The McKinley Tech Lady Trainers defeated the Dunbar Crimson Tide, 43-34, in Washington D.C. on Jan 28.
The Lady Trainers came out strong, playing lockdown defense against a lagging Dunbar team. McKinley was up, 20-10, at the end of the first half. However, the game took an exciting turn in the fourth quarter.
Dunbar sophomore guard Damoni Johnson took the ball to the hoop to bring the Crimson Tide within three points with less than four minutes to go. Then, junior center Imane Parker drew a foul, and subsequently made two clutch free throws to cut McKinley’s lead to one.
But McKinley responded with a layup from sophomore guard Nijah Johnson, followed by two perfect free throws from the Lady Trainers’ pride shooter, sophomore guard Desiree Lester. With 20 seconds left, a final three-pointer from Johnson sealed the win.
McKinley sophomore forward Amonie Matthews was instrumental in the first half by focusing on intangibles, like boxing out for the rebound and playing tough defense. However, she let her teammates take the reins in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
“I had to keep my anger down and play for the team instead of just for me. I’m glad my teammates stepped up, and we all got the win,” said Matthews.
“We persevered today. We played tough in the first half, but lost that lead,” said McKinley Tech head coach Gil Keyes. “They had to bring the team together, they dug deep. I’m really proud of my girls. We pulled out a good one today.”
Lester led the Lady Trainers with 13 points.
Dunbar’s next opponent is the Eastern Ramblers on Feb. 4. McKinley Tech will also face Eastern on Feb. 6.