Riverdale Baptist girls win national basketball title
Despite playing without top player Jonquel Jones and coach Diane Richardson, the Riverdale Baptist girls basketball team captured the ESPNHS National High School Invitational at Georgetown Prep High School, defeating fifth-seeded Dr. Phillips (Fla.), 63-59 Saturday.
Jones and Richardson were participating in the Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association High School All-America game in Denver, but in their place, Jennie Simms produced 19 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Crusaders (37-2) to the national title while earning Most Valuable Player honors. Simms averaged 13.5 points and 12.5 rebounds during the tournament.
“She made the difference today,” Dr. Phillips coach Anthony Jones was quoted as saying in an article on ESPN.com. “Even when she’s not scoring, she does little things like sprinting into the paint and knocking the rebound loose. And when she knocked it out, they were getting all those loose balls.”
For Richardson, Saturday consisted of two victories as her Jones-led White Team won the WBCA All-America game, 74-62. Jones, the Gazette Player of the Year, produced 14 points and seven rebounds.
“We got to watch it on TV,” Richardson said from Denver Monday. “It was exciting for us. We were yelling and screaming at the TV, cheering for our team. It was two wins in one day for us [and] Jonquel did well.”
Track athletes set top marks
Coppin State University’s Early Bird Invitational proved to be a hotbed for fast times. DuVal’s Mobolaji Adeokun set a top mark in the 100 with her time of 12.15 seconds while Elizabeth Seton’s Chelsie Stevens finished just behind her at 12.17.
Adeokun also took first in the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.75, just 0.02 seconds off the state’s current best time posted by Old Mill’s Alexis Franklin. Seton’s Taylor Tucker took over for Stevens as the Roadunner chasing down Adeokun, finishing second with a time of 15.19, which is the third best time in the state.
Stevens set a new mark for the top time in the 200 with her winning time of 25.61. She also ran a leg in Seton’s 400 relay team which took first.
Seton’s Angelina Oputa and Eleanor Roosevelt’s Elise Allen battled in the 800, with Oputa finishing first in 2:22.59 and Allen in second in 2:23.42. Those times are now the top two marks in the state.
Henry A. Wise’s Champ Page raised the bar in the 200 with his time of 21.76. He also ran legs in the winning 400 and 800 relay teams. The 800 relay’s time of 1:28.03 now is the top mark in the state, besting the previous mark by two seconds.
McNamara wrestler wins national title
Bishop McNamara sophomore Alfred Bannister capped his stellar sophomore season with a dominant run through the National High School Coaches Association sophomore nationals tournament in Virginia Beach last weekend.
The 138-pounder won six matches en route to the championship, pinning three of his opponents and winning the others by a combined score of 29-10. In the championship, Bannister beat Grant Leeth (Mo.), 6-3, to capture his second NHSCA title in as many seasons.
Lawrence Academy (Mass.) sophomore Cornelius Griffith of Upper Marlboro was one of three wrestlers from the school who competed in the National Prep Wrestling tournament at Lehigh University at the end of February. Griffith qualified by placing eighth at the NEPSAC tournament on Feb. 17.
— Compiled from staff reports