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Lady Tigers win 56-52
Woodson still eyes DCIAA crown
(Published January 10, 2005)

By DAVID STEINBACHER
Special to The Common Denominator

Wilson Senior High School's Lady Tigers defeated H.D. Woodson 56-52 Jan. 6 in a home matchup that improved Wilson's record to 7-4 on the season.

The visiting Lady Warriors dropped to 3-4 on the season.

Wilson, coached by Eddie Bailey and Harold Singletary (fourth year co-head coaches), led by "double digit" points on eight separate third-quarter occasions.

"We didn't turn the ball over at all in the third quarter," said Bailey.

The visiting Lady Warriors, coached by Frank Oliver in his first season, dropped to 3-4 on the season with the loss. They trimmed their deficit to 41-33 after the third quarter was in the books. In the final quarter, the Lady Warriors kept fighting back and tied the contest 45-45 following freshman Ashley Brown's lay-up with 4:26 remaining.

Coach Oliver said his team "picked up our defensive intensity in the fourth quarter. That got us back into the game."

Wilson's Singletary said his team "got away from running our offense like we are capable of in the
fourth quarter."

Wilson senior Amarachi Umez-Eronini's ensuing bucket gave the home team a 47-45 lead, but Woodson senior Kim Milhouse converted a lay-up and a free throw to give the Warriors their first lead of the second half at 48-47 with 3:55 remaining in the fourth, after trailing by as many as 12 points, 39-27, with 4:08 remaining in the third.

"We got a little nervous. Our defense had broken down. We realized that we needed to slow it down right there," said Umez-Eronini.

Coach Bailey said his Wilson girls "turned the ball over on four of our first five possessions of the fourth quarter and that hurt."

Following a jumper by Wilson sophomore Rashaun Wright, making the score Wilson 49-Woodson
48, Milhouse converted a put-back bucket which gave the Lady Warriors their final lead of the contest at 50-49 with 2:40 remaining.

"Kim (Milhouse) really came to play. She's our lone senior in the starting lineup. She gave a great effort," said Coach Oliver.

"Defense and intensity is what got us back into this game," said a disappointed Woodson captain Avery Warley (junior post).

The game was subsequently decided in the final 160 seconds of the contest when the homestanding Tigers outscored the visiting Warriors 7-2 to prevail. Wilson senior shooting guard Victoria Clark's trey proved to be the game winner.

"I was open. Amarachi passed me the ball and I [knocked it down]," said Clark.

Following the decisive Clark basket - the Lady Tigers took the lead for good at 52-50. The senior guard also added four of four free throws down the stretch to account for Wilson's final points of the contest.

"We've been playing smart basketball. We need to keep working on boxing out. Our team goal this season is to definitely make it out of the first round of the DCIAA playoffs," Clark said.

During the past three seasons, Wilson has had their season ended by Anacostia in the DCIAA
quarterfinals.

Umez-Eronini said this year's Lady Tigers team has "good chemistry."

"We were focused at the end. We weren't intimidated by the fact that it was a close game," she said.

Woodson Coach Oliver, who succeeded longtime coach Bob Headen, was still upbeat after the game.

"We've got a young team," he said. "Continuity was an issue early in the season, but the girls have gotten familiar with one another. They've all had to get accustomed to a new system. Defensively - we are intense; offensively - we like to run and force the tempo. Our expectations are high. A realistic goal for these girls is to win the DCIAA East."

Coach Bailey said that "winning a close game is a skill. The girls have to be calm, patient and make the right decisions. Of all the teams here during the past four seasons - this one has the highest 'basketball IQ."

PACING the LADY TIGERS: Umez-Eronini (24 points - nine field goals), Clark (20 - two treys), sophomore Rashaun Wright (six), sophomore Taylor Lake (four) and sophomore Antonette Oginni (two). Junior Gabriella Lewis-White did not score, but pulled down 11 rebounds.

PACING the LADY WARRIORS: Milhouse (19 - eight field goals), junior captain Avery Warley (12), Brown (nine), sophomore Tia Bell (six), freshman Tyesha Robinson (four) and senior India Head (two).

"We need to learn from this loss and just keep playing hard from here on out," said Avery Warley.

"We played hard tonight. We need to stay focused on playing hard every game," said Woodson's Tyesha Robinson.

Copyright © 2005 The Common Denominator