Donald Brewer Jr. and Brandon Howell combined for 53 points in Roosevelt’s 85-76 win over Eastern in the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) Boys’ Basketball Semifinals on Feb. 20 at the University of the District of Columbia.

Despite the final score, the win was anything but easy for Roosevelt, who trailed Eastern, 46-37, at halftime.

“We had to pick the pressure up on defense,” said Brewer, a junior power forward. “The offense was there but we weren’t playing no D.”

In the third quarter, Roosevelt stepped up their defense to go on a 21-11 run. Howell, a junior guard, grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back to give his team a 58-57 lead. Howell finished with 21 points, including five three-pointers.

Eastern outrebounded Roosevelt on Jan. 21, and although Roosevelt ultimately won that game, they were not happy with their lack of second-chance opportunities. This time, Roosevelt collected a whopping 43 total rebounds, including several offensive boards.

By the fourth quarter, the game was so close that the point margin was never greater than four points—until the final two minutes.

“My coach told me I’m the leader of the team, and I had to get some buckets,” said Brewer, who finished with 32 points, including six three-pointers.

With Roosevelt holding on by one point, Brewer made a jumper, extending the lead to 79-76. He scored six straight points in less than a minute, and blocked a critical shot by Eastern junior Clarence Thomas. Eastern couldn’t recover, and Roosevelt left with a decisive 85-76 win.

Roosevelt will face H.D. Woodson—who edged Coolidge with a 67-62 victory—in the highly anticipated DCIAA Boys’ Basketball Championship on Feb. 24 at University of D.C.

The last time these two teams met, they were both undefeated and battled in a controversial, emotional thriller to take home the DCIAA regular season title. The game came down to just two free throws, and H.D Woodson sophomore Kiyan Boyd lifted the Warriors to a 78-77 win.

When asked about the rematch against H.D. Woodson, Brewer only needed five words to get his point across: “I want to play them.