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DeMatha got beat by fifty points in January.
That doesn’t happen in the real world. DeMatha’s been the king of local prep basketball for half a century. So some local hoopheads couldn’t get their, well, hoopheads around the Stags’ 75-25 loss to St. Anthony’s of Jersey City, N.J., in a nationally televised game called the HoopHall Classic, held each year in Springfield, Mass., site of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Sure, St. Anthony’s was ranked #4 in the country going into the game. But still.
The loss inspired rage and disbelief among members of the area’s basketball community at the time, some of which was chronicled in this very space. On the message board at dcsportsfan.com, where the defeat was dubbed “The HoopHall Massacre,” a poster going by the name BigDrop,who says he’s been watching DeMatha since 1962, was among those left looking up waiting for the sky to fall:
After a FIFTY POINT LOSS-the worst loss I have ever seen a DeMatha team associated with (Almost DOUBLE the worst loss since ’62)-I believe this game has done more to embarass the school, more to impact the program…than any game I have seen in almost a half century.
Careers are ended with losses like this. New field houses have empty seats. Hyattsville, the WCAC and DC ball are going to be different tomorrow morning.
And, it was on national television.
After losing by fifty a victory over Gonzaga won’t mean the same tomorrow.
I am not suggesting that [DeMatha Coach] Mike Jones should leave. I am not. I AM suggesting that this was a seminal game that marks a turning point in the DM program.
Just as the Power Memorial game was a turning point so is this. It will be more difficult to recruit athletes, more difficult to hold onto them.
Well, hindsight never needs Lasik Surgery. And now that the basketball season ended with DeMatha winning the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament over the weekend (Gonzaga finished 3rd) to go with the Stags’ recent win over Gonzaga in the WCAC final and last week’s win over Roosevelt in the City Title game, it looks like Big Drop was a little off: Coach Jones’ career won’t end, good ballers will still sign with DeMatha, and fans will still show up at the DeMatha field house.
Today, WCAC and DC ball look pretty much the same as they did before the HoopHall Massacre.
DeMatha finishes on top. Again.