's because the Huskies (15-5, 7-2) might have a chance to make an impact this season as they entered the week in second place in the MAC with both of their conference losses to first place Potomac School (15-4, 8-1).

Junior guard Jeremy Glover (15.3 points per game) is the Huskies' leading scorer and one of the MAC's top three-point threats.

The Huskies also have a supporting cast that understands their roles and knows "this is what I can do to help my team," Reed said.

Behind the three-point shooting of junior reserve David Purkert (28-of-52), inside presence of 6-foot-3 junior forward Chris Herlihy (7.7 ppg) and junior O'Connell transfer Doug Howard (9.5 points per game), the Huskies could be poised to make a run in the upcoming MAC tournament.

"This is not a sprint, but a marathon and each game is another mile," Reed said.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Annandale Hoops

Annandale's Atomic Rush
--By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post

Annandale is warming to the role as the fastest team in the Virginia AAA Patriot District.

Led by senior Erik Etherly's 17.3 points per game, the Atoms (10-7, 8-2) are averaging 76.1 points per game, the top public school offense in Northern Virginia and sixth-best in the area entering tonight's game against Lake Braddock (11-6, 5-5).

The flip side: The Atoms' defense, however, is ranked seventh out of the eight teams in the Patriot District as it allows 67.8 points per game.

"When you run and you play an up-tempo transition style game, in return, you are going to give up points," said Etherly, a 6-5 Northeastern-bound left-handed slasher. "So, teams that might only average 40 points might come in here and score 60 or 70, but at the same time, we are going to come in and put up 90."

Annandale has won seven of eight and, since returning from their December holiday tournament in Georgia, the Atoms have lost just two games -- both to No. 10 T.C. Williams (15-3).

Etherly, senior guard Jay Washington (12.4 points per game) and junior guard Alan Stalp (12.2) are all scoring in double figures and three other Atoms add more than six per game, including freshman starter D'Angelo Boyce (7.8).

Friday, February 01, 2008

T.C. Williams-Benedictine Hoops

Benedictine's Davis Is Too Much for Titans
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, February 2, 2008; E09

RICHMOND, Feb. 1 -- Benedictine senior forward Ed Davis sat his 6-foot-9 frame on a bench just outside his locker room following last night's 69-61 victory over visiting T.C. Williams.

Davis, who posted a triple-double with 30 points, 22 rebounds, 10 blocks and 4 assists, turned away from T.C. Williams Coach Ivan Thomas, who quickly put him in a headlock, offering a little playful payback for Davis's big night.

But Thomas, who coaches Davis on his Boo Williams 17-under AAU team, already knew of the North Carolina-bound forward's vicious drop-step, left-handed hook shot and high-rising shot-blocking ability before Friday night.

And that was the reason Thomas took his 10th-ranked Titans two hours south to face Davis and Benedictine -- a private school power that has posted a 182-56 record since 2001.

"I want them to be experienced on the court against what I consider a high-level NCAA player and future pro and to be able to perform in hostile environments like this," said Thomas, who is 44-0 in the Virginia AAA Patriot District since taking over the program in 2005. "We've scratched different surfaces. We scratched different title surfaces, going undefeated in our district. We scratched the region last year, so we want to scratch another level. What else really is there?"

The Titans (15-3, 10-0) expect their nonconference schedule -- which has pit them against prominent, aggressive and up-tempo teams such as Benedictine (21-4), Montrose Christian (12-2) and Norfolk Collegiate (12-7) -- might make them tournament tough.

"To be the best, you have to play the best," said Titans senior guard Travis Berry, who scored 20 points. "We know we are going to come out and compete when it's time to go for it all."

Benedictine 69, No. 10 T.C. Williams 61

A Page Out of Herndon's Book: Titans Coach Ivan Thomas said his scheduling philosophy was inspired by the 2006 Herndon team. Those Hornets (26-5) rode McDonald's All-American and All-Met Scottie Reynolds (Villanova) through matchups with Montrose Christian and DeMatha before falling to Booker T. Washington, 55-51, in the Virginia AAA final.

His Father's Son: Benedictine forward Ed Davis -- rated by at least one recruiting service as the No. 2 boys' basketball prospect in the class of 2008 -- is the son of former Washington Wizard Terry Davis, who is credited with scoring the first basket in the history of MCI/Verizon Center.