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Lady Riders repeat in DCIAA
Roosevelt loses City Title to Good Counsel in OT
(Published March 7, 2005)

By DAVID STEINBACHER
Special to The Common Denominator

Roosevelt's Lady Riders soundly defeated the Anacostia Lady Indians 83-46 to claim the 2005 DCIAA girls varsity basketball championship Feb. 27 at Coolidge Senior High's gym.

But the Lady Riders suffered a heart-breaking overtime loss March 6 in their attempt to repeat as City Title champions for a second year. Good Counsel of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference defeated Roosevelt 74-65 to win this year's city title.

Roosevelt, coached by Tyrone Pttman, finished the season with a 23-2 record. Anacostia's Lady Indians, coached by Frank Briscoe, finished with a 16-4 season record.

Despite Anacostia leading 2-0 early on in the DCIAA championship game, following a bucket by senior forward/post Jessica Adair, Roosevelt was determined to successfully defend its 2004 title. The Rough Riders tied the contest at two apiece, when sophomore guard Brittany Hillard converted two free throws (4:19 remaining first
quarter). On their next offensive possession, Roosevelt went ahead for good (5-2), when Hillard knocked down a left handed trey (3:55 remaining first).

"Offensively, we wanted to hit our shots and also attack their big girls and get them into foul trouble," said Hillard, who started last season as a freshman.

The Lady Riders went on an offensive flurry and led 13-2 after the first quarter was in the books. Pittman's team picked up in the second quarter where they left off in the first quarter. Hillard scored the first three buckets of the second stanza - to increase Roosevelt's lead to 19-2 (6:58 remaining second). Freshman guard Asyja Smith's lay-up gave the Rough Riders a 21-2 advantage (6:29 remaining second), and then senior forward Shemere Brooks lay-up gave Roosevelt a 23-2 advantage (6:12 remaining second).

Roosevelt scored 25 unanswered points on the Lady Indians, and they capped off that surge when senior guard Shanae Baker-Brice converted a sweet 8-foot jumper to make it 25-2 with 5:14 remaining in the second quarter.

"Defensively, we wanted to trap the ball and cause a lot of turnovers and that's what we did," said Coach Pittman.

Roosevelt recorded 18 steals in the game to Anacostia's seven. Anacostia narrowed its deficit to 25-4, 27-5, 31-6 and 35-9 before the teams headed to the locker rooms at halftime, with Roosevelt firmly in control 39-9.

"Jessica Adair had picked up three personal fouls in the first quarter. I was forced to sit her out for the entire second quarter," said Anacostia's Coach Briscoe.

Roosevelt closed out the third quarter with a commanding 58-30 advantage. The Lady Riders led in the fourth quarter by 30 points or more on 17 separate occasions to take the suspense out of the game.

"This team sticks together. We trust one another with the ball. This win feels great," said sophomore guard Hillard.

Despite the loss, Briscoe was upbeat. "Roosevelt is a great team. Turnovers and foul trouble hurt us tonight. The six seniors on this team have probably made the most improvement of any senior class that I have ever had. They will all be going to college - some will play, some will not," Briscoe said.

Coach Pittman said his team "executed well. They stuck to the game plan. They hustled out there."

Pittman said he wanted the team's six seniors [Shanae Baker-Brice, Katrina Wheeler, Shemere Brooks, Mary Battle, Monique Dingle and Susan Link] "to go out with a bang."

SPEARHEADING ROOSEVELT OFFENSIVELY: Hillard (32 points, five steals, four rebounds, four assists), Baker-Brice (24, nine rebounds, eight assists, five steals), Wheeler (12, eight rebounds, six steals),
Asyja Smith (nine, three rebounds, two steals) and Shemere Brooks (six, three rebounds).

"Our team has a real good chemistry to it. We've been playing with one another for a long time. We're starting to build a dynasty here at Roosevelt," said center Katrina Wheeler.

PACING ANACOSTIA OFFENSIVELY: Jessica Adair (23 points, 15 rebounds, two steals), Jazmine Adair (seven, 10 rebounds), Danielle Richardson (six, five assists, three rebounds), Diamond Eason (four, three
rebounds), Koyan Jackson (three) - also Shonita Jackson, Ursula Tutt and Charmaine Chase - all contributed one point for the Lady Indians.

"I'm happy that we got this far, but I would have been a lot happier had
we won," said Jessica Adair.

Copyright 2005 The Common Denominator