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DCIAA post-season tips off

Dunbar girls favored to win as Anacostia knocks off ’01 champs

(Published February 25, 2002)

By BRIAN BRADFORD

Staff Writer

The girls’ league is exciting, intense and full of rivalries. The coaches don’t care for one another too much, and neither do their players.

Every game of this year’s DCIAA varsity girls’ basketball tournament should be a thriller. Much anticipated matchups finally get underway this week at area high schools.

In the last decade two high schools attracted most of the city’s strongest girls’ basketball players. That has changed and this year’s girls’ playoffs will demonstrate that. There is a pool of teams with a legitimate chance of winning the championship this week.

"Dunbar, Coolidge, Roose-velt, Anacostia, Woodson and Wilson are all quality teams capable of winning. Six different styles. It’s just a matter of what style works on a given night," said Anacostia coach Frank Briscoe. "Good coaches know what everyone is doing. It’s a matter of executing your style."

The disbursement of talent is accredited to the recent strengthening of junior high and elementary school leagues.

"Younger guys have started coaching in the junior highs and elementary school. They are teaching the girls the game, so that by the time they get to high school they know the basics," said Briscoe.

The stronger junior high leagues produce a larger crop of ball players and some of the better players now choose a school in their neighborhood where they can get playing time, he said.

The favorite to win this year’s DCIAA girls’ title is Dunbar. Dunbar is fielding the best team the school has had in a long time and has dominated DCIAA opponents this year. Their only league loss was a forfeit to Coolidge. The Lady Tiders had to forfeit that game because of their involvement in a fight with Roosevelt two nights before.

Dunbar’s team was much improved during the off-season when two seniors transferred in. Point guard Teyonka Hodge transferred from Woodson and Candice Howard transferred from Bladensburg High. Both immediately became starters and impact players. Howard was named to the All-Met first team last season. Dunbar is 17-3. Their other two losses were to Murray Bergtraum (N.Y.) and Bullis.

Anacostia earned the top seed in the East Division by beating defending league champion Woodson. Although Anacostia lost to the Lady Warriors earlier in the year, their margin of victory was two points more than Woodson’s, thus earning them the home court advantage in the first playoff round.

2002 DCIAA Girls’ Varsity Basketball Tournament

First-round contests tip off at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 26

Wilson at Anacostia

Ballou at Coolidge

M.M. Washington

at Dunbar

Woodson vs. Roosevelt

(at Spingarn)

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator