SportsDCSAA holds historic state middle school championships

DCSAA holds historic state middle school championships

It’s March Madness for basketball on all levels, and this past week the District of Columbia State Athletic Association (DCSAA) held its annual state boys’ and girls’ championship, when teams from the public, private and charter schools come together until a champion is determined. 

Normally a competition among high schoolers, more excitement was added for this year’s extravaganza as the DCSAA added boys and girls’ middle schools for the first time.

The opening rounds took place at various schools up until the semifinals which were held at Georgetown University and finally the championships at George Washington University’s Smith Center.

There were some firsts, some surprises and some business-as-usual outcomes. In the middle school championships Georgetown Day’s girls defeated Alice Deal, while the Alice Deal boys beat the Jefferson Vikings. In Class A, Georgetown Day’s girls were victorious over Jackson-Reed and the Idea boys beat the Cardozo Clerks. Finally, in Class AA St. John’s girls beat Sidwell, and Sidwell’s boys beat St. John’s.

Georgetown Day Girl Defeat Deal, Alice Deal Boys Capture Titles

The Georgetown Day (13-2) girls rode the scoring of its talented 8th graders Jozie McDuffie and teammate Iris Leonard to get past Alice Deal, 37-30 in the historic DCSAA state middle school championship at the Smith Center on the campus of George Washington University.  McDuffie put on an all-around play display, scoring 15 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out four assists.  Leonard, the MVP, led all scorers with 17 points.  Afia Hunter of Deal (14-1) led her team with 12 points.

In the boys section, it was the Alice Deal boys’ team that went on to win, 67-45 against Jefferson Middle.  Eighth graders James Walker led all scorers with 25 points, while teammates Elijah Hall and Ainsley Sedalia tallied 14 and 10, respectively.

Jefferson Middle School’s Jacob Jenkins finished with 17 points to lead the Trojans (15-1), who entered the tournament undefeated. They beat the  Vikings twice during the regular season. 

“This is special not only for the Deal community, but for the city community as well,” said Deal head coach Larry McEwen. “Now the talent feeder to these top high school programs get a chance to showcase their skills.  And to be the first champions is something they will not forget.”

Kenny Owens, executive director of the DCSAA, said adding middle schools was “just a matter of time.”

We already have softball, cross country and volleyball for the middle schools.  Now we have basketball and will soon be doing it for chess.  We look to expand and provide exposure for the young athletes.”

Georgetown Day Wins Girls, IDEA Wins Boys Class A Titles

Senior guard Madisyn Moore-Nicholson started off the first quarter strong as Georgetown Day burst to an early lead and pulled away for a 61-43 victory over Jackson-Reed in the DCSAA Class A Girls Basketball Tournament championship, the Hoppers’ second state title in three years.

Moore-Nicholson scored nine of her game-high 23 points with four rebounds and three assists as the Hoppers built a 22-5 lead after one quarter and coasted from there. She also finished with eight rebounds and seven assists.

Sophomore forward Cai Roberson added 14 points and six rebounds for the Hoppers (22-7) and her sister, freshman forward Nevaeh Roberson had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

“This is our second championship but it feels special,” commented Pam Stanfield, head coach of the varsity and assistant with the middle school teams.  ” And to have our middle school win their first ever championship adds even more for Georgetown Day and our program.”

Sophomore center Aminyah Muhammad finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds as Jackson-Reed (18-10) lost in the final for the second consecutive season.

In the boys Class A game, senior forward Malachi Hoston added 20 points and 10 rebounds and scored the go-ahead points on free throws with 1 minute 20 seconds left as Idea (27-6) won its first-ever state title. Senior center Nehemiah Johnson made a steal in the closing seconds to seal the victory. 

The Cardozo Clerks had trailed by 18 in the third quarter before going on its run.

Sophomore guard Nasir Slater led Cardozo with 21 points, including a dunk and three-pointer that had put the Clerks (24-5) in front, 63-60, with less than three minutes left.

“This is a group of seniors who have been fighting for respectability,” noted IDEA Head Coach Drew Crawford.  “They lost their composure a little when they made that big run. But in the end, this is something that they have been working for during their time here at IDEA.  This is a great accomplishment for our program.”

St. John’s Girls, Sidwell Friends Boys Prevail

The St. John’s girls’ team pulled off what was considered by some to be a major upset by taking down Sidwell Friends 42-39 in overtime in the Class AA championship.  It marked the second straight title for the Cadets, who had upset nationally ranked Bishop McNamara in last week’s Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) championship.

Parlaying some stifling defense and the timely scoring of senior guard Kyndal Walker and a clutch basket by sophomore guard Morgan Stewart, St. Johns outlasted the two-time defending champion and number-one ranked team in the area.  Walker, the game MVP and University of Maryland recruit, led all scorers with 18 and Stewart, a sophomore and player to watch, scored 12, eight coming in the 4th quarter and extra period, including the game-winner.

“This tournament means a lot to us,” said an emotional St. John’s Coach Jonathan Scribner after the game.  “To say you’re the best in the city is a big, big thing for our school and for our kids. It’s so hard to do that, especially against a team like Sidwell. So I am incredibly proud of this team.”

It was the sixth state title for the Cadets (26-5) under Scribner.  The Quakers (27-4) were led by senior All Americans Zania Socka (17) and Kendall Dudley (11 points, 10 rebounds).

In the night finale, Sidwell Friends and the Cadets of St. John’s went toe to toe through the first half.  But the third quarter proved to be the difference as the Quakers outscored them,16-6 and went on to a 47-37 victory.  Sidwell Friends (25-6) had played a strong non-conference schedule, and it played a role in the outcome.

“It’s a surreal feeling, to call yourself the best,” said Sidwell Friends Head Coach Eric Singletary, regarded as one of the best in the country. “It always overwhelms me.  This says a lot about the people in the program and the support that we receive. There’s not a lot for me to say.” 

Juniors Acaden Lewis (16) and MVP Jalen Rougier-Roanne (15) and senior Caleb Williams (10) combined for 41 of the Quakers’ points. St. John’s was led by junior forward Omar Witherspoon and sophomore Devin Toatley with 11 and 10, respectively.

Source: Washington Informer

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