The Semi-Finals: Titans Survive Storm, Earn State Tournament Berth


Edward Jenkins said he was feeling good during T.C. Williams Northern Region semifinal against Lee.And it showed.

The senior guard was everywhere Saturday night, sparking the defense and the offense with steals and rebounds, knocking down five 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 28 points in the Titans 79-61 win.

I came out and felt good today, for once, Jenkins said. I mean, I always feel good but Id never felt this good.

The Titans (26-2) led by 12 points, 47-35, in the third quarter as Jenkins completed a four-point play, but the Lancers charged back.
Fenan Woldu sank two free throws with 5:15 left in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to just four points.

That was as close as Lee (14-11) would get the rest of the way, because the Titans proceeded to go on a 22-10 run over the games final four minutes, securing the victory, a repeat appearance in the Northern Region championship game and another trip to the state tournament, which they won last year.

Normally, coaches will tell you that its hard enough to beat any team once, let alone two or even three times in a season, but this was the fourth time this year that the Titans had to face Lee.
Once again, T.C. had to out-maneuver the Lancers different defenses and weather their customary third quarter storm in order to best them for a fourth time this season.

The teams last two meetings were decided by as little as four points and six points, the Lancers showing that they had developed and learned a bit more since the Titans beat them 67-49 to start the season series.

Wed played these guys so many times that we knew they were going to show us a lot of defenses, these gimmick defenses, so we worked hard the last couple of days preparing for their defenses, T.C. Williams coach Julian King said. They showed us at least four or five different defenses.

Leading 38-29 at halftime, the Titans knew the nights work was far from over.

Coming out of halftime, traditionally the third quarter has always been [Lees] quarter, so we knew we had to weather the storm, King said. We knew that if we weathered their storm and took everything they had to throw at us, wed be fine.

A big part of that Lee storm was forward Frank Holloway Jr., who was a constant in the paint, scoring 16 points and pulling in several rebounds. The Lancers also got a boost from 3-pointers by Walter Griffin (15 points) and Woldus transition baskets.

T.C. Williams had four players score in double-figures, with Billy Rowland (19 points), Ryan Yates (14) and Gavin Peterson (10) all playing big parts in the win.

The Titans went on to play Hayfield for the Northern Region title. Hayfield advanced to the championship game by beating Mount Vernon 60-57 on Brandon Winbushs buzzer-beating 3-pointer. T.C. won both meetings with Hayfield by less than six points.