The excitement at DeMatha was palpable when the crowd got its first look at Wilson’s Makhi and Makhel Mitchell on Friday night against IMG Academy.
Guard Carlos Dunn found Makhi Mitchell for an alley-oop on the Tigers’ first possession, sending Wilson fans to their feet in the Hyattsville gym. Makhel Mitchell flashed a smile as he jogged back on defense.
It has been nine months since our last boys’ basketball Top 20.
In that time, plenty has changed. Talented players have transferred from one area program to another, and even more have left for the adventures of the college game. Banners have been hung, trophy cases have been updated and a new round of tryouts have taken place. New contenders, and maybe even new champions, have started to form in the focused quiet of a practice gym
When the lights came back on, the No. 1 St. John’s Cadets quickly emerged from the locker room with the body language of a team that wanted to play basketball.
Midway through the fourth quarter of their season-opening rout of Good Counsel, the power in the gym had gone out. When it seemed the problem would not be fixed quickly, the teams agreed to end the game with the Cadets so far ahead. But the lights popped on a few minutes after that, and the Cadets wanted to finish things off.
Girls’ basketball season is back, and competition in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference may have become even stronger.
St. John’s returns four starters from a team that won the WCAC and District of Columbia State Athletic Association championships. Guard Azzi Fudd, last year’s All-Met Player of the Year, could be even better as a sophomore.
But McNamara and Paul VI will also vie for the WCAC crown with their top stars returning. Even Bishop Ireton could make a push behind Boston College commit Akunna Konkwo.
In April, Wilson basketball Coach Angelo Hernandez said students began approaching him in the hallways to ask if he noticed the two new students at the D.C. public school. When Hernandez saw those new students, twins Makhi and Makhel Mitchell, Hernandez said he recognized them from watching Amateur Athletic Union games the past year.
It was a weekend to remember for Quince Orchard and Friendship Collegiate, as both programs were crowned champion of their respective regions.