The Eastern High School Lady Ramblers are the DC State Athletic Association Class A Tournament State Champions.
In a hard-fought game played Sunday at Sports and Entertainment Arena, the ninth-seeded Eastern team beat second seed Banneker high school by a score of 46 to 41. Most Valuable Player honors went to Janiah Metz.
Team Coach Marcus Konde said the state title adds another dimension to the team’s reputation for excellence. He said that the team had been known for their academic excellence —half the team is in the IB program and the Lady Ramblers overall have one of the highest overall team GPAs in the city.
Now, in addition to having a reputation as a school of high academic achievement, Eastern will also be known for their girl’s basketball program. “We will no longer be the underdogs. Instead the expectation is that we will be one of the top teams in the City,” Konde said.
Konde said the championship was a credit to the players. “What stood out the most about this season was how the team was able to come together to make a run for the state title,” he said, adding that the team had fully taken advantage of their second chance after losing the DCIAA semi-final game to Wilson High School Feb. 2.
The Lady Ramblers were notified they were invited to the Class A State tournament Thursday. They didn’t have time to practice until the night before their first game, scheduled last Tuesday, Feb. 26 versus Washington International. Still, they rallied to emerge victorious by a score of 31 to 20.
After that game Coach Konde went to urgent care, where he was diagnosed with a serious flu. So, it was without their coach on the sidelines that Eastern rallied to beat Model Secondary School (47-36) Wednesday and then defeated National Collegiate Prep on Thursday, the latter by a decisive score of 40-9.
Coach Konde was back on the sidelines for the championship game Sunday. He said that the Championship demonstrated the strength and dedication of the entire organization.
“Words cannot express how blessed I am as coach with a great group of girls and a great Eastern coaching staff,” he said.
Relive the glory. You can watch the DCSAA Class A Championship online.