Sunday, March 02, 2008

T.C. Williams/Northern Region Championship

Winbush Does It All in Helping T.C. Williams Repeat

By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, March 2, 2008; D14

Following his three-point buzzer-beater at halftime of T.C. Williams's 66-54 Virginia AAA Northern Region championship victory over No. 11 Langley last night, Titans senior Anthony Winbush ran off the floor with his open palms facing skyward.

He also sported a sly smirk, as if he was asking his celebrating teammates why they would expect anything less from him.

What was especially incredible about the right-handed line-drive that put the Titans up 37-24 was that Winbush, a 6-foot-7 senior guard-forward, is left-handed.

"I couldn't miss," said Winbush, who scored a game-high 24 points on a variety of shots, the likes of which have helped him garner Division I scholarship offers from Loyola and Niagara. "I felt like I was going to knock down every shot."

A crowd of 5,000 at George Mason University's Patriot Center saw No. 3 T.C. Williams (26-3) become the Northern Region's first repeat champion since South Lakes won three straight titles from 1992 to 1994.

"Winbush comes to play when we need him in the big games," said Titans Coach Ivan Thomas, who is 65-3 against Northern Region teams and 52-0 in the Patriot District in three seasons. "I'm proud of these guys' mental focus. . . . Every night these guys have a bull's eye on their back."

Winbush showed off his versatility in the first half, connecting on medium-range jumpers, inside post moves, putbacks, a breakaway dunk and a high-flying alley-oop. He scored 22 points in the first three quarters as the Titans took a 52-35 lead into the fourth.

"It feels great because everyone doubted us at the beginning of the season," Winbush said.

Junior Edward Jenkins (13 points), senior Tomas Camara (10) and senior Travis Berry (11) combined for 22 second-half points to hold off Langley (24-5), which cut an 18-point lead to seven with 1 minute 4 seconds left.

No. 3 T.C. Williams 66 No. 11 Langley 54

Up Next for T.C. Williams: The Titans will host the runner-up from Monday's Eastern Region championship game between Bethel (27-1) and King's Fork (24-4) at 4 p.m. Saturday at Robinson High School.

Up Next for Langley: The Saxons will travel to face the winner of the Eastern Region championship Saturday. King's Fork is a fourth-year school that has won has won 15 of its last 16 games behind Jaquon Parker, a 6-foot-4 junior who is averaging 17.1 points. Bethel is ranked No. 3 in the latest Associated Press poll and last won a state championship behind Allen Iverson in 1993.

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