Wilson Basketball back on track after slow start

Noam Jacobovitz

Although they were ranked number three in the area by The Washington Post at the start of the season, Wilson boys basketball has plummeted out of the rankings and is now looking to get back on track and reach their ambitious goals for this season. With all that said, their goals of winning the District of Columbia State Athletic Association (DCSAA) and District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) championships are still achievable.

Despite being unable to assert themselves in the national spotlight, the Tigers are now 7-0 in DCIAA play and look as though they are going to easily defend their title. To begin conference play, the Tigers picked up a home victory against McKinley Tech, 69-61. Wilson then defeated Bell, 79-32. They picked up another dominant 79-22 victory against Cardozo, before crushing Anacostia 93-27. Wilson most recently beat Ballou 77-26, led by star senior Ricky Lindo (18 points). They also garnered a win against Takoma Academy, 85-68.

Before the season began, Lindo stressed that he wanted the team to “gain as much exposure as possible in a good way.” They had an opportunity for national attention in Las Vegas, but fell short in the Tarkanian Classic in late December, going 1-3. Wilson lost to Corona Centennial (California) 73-57. Then they lost to Overland (Colorado) 75-60, and fell short to one of Chicago’s most storied high school basketball teams, Morgan Park, in convincing fashion, 107-80. Wilson finished the tournament off with a win against Westbury Christian (Texas) 68-53.

The Tigers went on to participate in the Governors Classic in Salisbury, Maryland. At this tournament, they recovered well from the Tarkanian Classic, going 2-1 and finishing with a tough 72-71 loss against Lincoln Academy (Georgia), despite five players being in double figures scoring. Wilson started off the tournament with a 62-55 win against Canada Top Flight Academy. They then beat Legacy Early College High School (78-70), with 27 points poured in by sophomore Domingus Stevens.

To start the new year, Wilson played powerhouse Georgetown Prep (ranked ninth in The Washington Post’s rankings). With the game tied 68-68, the refs called a foul on junior Jay Heath on a three, a call that should not be made with 0.4 seconds left in the game.

Jared Bynum, Georgetown Prep’s St. Joseph commit, knocked in two of his 30 points from the line and Wilson left Rockville feeling cheated. It was a tough pill to swallow for the Tigers, who would have climbed up the rankings if they had snatched a victory. Prep was ranked fifth at the time, with Wilson ranked number 19, but instead, that foul call threw them out of the rankings.

Wilson next went on to play in the Uptown Hoopfest at Georgetown University against National Christian Academy. Wilson won 66-52, with Lindo leading the way with 16 points, 16 rebounds, and six assists.

Led by sophomore Domingus Stevens with five three-pointers (20 points) and junior Carlos Dunn (16 points), Wilson beat Capitol Christian 66-64 in the MLK Classic.

With 18 points coming in from Stevens and Ayinde Hikim (10 assists), Wilson won in Philadelphia against Constitution High School last Saturday 75-69.

Now Wilson sits at 19-7 and looks to stay hot riding their seven-game win streak. And although Wilson has fallen out of favor with the rankers of The Washington Post, there is clearly not a crisis going on with the Tigers. “We’ve had some up and downs but we feel we have everything under control… we have high hopes,” Lindo said.

Wilson is obliterating opponents in DCIAA play and is not that far away from the top teams in DC with another half of the season to play. They next play Bowie on January 27th. The best of the Tigers is yet to come.