On Dec. 6, after winning their last three games against Stuart, George Mason High School, and Falls Church, the dominant Atoms went to Thomas Jefferson to win a close game.
“Thomas Jefferson should not have been underestimated. They are a good team with some skillful players,” Junior Lotongo said.
Lotongo scored 19 points against Jefferson.
You never know what can happen in the end and TJ could have pulled off an upset,” junior shooting guard Alejandro Casquino said.
Early in the first quarter, Thomas Jefferson barely climbed past Annandale and was leading by just one point (11-10) at the end of the first quarter.
During the second quarter however, the dynamic of the game started to shift as the score at halftime read 24-22.
At this point, the next two quarters could lean either way. It seemed the team to win would be the team that turned the ball over less.
“After half, we [the Atoms] felt like we needed to come out stronger and work harder to outscore Jefferson in the already very even fight,” Lotongo said.
In the third quarter, the Atoms outscored the Colonials 19-16 and took the lead going into the final minutes of the game. The total score after three quarters favored the Atoms 43-38.
During the final quarter, the Colonials needed to outscore the Atoms by five to tie up the game. They seemed to gather up needed confidence but fell short at the end, as the final score was 54-52.
“It was a well fought game by either side, but we had many chances to put the game away which Jefferson did not allow” varsity head coach Deidrich Gilreath said.
Practices have helped us realize our strengths and weakness as a team which was a part of our big win,” Gilreath said.
Annandale ended up holding onto the game in the end and went on to have a commanding win over the struggling 0-4 Lee High School on Dec. 9 66-36.
“We can win any game where we step on the court to play with all efforts. Our confidence has skyrocketed due to our recent wins,” said Gilreath.