The Wilson Tigers used their size and power to defeat the Cardozo Clerks, 56-43, on Feb. 7 in Washington D.C.
The game was an even match in the first two quarters. Both teams settled for a bevy of jump shots, and Wilson trailed by one point at halftime. The second half, however, was a different story.
Led by their big men, the Tigers built a stronger presence in the paint. With seven players measuring more than 6 feet tall, Wilson had an advantage over the smaller Cardozo team.
“We’re the biggest team in the league, so we wanted to power the ball inside,” said Wilson head coach Andre Williams. “In the first half, we didn’t do a good job of that. Our guard play was horrible, and we tried to penetrate with only our guards. In the second half, our adjustment was to get the ball to the bigs, let them work, and play off of them.”
Despite a solid effort from Cardozo junior forward Thomas Jackson, the Clerks couldn’t seem to swing the momentum back from Wilson. Wilson junior center Aaron Slaughter and junior forward Will Thompson led a dominant rebounding effort on both sides of the floor, that ultimately helped the Tigers seal the win.
“In DCIAA, there’s a lot of high flyers who like to dunk, and you can’t be scared of that,” Thompson said. “You have to still attempt to block shots. So defense is very essential to winning.”
The victory improved Wilson’s overall record to 11-5, and 7-2 in the District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) conference. They have won eight of their last nine games, and have four games left on their schedule before the postseason starts on Feb. 20.
“We’re getting better. We’re coming down the backstretch, and you never want to be your best until the playoffs,” said Williams. “We’re a strong team. We just have to stay healthy and continue to believe.”