DeMatha Stags Win 2009 WCAC Basketball Championship

On Thursday, March 5th the DeMatha Stags won the 2009 WCAC championship in basketball 62-61, over rival Gonzaga. A balanced scoring attack and an adequate defensive effort proved to be just enough for the Stags to stifle the Purple Eagles in a tight contest that featured many lead changes down the stretch. Naji Hibbert (11 pts) was the recipient of an outstanding pass from Jerian Grant (10 pts) and he was able to lay it up in the final seconds of the third meeting of the two teams this season. Gonzaga only managed to win their home game against the Stags, and DeMatha celebrated their second win over the Purple Eagles in style: with a championship.

Freshman James Robinson (9 pts) was definitely impressive for DeMatha, almost becoming the fifth player in double figures behind Quinn Cook (13 pts), Victor Oladipo (10 pts), Jerian Grant and Naji Hibbert. Another impressive feat was the fact that this basketball team effectively lost their leading scorer and a consensus All American from its roster when a star junior guard had to be dismissed for disciplinary reasons. The DeMatha Stags persevered under the guidance and leadership of their outstanding coach Mike Jones and didn’t seem to suffer very long from the absence of a proven scoring juggernaut. With their national ranking intact in two meetings against previously ranked Gonzaga, the DeMatha Stags realized their opportunity at making a name for themselves as a championship basketball team.

Everyone down to the role players on this team like Mikael Hopkins (6 pts) and senior Marcus Rouse (3 pts) did their part to make this season a tremendous success. The DeMatha Stags will go on to play in the Washington DC City Title Game versus public school champion Ballou Senior High on Monday, March 9. Of course, I plan on being in attendance to witness, perhaps, a crowning achievement by what has to be the finest coaching job that anyone has witnessed in a while. It is not everyday in which you can plainly see the success of a program fully exposed as when a coach has his players so heavily invested in the system that they are able to stay the course of winning ways despite losing such a highly regarded asset as a leading scorer. This tour de force is only magnified when you consider that this particular previous leading scorer was named one of the top five guards in the country despite being only a junior.

A serious focal point such as Josh Selby could have been enough to derail most teams trying to gather the necessary steam in order to locomotive through the playoffs. The rumors swirled about and lingered for almost two months, right up until the very last game of the regular season and starting in mid-January. Everything from felonious allegations to an early exit to the NBA was discussed on sports forums throughout the country and yet somehow the surprisingly young Stags didn’t drop a game in the month of February. Coach Mike Jones dropped a game against Good Counsel at home after seemingly bouncing back on January 30, and never looked back. Thirteen wins later Coach Mike Jones and the Stags are vindicated in their decision to put the team above any one player. Can there be any doubt that the kings of the WCAC are still playing the game the way it was supposed to be played?

Its pretty hard not to get caught up in just another piece about DeMatha winning another championship because the Stags do it so much, but I want all of you out there to know that there is something to it. Kids that go to DeMatha usually want to win pretty badly before they even get there, but after that they are still subject to superior coaching. Mike Jones is just the latest example in a long list of capable leaders that continually make successes out of our young men on the courts, fields and most importantly, in the class rooms. Out of all of the rankings everywhere, I bet that you won’t find a school more dedicated to producing quality individuals regardless of the sport that is being ranked. And despite all of the undercurrents of foul play, misguided priorities, diploma mills, and racially exploitive tactics that are typical labels associated with the powerhouses on such lists, DeMatha has always risen above while enjoying success. That is the astounding part.

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One Response to “DeMatha Stags Win 2009 WCAC Basketball Championship”

  1. Natalie Says:

    so where is the follow up post? M&M loved hanging with Unky Dan last night

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