Woodberry Forest’s boys basketball team knew the stakes going into this week. They could make a big move up the Prep League standings. They could potentially get into the VISAA Division I tournament.
Oh, and perhaps more importantly on an elemental level, the seniors got another shot at finally beating St. Christopher’s.
The Tigers delivered, beating St. Christopher’s for the first time since December of 2013, with a 52-48 victory.
Max Johns did the heavy lifting on offense, accounting for nearly half the Tigers’ points, pouring in 25 on the night with a pair of 3-pointers and a 7-for-8 night at the free throw line. The Princeton-bound senior was clutch down the stretch, knocking down five of six three throws in the fourth quarter alone.
He helped offset another incredible performance by St. Christopher’s 6-foot-5 junior Gibson Jimerson who poured in 38 points, 23 of them in the first half. Jimerson knocked down four 3-pointers on the night and went 6-for-6 at the free throw line.
Woodberry was down 31-29 at the half, but held St. Christopher’s to just six third quarter points to build a 39-37 lead thanks in part to a big 3-pointer by Jameel Wilson and seven points by Johns. Kyle Bilodeau helped Woodberry close the door in the fourth, scoring four of his six points in the final frame.
The Tigers’ JoJo Beal finished with nine points on three 3-pointers, all in the first half.
The win over the Saints is a pretty good gauge of how far the Tigers have come this year. They lost to St. Christopher’s 68-55 back in early January.
There was a potentially fluid setup in the last four spots of the Prep League boys regular season standings going into the week. The Tigers could’ve finished as high as a tie for third place or somewhere closer to sixth before starting a three-game week on Tuesday. Only regular season champion Trinity Episcopal and second place Collegiate were completely locked in. But with back-to-back wins now over St. Anne’s-Belfield and St. Christopher’s, suddenly the Tigers can potentially tie for third and definitely grab a chance to host a first round game against either STAB or Fork Union if they can manage to beat Fork Union on the road Friday.
A move from six to four or three is the difference between a home game in the first round of the Prep League tournament and potentially a berth in the 12-team state tournament field.