By Katie Smythe
The T. C. Williams High School girls basketball team lost to arch rival West Springfield last night in the Patriot Conference finals (70-58), bringing an end to their 15-game winning streak. As defending champions, the Lady Titans fell short of their quest to reclaim the conference title but have a chance to rebound in the regional tournament that starts on Feb. 24.
T. C. Williams and West Springfield were co-winners of the Patriot Conference at the end of regular season, both losing only one game in conference play – to each other. The top seed for the conference tournament was determined by the flip of a coin and West Springfield won the toss, earning No. 1 seed and a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
On the road to the championship game, the Lady Titans defeated W. T. Woodson (55-26) in the first round on Feb. 18. Senior Tykera Carter led the Titans with 20 points. In the semi-finals on Feb. 20, T. C. Williams toppled No. 3 South County (63-50), with junior Rejoice Spivey contributing a season high 24 points and Carter pouring in a career high six three-point baskets. In the other semi-final game, West Springfield defeated No. 4 Lake Braddock (61-34).
Last night in the conference finals, the Titans and Spartans matched up evenly in the opening period, ending the first quarter tied at 13. The score remained close in the second quarter. T. C. led 24-23 with two minutes left in the quarter but West Springfield’s free throws and a basket at the buzzer put the Spartans ahead 28-26 at halftime. West Springfield had a breakout third quarter with a scoring run late in the period. The Spartans led 49-40 at the end of three quarters. The Titans battled back in the final period but they were hampered by turnovers and fouls and came up short at the end, losing 70-58.
Spivey was the top scorer for T. C. with 15 points followed by junior Grace Peterson with 14, Carter with 13, and senior Angie Schedler with 12 points including two three-point baskets bringing her total for the season to 54 three-pointers, which is fourth highest in the Washington D.C. area. Carter and Spivey were selected for the Patriot Conference All-Tournament team.
As Patriot Conference runner-up, the Titans (19-6) enter the regional tournament as a top seed. Their first round game will be at home on Feb. 24 (7:30 p.m.). If they win, the Titans will play again at home on Feb. 25 (7:30 p.m.). The 6A North Region semi-finals and finals take place at James M. Robinson on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28, respectively.