The Washington Post

Falcons’ storybook year ends with win


With 12.3 seconds remaining Sunday and the score knotted at 64, Bard Coach Malcolm Battle called for time. After trailing for almost the entirety of the D.C. State Athletic Associatio­n Class A title game against SEED at George Washington’s Smith Center, the Falcons were one basket from putting the finishing touches on a dream season.

Battle intended to put his team’s fate in the hands of Deangelo Fogle, the Falcons’ star guard. His assistants had another idea.

“They grabbed me and were like, ‘Wait; let’s give it to Damari [ Thompson],’ ” Battle said. “‘I believe in him, Coach. Let’s let him finish this thing out for us.’ ”

Thompson was 3 for 10 from the field to that point, but Battle gave him the green light to go win it. Thompson did just that.

With a defender draped on his hip, he found a sliver of separation, then knocked down the goahead shot from the right wing to give Bard the lead. A SEED turnover and a free throw later, and Bard had its first DCSAA title with a 67-64 victory.

“Man, that meant everything to me, bro,” Thompson said. “For them to rock with me like that with the game on the line, when I wasn’t even hooping for real, is special. I’m low-key about to cry.”

Thompson provided the perfect ending to a season that followed a Disney-esque script. The gymless Falcons (24-7) shocked Jackson-reed in a D.C. Interschol­astic Athletic Associatio­n tournament semifinal, then beat Mckinley Tech in the final.

For SEED (29-6), its season ended in heartbreak for the second year in a row. Last season, it suffered an overtime loss in the public charter championsh­ip game. Senior Carmello Myles had 30 points, 11 rebounds and four steals Sunday.

Carroll girls get first title

As the buzzer sounded one last time, Archbishop Carroll’s players and coaches gathered around senior Ayva Tillmon and started to weep.

After years taking their lumps in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, Tillmon and the Lions finally had their moment when they knocked off JacksonRee­d, 39-31, in the DCSAA Class A girls’ title game at Smith Center. It was the first D.C. title in team history.

“This is just so unbelievab­le to me,” said Tillmon, whose 14 points earned her MVP honors. “I’ve been dreaming about this moment since I was in eighth grade.”

In the rematch of a regular season game that Carroll won, 70-23, the Lions (21-12) opened with an 8-0 flurry. Behind Kryslynn Stewart’s game-high 17 points, Jackson-reed (21-9) battled back and by the second quarter had a 17-16 lead.

Carroll took a 29-27 advantage in the fourth quarter. From there, the Lions turned up the intensity on defense.

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