W.T. Woodson Wins Curry Classic

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>One couldn't have asked for a much more competitive,
better played game than the one seen in the Championship of the Ronald Curry
Classic. For the first time ever, there
wasn't an Eastern Region team playing for first place as two Northern Region contenders,
the W.T. Woodson Cavaliers from the Patriot District and Herndon Hornets out of
the Concorde District, clashed for 32 minutes and almost needed more time to
decide a winner.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In what might've been a preview of the Northern Region
Championship game in late February, W.T. Woodson edged Herndon 63-61 on a
game-winning runner by sophomore point guard
normal'>Eric Bowles with two seconds left.
The Cavs overcame a virtuoso performance from Herndon senior point guard
Will Ferguson, who scored a
single-game Curry Tournament record 39 points with 31 off those coming in the
second half.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We have so much respect for Coach [
normal'>Hall, Herndon and their program.
They do a great job up there, and Ferguson was unbelievable
tonight. We tried everybody on him and
he's just really tough. I think I was going
to sub in and try to guard him if we couldn't stop him," quipped W.T. Woodson
Head Basketball Coach Doug Craig afterwards.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I thought both teams really battled, played hard and
had an opportunity to put the other one away, and to the credit of both teams,
they kept fighting all the way to the end.
We were just lucky enough to have the ball at the end, and our point
guard Eric Bowles made a tough shot that was well defended.
style=> It was one of those games that came down to
who had the ball last."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Herndon threw the first punch in the opening quarter
with junior wing and D-1 prospect Dorian
Johnson drilling a couple of jumpers and the Hornets would lead 16-14 after
one period behind Johnson's eight points.
Tommy Stepka,
a 6-foot-6 senior forward for the Cavaliers, would score the next six points
and his team controlled the second period.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Woodson went up 29-23 into half-time with
class=SpellE>Stepka scoring 14 of his 19 points in the first half.
style=> It was a carry over from the night before
when he scored 20 points in the fourth quarter alone as they beat Bethel.
style=> One encouraging sign for Herndon was the fact
they turned the ball over only once the entire first half, and in the third
quarter with Johnson battling foul trouble, Ferguson went to work.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Ferguson literally had 17 of Herndon's 21 third quarter
points, bringing the Hornets back from 10 points down to tie the score at
44-all going to the fourth quarter. Not
only did he score at a prolific clip, displaying an unbelievable first step,
but Ferguson grabbed seven rebounds and handed out six assists.
style=> He shot 12-of-20 from the field, 3-of-5 from
three-point rang and made 10-of-13 at the foul line.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In the fourth quarter, although they fell behind five,
W.T. Woodson didn't crack. It began with
6-foot-4 senior forward Peter Murray,
the MVP of the Ronald Curry Classic, doing the dirty work around the
basket. Murray registered a
double-double, 19 points and 10 rebounds, with nine of his points coming in the
fourth quarter.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Murray and Stepka weren't the
only ones scoring for the Cavaliers either.
Bowles added nine points and four assits.
style=> Mike
class=SpellE>Hansler scored seven.
Six-foot-4 junior forward Andy
class=SpellE>Stynchula, the Cavs' backup post player, gave the team
a lift with nine points and six rebounds off the bench.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Eric facilitates for us.
style=> He can score the ball if you leave him, but
he runs the show for us and does a great job," Craig said.
style=> "We have a lot of guys that can contribute and
it's about everybody playing together, sharing the ball and making the extra
pass and when you do that good things happen."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In the fourth period, Woodson shot 6-of-14 from the
floor, got to the foul line 10 times and didn't turn the ball over once.
style=> Their execution was near flawless at the
right time.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It's early and it's December.
style=> We're happy to win games now and a tournament
Championship is great. We want to be
playing in February and March; playing in those big games late in the year and
to do that you've got to keep getting better.
But this team has a chance to be very good," Craig stated.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It's essentially the same group back from last year
that went 20-5, so our expectations are high.
That group last year was kind of a young group.
style=> This group is a seasoned group and I think
that showed in the fourth quarter when we got down five, whereas last year we
might've folded up our tent."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Craig also knows that for Woodson to be in the hunt for
a State Championship, they'll likely have to go through an Eastern Region
team. In the tournament, they beat both
Booker T. Washington, which won the 2006 AAA title and has made it to the State
Playoffs three times over the past decade, and Bethel, the 2008 AAA State
Tournament runner-up.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"The success that the Eastern Region has had statewide
over the last 15 years speaks for itself," Craig added.
style=> "Everybody up north knows to win a state
title you've got to go through an Eastern Region team.
style=> To come down here, play 2-3 games against
Eastern Region teams every year and where High School Sports is such a unique
experience I think is special for us."

Ronald Curry
All-Tournament Team:
Woodson's Peter Murray (MVP)
Herndon's Will Ferguson
Herndon's Dorian Johnson
Bethel's DaShawn Barton
Williamsburg's Jake Duncan [not pictured]

Garlick's Photo Feature
Postgame Audio with
W.T. Woodson Coach Doug Craig

Woodson 63:
Peter Murray - - 19Pts. 6-13FG, 7-10FT, 10Reb. 2Ast.
Tommy Stepka - - 19Pts. 5-11FG, 7-8FT, 4Reb.
Eric Bowles - - 9Pts. 4-10FG, GW FG, 5Reb. 3Ast.
Andy Stynchula - - 9Pts. 3-8FG, 2-2FT, 6Reb.

Will Ferguson - - 37Pts. (31Pts. 2nd Half), 12-20FG, 10-13FT, 7Reb. 6Ast. 3Stl
Dorian Johnson - - 11Pts. 4-8FG, 3-4 3's, 3Reb.
Kent Auslander - - 6Pts. 3-8FG



115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
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Network. Check out
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To contact Matthew, please e-mail
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