GDS’ varsity women’s basketball team advanced to the District of Columbia State Athletic Association (DCSAA) Class A championship game after its victory over Archbishop Carroll on March 3. The final score was 59–55.
GDS will face off against Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in the championship game, which will take place on March 6 at George Washington University’s Smith Center.
The Hoppers started the game strong, leading 19–17 after the first quarter. According to sophomore Samia Greene, the strong start was thanks to sophomore Madi Moore-Nicholson. “She scored most of our points,” Greene said. “That’s what got us going and built up the momentum in the locker room during halftime.”
Though GDS went into halftime leading by four points, head coach Pam Stanfield felt that the team could improve on their rebounding in the second half. “In the first half, we didn’t do a great job of rebounding,” she said. “I feel like [Archbishop Carroll] stayed in the game because of their second-chance points.”
The team followed through on their goal of rebounding more often in the second half, which helped them extend their lead to six points going into the fourth quarter.
Senior Sofia Greenfield said that the team’s approach to rebounding in the second half was “boxing out, staying aggressive and don’t let [the opponents] get in front of you.”
Though Archbishop Carroll closed the score’s gap in the fourth quarter, GDS was able to stave off a comeback, never letting their opponents take the lead.
When asked what the team could improve on for the championship game, Stanfield said, “I think the girls just have to decide to rebound and then I think we’ll be in a great place.”
In the tournament’s quarterfinal game on March 1, GDS defeated Wilson in dominating fashion, by a score of 67–17.
The Hoppers’ relentless defense in the first quarter allowed them many fast break opportunities, giving them a commanding 20–3 lead.
“We started out putting a lot of pressure on the backcourt,” Stanfield said. “We were trying to get into us getting some transition points—getting some easy buckets.”
Stanfield added that the team was able to play such an aggressive defense because they didn’t commit many fouls, something they struggled with in the ISL championship game.
The team’s strong defense in the quarterfinal was led by sophomore Zania Socka, who had reached eleven rebounds by the end of the first half. Moore-Nicholson ended the first half with a long-range, buzzer-beating three pointer, giving the Hoppers an extra boost going into halftime.
Though GDS’ victory was all but decided after the first half, the Hoppers did not relent. The team’s stellar second half was highlighted by Greenfield scoring her one thousandth career point.
After the game, Greenfield told the Bit that she appreciated her teammates for passing her the ball so much during the quarterfinal in order to help her reach 1,000 points. “I had a great team this year,” she said. “I really appreciate playing with them and for allowing me to get 1,000 points.”
“I’m so proud of her; she worked so hard,” Stanfield said after the game. “I’ve been blessed to coach [Greenfield] since she was in the seventh grade, so it really feels good to watch her reach this milestone.”