The GDS women’s varsity basketball team won the District of Columbia State Athletic Association (DCSAA) Class A championship on March 6, beating the No. 3 seed, Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, by a score of 59–26.
Sophomore Zania Socka was named the MVP of the game, with 19 points scored and 13 blocks. “I think it went incredibly. Everyone did well; everyone did their part,” she said. “I’m glad we came together and got the win for the team today.”
Class A is the DCSAA’s lower division; the Class AA championship took place after GDS’ game and was played between Sidwell Friends School and Georgetown Visitation.
The championship took place at George Washington University’s Smith Center. Several GDS students attended, but the crowd was relatively small.
“We played well, and today the girls came in and did what they were supposed to do,” head coach Pam Stanfield said. “Our game plan was to get the ball inside to [Socka] and provide some pressure on defense, and the girls did a great job of that.”
The team started the game by immediately implementing Stanfield’s plan, with Socka scoring five of the team’s first 13 points. GDS’ defense stifled Banneker throughout the first quarter, limiting them to only seven points.
In the second quarter, the Hoppers’ defense was just as effective, keeping the Bulldogs to seven additional points.
“I had three fouls in the first half, and I’m glad my team was here to help me manage it and to support me,” sophomore Samia Greene said. “It was an example of teamwork when they were willing to help me out through that first half where I struggled.”
In the third quarter, GDS’ offense came alive, bringing the score to 43–20. Socka scored ten of the team’s points and blocked four of Banneker’s shots.
The team continued their big lead in the fourth quarter, again outscoring Banneker, on their way to a 33-point win.
As the final buzzer sounded, the GDS team and its coaches stormed the court, celebrating the win. Shortly after, the team was awarded the championship trophy and cut down the net, a tradition after winning basketball championships.
The game was the last of the season, and the team’s seniors and two captains, Sofia Greenfield and Aaliyah Ojeda-Brown, will not be returning to the team next year. Many players and coaches were in tears while congratulating the seniors after the game.
“It was a really great way to end their senior year, and I’m proud of them,” Stanfield said of the two. “They need to remember to come back and visit.”
“This just shows that we have infinite potential, and moving forward, I know that the team is looking good and is set up to do really well,” Greenfield said after the game. “I just want to thank my teammates for the support and the hard work that they’ve put into this.”
Greenfield expressed her gratitude for Stanfield. “I’m really proud of her, and it’s just incredible all the work she’s put in,” Greenfield said. “I really appreciate all of the work she’s put in for me as an individual and for the whole team.”
Greene said that she thought that the team is in a good place to move forward next year. “This season was great, and we really came together as a team,” she said. “Even though we’re losing two great players, Aaliyah and Sofia, this team looks good.”
Greene’s optimism was shared by Greenfield. “I’m really excited for this team and their future to come,” she said. “I saw the perseverance in this game, and I know that it’s definitely going up from here.”