Coolidge Captures Back-to-Back DCIAA Championship
When Coolidge graduated Khalen Cumberlander, Maurice Jeffers, and Jade Dade, and DeShaun Morman was forced to transfer many thought it would be a rebuilding year for the 2012 DCIAA champion Coolidge Colts. Omar Roberts, a 5’10” senior was the loan returning starter, and outside of Roberts there were very few components to that championship team set to return.
Enter David Kadiri and Kory Cooley.
Kadiri proved all season long why he was the most dominant pivot in the DCIAA. Kadiri led Coolidge all year in scoring and came up huge in the Championship going for a game high 20 points.
Cooley, who comes from a basketball family (brother Austin was a 2008 first team All-met for Bethesda Chevy-Chase) came to Coolidge with a basketball pedigree and high expectations. It took the junior a little while to get acclimated with Coolidge basketball but once he peaked it was apparent that he was the truth. Cooley was second in scoring for the Colts on the season at 12.4 points per game, and had a few huge shots down the stretch including the winning free throw with 11 seconds to go to seal it for the victorious Colts. Cooley will be the unquestioned leader next yeah in his senior season as Coolidge attempts to go for the three-peat.
Coolidge had many other contributors this season. Shaquille James, Trayvaughn Newell, Sam Briggs, Donnel Butler, Nijee Britton, and Everett Coker and senior captain Omar Roberts all had very big roles for a Coolidge team that started out its season playing in Hawaii against Findlay Prep who was ranked the #1 team in the nation. Coolidge played a very tough schedule and took a handful of early losses which really helped them and built them into the team they had become.
Perhaps their biggest win of the season came on February 12th, when Coolidge went on the road ad played this same Roosevelt team. At the time Roosevelt was undefeated, riding a 21 game winning streak and ranked the #2 team in the DC metro area. It appeared that Roosevelt had separated themselves from Coolidge as the heavy favorite to win the DCIAA championship. And they had beaten teams such as Montrose Christian, Princeton Day, West Charlotte, Milford Mill, Dunbar, Lake Clifton, and many other powerhouse type schools in earning that 21-0 record. So in walks DCIAA rival Coolidge into their house and absolutely stomped on them. 64-46 was the final score and what that victory did was made Coolidge believe. It made everyone believe — that this wasn’t going to be a one horse race and that was evident here on championship night in NorthWest.
It was another magical season for Coolidge head coach Vaughn Jones. Last year he had the ultra-talented team (three D-1 players) and this year he had the gritty, hard nosed team that upset the favorite in a thrilling championship game.
The championship saw lead change after lead change. There was one point in the second quarter where Roosevelt looked like they were going to run away with it. They had opened up a nine point lead and after a Vaugh Jones time-out, Coolidge came back to tie the game within two minutes. Then Coolidge looked like they had it locked up late, as they had a seven point lead with two and a half minutes left. Roosevelt started playing the foul game early and Coolidge struggled mightily from the line. Outside of one 2-2 trip to the line the Colts didn’t make a single free throw in that last two and a half minutes until Cooley connected on the game winner with 13 seconds to go. Roosevelt erased a seven point defect by playing the foul game with a minute remaining on the clock.
It was an exciting regular season and a thrilling championship in the WCAC.