The Washington Post
After big win, Cadets refocus and take down Cubs
In the past week, St. John’s and Georgetown Visitation both notched dramatic victories in packed gyms to win their respective conference tournaments.
Their semifinal matchup in the D.C. State Athletic Association playoffs Friday almost seemed like a letdown from that excitement. On a sleepy afternoon at Georgetown’s McDonough Arena, the Cadets were at times sloppy but did just enough to beat the Cubs, 53-47.
“It’s always an honor to have the opportunity to compete for a championship, but getting the girls to refocus for this after winning the WCAC a couple days ago is so freaking hard,” St. John’s Coach Jonathan Scribner said. “All year long, we preach about the importance of winning our conference. Then after they expend all of that energy, we tell [them] that we need them to do it again. That’s rough.”
St. John’s (26- 6) will face Sidwell Friends in Sunday’s final at George Washington. Sidwell, the top-ranked team in the area most of the season, bounced back from a letdown against Georgetown Visitation in the Independent School League championship last weekend to beat Maret, 69-57, on Friday.
Junior Leah Harmon led the way for the Quakers (27-3) with 25 points and four steals, and Kendall Dudley added nine points and seven rebounds.
Sophomores London Liley and Kennedy Austin scored 18 apiece for Maret (19-11), which put up a fight after losing to the Quakers twice by an average of 22 points during the regular season.
In the early game, the Cadets were slow to get going but found their footing in the second quarter as they used a 15-7 run to turn a five-point deficit into a 25-22 advantage at the half.
“We definitely had a hard time finding our legs early on,” said senior Delaney Thomas, who scored a team-high 17 points. “But after we finished the first quarter, it started to feel like the game slowed down and everyone was getting comfortable and finding their spots.”
The third quarter was also a bit of a grind until the final three minutes, when the teams combined for 20 points and the Cadets took a 37-31 advantage into the final frame.
They held on to their lead in the fourth but almost let it slip away in the final minute. Georgetown Visitation’s defense came to life, forcing three turnovers and turning a 10-point deficit into just two. But the Cubs (24- 6) couldn’t complete the comeback, and the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champs prevailed.
“At the end of the day, a win is a win,” said Cadets junior Kyndal Walker, who finished with 15 points. “Today we didn’t play our best, but being able to beat a really good team when you aren’t 100 percent says a lot about the kind of players that we have.”
Senior Fadima Tall had 17 points for the Cubs, who finished their campaign as the only D.c.-area team to knock off Sidwell in two seasons.
“Unfortunately, we just didn’t have it today,” Coach Mike Mccarthy said. “I honestly thought we were the better team, but for as well as we played versus Sidwell in the championship, we played equally as bad today.”