Down late in the fourth quarter during the inaugural MLK East Coast Jam Fest at Archbishop Spalding High School in Northwest, Woodrow Wilson High School had to dig deep and show Capital Christian Academy they weren’t folding in the face of adversity.
The Tigers clawed their way back from a five-point deficit with less than three minutes remaining, scoring seven unanswered points to defeat the Red Storm, 66-64, on Jan. 13.
Wilson jumped out of the gates on a 6-2 run after senior shooting guard Ricardo Lindo hit the Tigers’ first three shots of the game, but Capital Christian (Upper Marlboro, Md.) hung tough. But just as Wilson seemed poised to pull away at the start of the second quarter, Lindo hobbled to the locker room with a sprained ankle.
“We just had to keep fighting,” Wilson head coach Angelo Hernandez said of playing without Lindo. “Down the stretch, our guards rely on our big kids like Lindo to average double-digit rebounds, and he went out tonight, so people had to step up.”
In his absence, the Red Storm went on a 9-3 scoring run capped by an emphatic two-handed dunk by senior forward Jordan Bolder, who let out a bellowing scream as his team took the lead for the first time in the game and rode that momentum to a 32-27 halftime advantage.
Even though Wilson guard Dimingus Stevens led all scorers with 20 points in the game and set the tone in the first half, he was held scoreless in the fourth quarter. Fortunately for Wilson, an unassuming player stepped up to completely change the tide of the game.
Junior point guard Carlos Dunn, held to only three points in the first half, exploded with 12 points in the second half — including seven fourth-quarter points — to earn game MVP honors.
“Coach said I was overdue for a performance like this,” Dunn said. “I had a good shoot-around before the game, and I just came in and gave everything I had. I like to bring energy, and I’m hungry on the court.”
The five-foot-ten guard also knocked down the go-ahead free throw with only 17 seconds left.
“Carlos played well for us tonight,” said Wilson junior shooting guard Jay Heath Jr. “We probably would’ve lost if he didn’t score as much. He’s a big-time player for us.”
With just two seconds remaining, Capital Christian had one last chance to win the game, but junior point guard Judah Jordan’s contested three-pointer wouldn’t fall.
Hernandez said his team is finally starting to build some camaraderie after pushing through the winter tournament schedule.
“It was a tough grind for us, and I did it so we could play tough competition,” Hernandez said about traveling and playing in different tournaments this year. “The chemistry is starting to grow now, and I think that is something that a lot of people are missing.”