The seniors on the DeMatha Catholic High School boys basketball will have to be content with winning only three of the last four Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles. The Stags dropped a thrilling game in the conference championship, losing 54-55 to Paul VI in front of a capacity crowd of about 3,500 at Bender Arena in Washington D.C.
The game winning shot was taken by Paul VI senior guard Patrick Holloway, who hit a two-point jump shot to take the lead with only 11 seconds left.
After a DeMatha timeout with only 2.2 seconds on the clock, the ball found its way to senior Stags guard James Robinson who fired a short jump shot under defensive pressure from the left side of the key. The air in the room was sucked out as the ball arced towards the basket. Then, pandamonium from the cheering section for Paul VI as Robinson's shot bounced harmlessly away as time expired.
DeMatha head coach Mike Jones noted that Paul VI shot extremely well the first half, hitting approximately two-thirds of all their shots. Though the Stags were able to turn out good defensive sessions in the second half, the Panthers were able to find and make clutch shots.
"We did a lot of things very well," said Jones after the game. "When they needed to make a shot–and again, were not talking layups–they got jump shots and they stuck 'em."
DeMatha was led in scoring by Jarius Lyles with 13 points and BeeJay Anya with 12 points.
Paul VI was led in scoring by Jamall Robinson with 16 points and Patrick Holloway with 11 points.
This is the third time DeMatha has lost to Paul VI this season.
DeMatha now drops to 27-5 on the season, Paul VI sees their record improve to 29-2 and advances to the city title game slated for March 12 at the Verizon Center.
DeMatha and Paul VI could potentially meet for a fourth time in the upcoming Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament in Frostburg on March 15, 16 and 17. (A warning: the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament website appears to predate the internet.)