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State Champs: The Schedule

A game-by-game breakdown of the Titans season-long road to the state title.

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The Titans stepped up their defense against Bethel, forcing the Bruins into 20 turnovers and a season-low shooting percentage.

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Joshua Jordan, a reserve senior forward, dunks during the Northern Region championship.

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Junior point guard Edward Jenkins saves the ball during the Northern Region quarterfinals against W.T. Woodson.

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Thomas and T.C. Williams hoisted the Northern Region trophy for the second year in a row.

<b>Dec. 1 - SSSAS - W, 72-62</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: First game of the season, we had some jitters. Dedicating the floor back to Earl Lloyd, it was a big occasion… It was very emotional seeing him being emotional. He was so touched to see us wearing those throwback jerseys. It emotional, but it was a lot of fun that they understood history…We battled and struggled through and eventually opened it up. We wore them down to the end.

<b>Dec. 7 - Norfolk Collegiate - W, 45-44</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: They are a very good team. They stalled the ball and held a good zone and ran their offense…it was good to see that early on to battle against a big guy and a guard who could get it done. We didn’t make any shots. We battled and eventually, we pulled it out.

<b>Dec. 14 - at Edison - L, 79-74</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: A wake-up call…that was the only game that we got outworked…that’s the bottom line. After that game, there was dead silence in the locker room. They came at practice (for five hours). It was a wake-up — it was good.

<b>Dec. 21 - West Potomac - W, 79-67</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: With the first district game, we set the tone. The score wasn’t even as close as we indicated. It was over early. I was pleased.

<b>Dec. 26 - H.D. Woodson - W, 72-48</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: The big three played well. They only had one big guy. We played excellent defense.

<b>Dec. 27 - Wise - W, 86-75</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: They had a lot of revenge factor from the summer time. They were up and ready to play…I thought we played great defense. We were up early, but they started pressing and we threw the ball away. But we maintained our composure and pulled it out.

<b>Dec. 28 - Bowie - W, 58-43</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: After halftime, our defense played well…we had several guys score. We had a whole slew of characters.

<b>Jan. 4 - Annandale - W, 91-76</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: This was another game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated…we allowed them to score too many points in the second half. I think this game gave Annandale a lot of confidence.

<b>Jan. 8 - Lee - W, 77-62</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: This was actually for first place. I thought our guys were focused. This is where our depth showed.

<b>Jan. 11 - West Springfield - W, 84-58</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: They played us close in the first quarter. At halftime, we were losing. Ricky Colbert came off the bench and gave us six points.

<b>Jan. 12 - Montrose Christian - L, 64-58 (2 OT) </b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: It was probably one of the better high school games I’ve ever been involved with. Our kids played extremely hard. We had a couple of careless turnovers…we lost a five-point lead in the third quarter. It was a great game. That shot from halfcourt from Jenkins. I didn’t want people to pat them on the back and give them a moral victory. We took a loss. I didn’t take anything satisfactory.

<b>Jan. 15 - South County - W, 70-53</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: They played us close early. It was a team effort. Everyone scored that game except Dominique Copeland and Earl Via.

<b>Jan. 18 - Lake Braddock - W, 63-47</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: The first game, they played us straight up…we got off to an early start. We played excellent defense.

<b>Jan. 22 - Hayfield - W, 55-51</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: Hayfield played us the best in the district all year. That was our worst shooting night…when you have a bull’s-eye on your back, everybody gets up to play you.

<b>Jan. 25 - West Potomac - W, 58-47</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: We were in control most of the game, but they made a run late. That was the first game that we started mixing it up, playing some zone instead of man-to-man.

<b>Jan. 28 - Annandale - W, 67-59</b>

<lst>Thomas’ Take</i>: We were down by one or two in the fourth quarter with three minutes to go. I drew up a play for Travis [Berry] to hit a three in the corner and he hit it…I told the kids to crash the boards if he missed. Travis said, ‘I’m not going to miss it.’ We held on and stretched it out.

