Sophomore guard Shawn Dotson scored a game-high 14 points in Coolidge’s 62-41 win over Wilson on Feb. 6 in Washington, D.C.

Coolidge (17-6, 10-2) controlled the pace of the game from early in the first quarter. Due to smart defensive play by Coolidge, Wilson (16-9, 9-3) was unable to get their offense rolling.

“Defensively, we pressed them and forced their ball-handlers into some turnovers,” said Coolidge coach Vaughn Jones. “We thought that was the key, and it worked. We got some easy baskets.”

Junior forward Kevin Perry Jr. added, “In the first half, we realized who the shooter was so we started closing him out, running him off the line. Then, we focused on getting the defensive rebounds and getting the ball.”

At halftime, Coolidge led Wilson with a score of 28-18. In the third quarter, Wilson started to gain momentum, partly due to an offensive burst by junior guard Nikko Preece and senior forward Miles Gilette. Wilson cut the lead to six points and had the packed crowd on their feet.

However, Wilson only scored six points in the fourth quarter, compared to Coolidge’s 18 points to seal the win.

Coolidge junior guard Justin Route—who finished with 11 rebounds—assumed a leadership role following the departure of several key seniors last season, and quickly grew into a DCIAA standout.

“It all started in the summer league. He (coach Jones) told me a starting spot and leadership was going to come, and it was everything I expected. It was grimy, hard, difficult, but we fought through,” said Route after the game.

Wilson’s Preece finished with 13 points, while senior swingman Trevaun Hyatt scored 10 points.

Next: Coolidge faces their rival, defending DCIAA champion Theodore Roosevelt on Feb. 10. Wilson will play Dunbar (D.C.) on Feb. 10.