Coolidge Wins DCSAA Inagural Championship in Run Away Fashion
When Coolidge made the City Title game last year against Undefeated WCAC Champion Paul VI many gave Coolidge a legit shot to win that game.
The Colts were unable to come away victorious despite three D-1 players on that DCIAA championship team. When I asked Vaughn Jones how it felt to finally win a game at Verizon Center he replied, “Playing here on this court, in this environment never gets old.” You could tell Jones was ecstatic to win a championship with this team on this night.
Coolidge had somewhat of a familiar opponent — Ballou, also of the DCIAA. They had won the other side of the bracket and a date with this years DCIAA champions was set. The odd thing was that these two DCIAA teams did not play each other this season. 30 regular season games for Coolidge and none against Ballou, seems strange. So the teams weren’t very familiar with this year’s personnel, even though they are located just a few miles apart.
Coach Vaughn Jones did say he had a chance to scout Ballou in the DCSAA semi-final game at Trinity on Saturday. One thing he took from that game was that Ballou’s guards were slow and methodical. Jones used that to his advantage by pressing full court for a good portion of the game. The Colts forced the Knights in to countless turnovers, especially in the third quarter when Coolidge really began to separate.
Although Coolidge led the whole way Ballou did keep it close in the first half. Ballou’s leading scorer Brandon Boykin narrowed the gap to three with just over two minutes remaining in the first half. From that point forward Coolidge looked like back to back DCIAA champions. They stretched the lead out to six by half time and then used a 21-8 third quarter to put the game out of reach.
The Colts had a very balanced attack on Monday evening. They had seven players score between six and twelve points. Everett Coker and Shaquille James led Coolidge with 12 a piece. Brandon Boykin scored a game high 13 in a losing effort for the Knights. Coolidge went 13-17 from the stripe while Ballou connected on only 8-15.
The game marked two of the last three DCIAA teams to appear at the Verizon Center. Coolidge lost to Paul VI in last year’s City Title Game and in 2010 Ballou lost to DeMatha in the same game. You can see highlights of those two games by clicking on the links.
The only question that remains is whether or not Coolidge will be invited back to the ESPN NHSI High School Basketball Champions. Last year the Colts were fortunate to receive a bid but were blown out by the nation’s top team in the first round. The NHSI has always taken two local teams in the tournament however it seems that Montrose Christian is always one of those two. Only time will tell to see if the Colts can receive a second straight bid.