Alexandria After the T.C. Williams boys’ basketball team knocked off Lake Braddock to win its fourth consecutive Patriot District contest, a reporter asked TC guard Javon Wilson about the Titans’ defensive performance.
“Defense?” Wilson asked. “We can always do better on defense.”
When the reporter informed Wilson that TC held the Bruins scoreless for a 7-minute, 31-second stretch, the senior showed surprise before saying: “We feel we played well, but coach [Julian King] always says there’s always something we can do better. He’d say, ‘Seven minutes? Why didn’t you hold them for eight minutes?’”
T.C. Williams used a 17-0 run to pull away from Lake Braddock and the Titans defeated the Bruins 53-43 on Jan. 11 at T.C. Williams High School. Both teams struggled offensively in the first half. TC led 5-4 at the end of the first quarter and the score was tied at 10-all midway through the second. That’s when the Titans started to pull away while the Bruins remained stuck in an offensive funk.
Lake Braddock sophomore Reagan Jones made a free throw to tie the score at 10-all with 4:36 remaining in the second quarter. The Bruins wouldn’t score again until a Jones bucket with 5:05 remaining in the third quarter. Meanwhile, a 3-pointer by Andre Suggs sparked a 17-0 TC run. Malik Carney’s 3-pointer with 5:21 remaining in the third quarter gave the Titans a 27-10 lead and TC led by at least eight points for the remainder of the contest.
Regardless of whether the Titans can improve, at least they’re remembering their coach’s words.
“I think we just got off to a slow start. It was the first time this group had gotten together [and] all of us got the chance to play. … We just got off to a rough start but I feel like we’re about to kick it into gear and take this district by storm.”
— T.C. Williams senior Javon Wilson
“Considering the way we played early in the season, we’ve played harder defensively,” King said. “We didn’t exactly play smarter, and [Lake Braddock] had an off night.”
Offensively, Wilson and 6-foot-8 senior Grant Dickinson each scored 12 points for the Titans. After Lake Braddock cut the TC lead to 10 with a 6-0 run midway through the fourth quarter, Wilson buried a 3-pointer to help keep the Titans in control.
Dickinson scored in the paint as well as showing his perimeter touch. He also grabbed seven rebounds.
“We need that every night — something close to a double-double,” King said. “With his size, his length and his shooting ability, he’s able to command the middle for us defensively and, offensively, he’s skilled enough to stretch everybody out and he allows our other big guys or our guards free cuts to the basket.”
Carney finished with seven points for TC and Jeremiah Clark added six.
Will Gregorits scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Lake Braddock.
The following night, TC lost a home game to North Point (Waldorf, Md.), 89-57. As of Wednesday morning, North Point was ranked No. 8 in the Washington Post’s top 20.
On Jan. 15, the Titans improved to 8-6 overall and 5-2 in the district with a 62-59 victory against Annandale.
“I think it’s just everyone accepting their roles and knowing what we’ve got to do,” Dickinson said after the Lake Braddock game about the Titans improving, “and then just buying into what coach is telling us.”
TC has won five consecutive district games after losing on the road against West Potomac (5-2 in the district) and Woodson (7-0). Lake Braddock beat West Potomac 46-43 on Jan. 15 and is also 5-2 in the district.
“I think we just got off to a slow start,” Wilson said after the Lake Braddock game. “It was the first time this group had gotten together [and] all of us got the chance to play. … We just got off to a rough start but I feel like we’re about to kick it into gear and take this district by storm.”
TC will host West Potomac at 7:45 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18.