Boys Varsity Basketball
|Fairfax High School||64|
|WT Woodson High School||57|
In the words of the immortal Jackie Gleason, "How sweet it is!" Tonight's contest was the quintessential high school sports experience: cross-town rivals, a packed house, a well-played, entertaining and outcome-in-doubt-most-of-the-way game, topped off by a victory on the opponent's home court. Doesn't get much better than that. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
The Rebels had their shortest bus ride of the season as they traveled to the other-side-of-where-the-tracks-used-to-be W.T. Woodson High School to take on the defending 6A State Champion Cavaliers in the final game of the 1st round robin of Patriot District play. As indicated, the house was packed with students and adults, seemingly in equal numbers for both teams, which was good to see. Woodson took the uncontested opening tip but couldn't convert. The Rebels came away with the rebound, pushed the ball upcourt and swung it to senior co-captain Aziz (NoNickname) Abousam who calmly dead-eyed a 3-pointer. Wooters went wild! From there onward, it was back and forth and when super soph Josh Abtew swished a threebie of his own at the buzzer off a set play, the game was knotted at 10. NoNick had half of that total himself.
Aziz hit again to start the 2nd period and then Chase Ackerman took it to 14-10. Woodson tied it at 14, Josh put the Rebs back up by 2, Woodson's leading man gave the Cavs a 17-16 lead, Nicky got to the line after being hammered on a drive and made 1 of 2 to tie it at 17. Enter the Twister who made one of his special hard-fought hoops to put the Rebs back up 19-17. The Cavs tied it again and JBGosh once again scored the final bucket of the period, enabling the visitors to take a 21-19 into the locker room, which, by the way, was about as far away from the gym as it could possibly be.
The 3rd period was just as tight as its predecessors. Josh hit a couple more 3's, even got fouled on one, but couldn't hit the free throw. Ackerman hit a 3 of his own, Wooter favorite Wicky Petey scored his 1st 5 points of the contest and we were all knotted again at the end of the 3rd, 37-37. Boy, was the place rockin'!
KC Colbert hit a pair from the line and Abthree followed with both ends of a 1-and-1 for a 4-point lead to get things going in the 4th quarter. Woodson brought it back to 40-41 and then Wicky literally took over the game. He hit from outside the arc for a 44-40 lead, then followed another trifecta from Nicky with a soaring drive down memory lane for a 49-40 Rebels' lead. With Peters scoring 12 points overall in the period, the lead eventually grew to 12 points at 60-48, and the Rebels made just enough free throws down the stretch to come away with a satisfying 64-57 victory. They lingered for some time on the court soaking in the adoration from the Wowdies, who didn't seem to want to leave either.
On the night, Abtew led the team in scoring with 18 points and found the range again from outdoors, knocking down 4 of them suckers. He also pulled down a career-high 5 rebounds and had a couple of assists while logging a team-high 28 minutes of PT. Peters was right behind in the scoring table with 17, including 6-8 from the field and 4-5 from the stripe. As usual, the Maestro was wheeling and dealing on both ends of the floor, leading the way with 7 assists, to go along with 4 boards, 5 key 4th period free throws and 1 vicious Cavalier rejection. Quez led the team with 6 rebounds and took a beating drawing an offensive foul on an unbelieving Cav. But it was Aziz who garnered man-of-the-match post-game huzzahs from the coaching staff for his career-high 11 points, 4 rebounds (tying his career high), 2 steals, 3 deflections, 1 measly turnover and manly game-long defense. Aziz always draws the toughest defensive assignments and quietly goes about his job, and tonight it really stuck out. And tonight, the team really took care of the ball, turning it over only 9 times.
At the end of the 1st slog through District play the standings look like this: 1) South County 4-1 (who, by the way, beat Lake Braddock last night 111-109 - if you can believe what the Washington Post reported), 2) Lake Braddock 4-1, 3) Robinson 3-2, 4) Fairfax 2-3, 5) Woodson 2-3, 6) West Springfield 0-5. Only five more games remain in the regular season, the district is highly competitive and several guys are making significant inroads in the program record books. All that is to say that you should come out and support the team and watch some very good high school hoops. Come say "hey" when you do. Thank you for the