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Boys’ varsity basketball dominates Dunbar to advance to DCSAA Semifinal

Tigers tip off against St. John’s on Friday.
Nate Watson
SPOT UP: Senior small forward Scottie Hubbard attempting a three pointer against Dunbar from Feb. 15.

When the ball touched his hands on Wednesday night, his shot was pure. Each three pointer attempt that spun and snapped the net only added to the smokeshow that began to smother. Senior small forward Scottie Hubbard’s 19 points, five of which were three pointers, helped JR dominate Dunbar High School, 61-13.

“My shots were just falling, I missed my first two, but I figured out what I had to do to get going,” said Hubbard, who also tallied three rebounds and two assists. Recording his playoff-high in points, “my teammates were finding me in the right spots, and I was just knocking them down.” 

The senior shot five  of eight from behind the three point line, notably having more individual field goals than the entire Crimson Tide (17-12) did, at just three in 32 minutes. “[It’s] keeping the same work ethic, always being in the gym shooting, working on my craft,” Hubbard added. Whenever I get back in my groove, or stay in a groove that’s what it leads to.” 

With the three ball falling for the Tigers Wednesday night, the main source of their success was defense. Dunbar, coming off of a double overtime win against Friendship Tech Prep on Tuesday, where they scored 60 points, scored a season-low  13 points. That, on top of shooting 12% from the field, making one out of 11 shots from beyond the three-point arc, commiting 12 turnovers, and having six free throws account for nearly half of their points.This all led to the barbecue, where the clocks ran just before halftime. 

“Our approach was to not let up any paint touches, play defense all the way to the rim and communicate,” said senior point guard Lucas Sekasi, who had eight points and four assists. 

PRESS COVERAGE: Senior point guard Lucas Sekasi playing defense from Feb. 15.

“We just honed in on our defensive principles, that’s what led us to the win,” Hubbard added. “We just have to show people they don’t belong on the same court as us, and it was just a statement to the DCIAA and DCSAA, and to everyone in the area.”

That message was well received in front of a large and energetic crowd, in the final home basketball game at JR this season. “The guys just locked in,” said head coach David “Tee” Johnson. The team shot 84% from the free throw line, made a team total of 10 threes, while shooting 51 percent from the field. “I’m excited about Friday, I think they’re ready, they showed [last night] they’re ready to play for a championship.” 

However, the Tigers remain committed and focused on their “one game at a time” approach. “If we don’t win Friday, Sunday doesn’t matter,” coach Tee said. “One game mentality, we have to go 1-0. In our mind, Friday is the last game of the season, Sunday doesn’t matter.”

That will be against the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) 4 seed St. John’s College High School, who beat 5 seed Roosevelt, 74-45 yesterday. The Tigers are 1-1 against WCAC competition this season. “[Coach] Tee tells us we’re always 0-0, so we really gotta take it one day at a time to go 1-0 and get to GW. We just have to stick to what we know, and stay together,” Hubbard continued. 

“That’s just so they won’t get comfortable, 0-0 mindset, regardless of how many games we got,” added Coach Tee. “We’ve won so far, everything behind us is just an experience, that’s how we look at it.” 

Advancing to the second round semi-final, the 1 seed Tigers (33-2) and 5 seed St. John’s Cadets (24-7) meet for the first time this season. Notably one year prior, the Tigers won 66-63 in the state Semifinals against the Cadets. 

“I’m hoping the guys come out and play as stifling as we did on defense today. If we can put out another defensive performance like we did, we’ll punch our ticket to George Washington,” coach Tee continued.

Tip off against the Cadets is set for 5 pm at McDonough Arena on the campus of Georgetown University. The Tigers will look to go 1-0, and advance to GW for the fifth consecutive season, with another opportunity, where they’ll get the winner of 2 seed Gonzaga and 3 seed Sidwell Friends. 

In order to get there, “we have to stay true to what we’ve been practicing and preaching all season long,” said assistant coach Brent Park. “Just embodying it as much as we can, living up to our fullest capabilities.” “It will take buying into each other and coach Tee. Staying disciplined for the next 48 hours,” added the senior Sekasi.

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About the Contributor
Justin Glenn
Justin Glenn, Assistant Sports Editor
Justin is a sports fanatic.. you’ll most likely see him with a baseball cap of some sort throughout the hallways. If he isn’t writing about high school sports, he’s likely watching a D.C. sports team, NASCAR or some other professional league in his free time. Outside of sports, he enjoys the outdoors and watching Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch, besides that, he’s an average out-going person.
  • 2023-24: Assistant Sports Editor
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