<b>Jan. 31 - Lee - W, 71-38</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: [After Annandale], I remember specifically going over defense. We started talking about the playoffs. I told them, ‘guys, you literally tried to run up and down the floor with Annandale, and you didn’t pay attention to our defense.’ In this game [against Lee], we did.

<b>Feb. 1 - Benedictine - L, 69-61</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: It’s a great atmosphere in there. It was a great game. We battled. I knew what I was getting into...but that was another game where we wanted to be battled tested. It was a lot closer than the score indicated.

<b>Feb. 5 - West Springfield - W, 77-51</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: I was pleased with us defensively only giving up 51 points. The game wasn’t that close. Everybody scored that game.

<b>Feb. 8 - South County - W, 76-63</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: We were down at halftime. In the second half, we turned it up.

<b>Feb. 12 - Lake Braddock - W, 53-37</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: Our guys on Senior Night, they were motivated. A whole bunch of guys scored. With [giving up] 37 points, we played great defense.

<b>Feb. 15 - Hayfield - W, 57-52</b>

<lst>Thomas’ Take</i>: It wasn’t that close. We had a double-digit lead, but starting throwing the ball away near the end. They played us tight towards the end. We didn’t much bench contribution that night.

<b>Feb. 19 - West Springfield (District Quarterfinal) - W, 82-42</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: (Thomas was hospitalized for four days with a lung cavity). It was like the size of a tennis ball in my lung and I couldn’t breathe… It was like the size of a tennis ball in my lung and I couldn’t breathe…I told the doctor to take the IV out of my arm and my wife talked doctor jargon and stuff I didn’t understand. (Thomas arrived at halftime).

<b>Feb. 20 - Lake Braddock (District Semifinal) - W, 26-20</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: We were prepared for it… I said, ‘trust me, guys, Lake Braddock will stall the ball.’ I thought the score would be lower…He knew after those two games that his only chance was to hold the ball and play this way…Meetrus and I have a lot of admiration...I was pleased with our composure.

<b>Feb. 23 - West Potomac - (District Championship) - W, 81-47</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: We played great defense…I think it was a byproduct of Lake Braddock holding [the ball].

<b>Feb. 25 - Herndon (Region First Round) - W, 69-49</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: We took away one of their best players…[Herndon coach] Chris Wheeling is a good friend of mine and he said after the game, ‘if ya’ll play defense like this, you’re going to be tough to guard.’”

<b>Feb. 26 - W.T. Woodson (Region Quarterfinal) - W, 48-32</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: The guys had a little bit of a chip on their shoulder about Woodson. [The media] had parading Woodson over us early on…With Woodson, it was funny that they ended up matching up against them…They took it out on Woodson.

<b>Feb. 29 - Lake Braddock (Region Semifinal) - W, 50-37</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: I went back to a question that [former director of student activities John Porter] asked me in my interview…I remember him asking me, ‘how would you guard the Princeton offense?’ My response to that was that I would do everything that wouldn’t allow them to set up in their offense.

<b>March 1 - Langley (Region Final) - W, 66-54</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: Langley is a fundamental and very disciplined team, but I thought our guys at the point in time were [determined]... Langley cut it down and they played hard, but I thought our guys were determined to hold their poise.

<b>March 8 - King’s Fork (State Quarterfinals) - W, 59-39</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: This is where our defensive run started. In the weeklong practice, I didn’t go over anything but defense…we were going to wear them down with defense and the style we play.

<b>March 11 - Petersburg (State Semifinals) - W, 63-46</b>

<i> Thomas’ Take</i>: Even though, they had three guys in double-digits, a lot of those points came at the end of the game.

<b>March 14 - Bethel (State Championship) - W, 70-57</b>

<i>Thomas’ Take</i>: They played the best defense I’ve ever seen a high school team play in a championship style game.