2019 Basketball Season Previews

Nacala Williams and Evan Vieth

Girls Basketball, Nacala Williams

Coming off of a very successful 20-9 season, the girls basketball team will look to capitalize on its young, underclassman-heavy roster. The team only has six returning players from last season’s run to the DCIAA finals and are without any seniors this year. 

One of the team’s biggest losses this offseason was 2019 DCIAA Player of the Year and All-Met honoree, Tara Cousins, who transferred ahead of her senior year. Aside from Cousins, the team lost five seniors, leaving many spots for Head Coach Nadira Ricks to fill. Aside from bringing in talent from Wilson’s feeder schools, Ricks hopes to see many returning players step up and emerge as leaders. Sophomore Elena Houghton, a consistent starter as a freshman, is one of these players. “I believe she is poised to have a breakout season,” said Ricks. 

The team has a few weaknesses, mostly stemming from youth and inexperience. Coach Ricks is building from the ground up as she has gone over many fundamental drills throughout the team’s preseason and during the early stages of the season so far. “The team is prepared in terms of what we want to do,” explained Ricks. “Because the team is young, I had to teach them everything. I feel good about where we are and we have a lot of depth.”

With the team being fairly new, they are still searching for a solid identity. If the team can find that identity, they have a chance to be successful. “This year if we can win 15 games, I’m happy. We will play in the playoffs and if we play well we could possibly be in the states. I would like us to be in the top 3 of the DCIAA,” said Ricks. She also emphasized that the team has their eyes on Dunbar, who beat them in last year’s DCIAA championship.

After a few DCIAA away games and two tournaments, the team’s next home game will take place on January 6 as they take on Eastern.


Boys Basketball, Evan Vieth

After a heartbreaking end to a remarkable season, the boys varsity basketball team is determined to avenge their state championship loss. Last season’s success was overshadowed by their narrow 63-62 overtime loss to Sidwell Friends, preventing the team from achieving its second consecutive DCSAA championship. 

With a young roster that features only two seniors, the team looks to maintain its winning reputation after losing many key players. “Our expectations are to play hard every game and to win,” explained sophomore Darren Buchanan. “That’s the culture at Wilson and we just want to keep that alive.”

Coach Angelo Hernandez has high hopes for the team as he looks towards reaching the DCSAA championship for the third consecutive season. The team finished last season with a 25-8 record after going undefeated in DCIAA play and defeating some of the nation’s best competition. However, the team lost its entire starting lineup, graduating seven seniors. “I don’t think you can replace them, but the kids that saw them [play] last year can learn and get better,” Hernandez mentioned. 

A few of these players ended up committing to D1 schools for basketball, including Jay Heath at Boston College and Makhi and Makhel Mitchell, who both play at the University of Maryland. Aside from the commits, the team lost one of its most productive rising seniors, Dimingus Stevens, as he transferred prior to his school year.

Another challenge that the Tigers will face is communication problems, which Buchanan hinted at. “Our weakness is communicating on defense. We don’t talk very much but we are getting better.” 

After a slow 2-2 start to the season, the team will look to keep a winning record as they take on their DCIAA competition and an invitational tournament. After winter break, the next home game will be played against Eastern on January 6.