When Ziyah Holman took the baton Tuesday as the final runner in the girls’ 4x400-meter relay, the Georgetown Day junior was more than 50 meters behind the leader. But it was a situation she was used to.
She caught up to the runners just ahead of her in a few strides, then raced past her final competitor in the last 50 meters to win the event for the Grasshoppers at the D.C. State Athletic Association indoor track championships.
It was not a good week to have a target on your back, as 11 of the previous Top 20 teams lost.
The most notable defeat took place Friday night in Washington, as Gonzaga toppled No.1 DeMatha 65-58. The Eagles rode a late-game scoring surge, putting up 30 points in the fourth quarter to seal a victory.
With one of the nation’s most formidable trios, McNamara has been building toward this season since 2013 in pursuit of its first Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title in 11 years.
But McNamara has had to go through St. John’s, last year’s WCAC and D.C. State Athletic Association champion. McNamara and St. John’s’ two games this season have been decided by a combined eight points, and St. John’s has shown it’s still the area’s top team by beating the Mustangs for the second time Saturday.
Azzi Fudd emerged from the chaos of defensive pressure and burst into the frontcourt alone.
With her team leading No. 2 Bishop McNamara by four with under a minute left Saturday, a layup would seal the outcome and hand No. 1 St. John’s another victory over the Mustangs.
While snow postponed a handful of games last week, two of the area’s top teams, Riverdale Baptist and National Christian, met Thursday night in Upper Marlboro. After a sloppy start, the Crusaders pulled away in the second half for a 70-56 win.
This week offers rematches of some of the area’s most exciting games of the season.
After St. John’s claimed a two-point overtime victory at McNamara on Jan. 22, the area’s top-ranked teams meet again Saturday in Northwest Washington. The winner is the probable favorite heading into the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference postseason, where St. John’s and McNamara could play a third time
Mother Nature continued to wreak havoc on basketball schedules last week, forcing cancellations throughout the Washington area.
The games that did happen provided plenty of drama. Five of the top 20 teams lost, many of them to unranked opponents.
In the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, Bishop McNamara held on for a two-point win over O’Connell. In Maryland, St. Charles lost two tight games to Southern Maryland Athletic Conference opponents. In Virginia, Flint Hill came up short against another state private school power.
Most teams in the area only have a week or two remaining before postseason play begins. All of the recent postponements mean the home stretch of the season will be jampacked with action.