Catonsville girls trounce Paint Branch in 4A North Regionals

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Katerra Myers splits two Perry Hall defenders driving the lane to put one on the backboard.  Her shot missed the rim but the rebound snagged by Amele Ngwafang went through the net.  PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEKaterra Myers splits two Catonsville defenders driving the lane to put one on the backboard. Her shot missed the rim but the rebound snagged by Amele Ngwafang went through the net. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  BURTONSVILLE — The defending state champion Catonsville Comets varsity girls basketball team strode into the Panthers Den Saturday and emerged as the 4A North Regional champions after throttling the Paint Branch Panthers, 78-42.

The staunch Comet defense proved to be too much for the Panthers to handle. Catonsville neutralized Paint Branch center Amele Ngwafang, throwing the senior off of her game and forcing her into foul trouble. Even though the Radford University commit still led her team with 14 points, most of those points were earned at the free throw line.

Meanwhile, Catonsville senior guard and University of Delaware commit Jasmine Dickey ran roughshod over the Panthers, creating turnovers and landing easy layups nearly every time she dashed down the court. Dickey led all scorers with 26 points and in the process, entered the Maryland state history books as she registered her 2000th high school career point.

“I really didn’t know,” said Dickey of her achievement. “It feels great because I know not a lot of people get it.”


Sherwood boys defeat Northwest to claim ice hockey championship

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Sherwood’s Joey Doris cuts hard behind the net to regain control of the puck. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFESherwood’s Joey Doris cuts hard behind the net to regain control of the puck.                 PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  ROCKVILLE — This is not the underdog ice hockey story you are looking for.

The Sherwood Warriors, who were at the top of the leaderboards with a 14-1-1 record, defeated the Northwest Jaguars 5-1 in the Maryland Student Hockey League championships.

The Jaguars were textbook underdogs. This season was the first season for their ice hockey team and they had a 4-9-1 record, good enough to land them second-from-last in the regular season table.

“Scoreboard doesn’t reflect it but they were in it until the very end,” said Jaguars head coach Ed Hughes on his team’s loss.


Paint Branch Panthers trounce Clarksburg in girls hoops, 74-32

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Paint Branch's Katerra Myers splits between Clarksburg players to put one over the rim for two points. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE Paint Branch's Katerra Myers goes through Clarksburg defense to put one over the rim for two points. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  BURTONSVILLE — The Paint Branch Panthers varsity girls basketball team took full advantage of the visiting, injury-ridden Clarksburg Coyotes Tuesday to earn a 74-32 running-clock victory in front of their home crowd as the regular season winds down.

The Coyotes have already had to adjust their starting lineup due to senior forward Sunny Paul’s season-ending foot injury. However, recent injuries to center Trinity Klock and forward Aishah Kinney left Clarksburg at an offensive disadvantage.

The first half proved to be a defensive battle as both teams struggled to make shots. The Panthers didn’t gain the upper hand until senior forward Amele Ngwafang found her rhythm and drove down the court again and again, landing easy layups. The Radford University commit registered 17 points in three quarters before sitting out with an apparent injury in the fourth quarter.


Springbrook defeats rival Paint Branch for first place in division

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Matthew Balanc, a key player in Springbrook’s win over Paint Branch, dunks a ball and earns two more points for the Blue Devils.  PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEMatthew Balanc, a key player in Springbrook’s win over Paint Branch, dunks a ball to score two of his 29 points during the game for the Blue Devils. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEBURTONSVILLE — Three weeks after the Paint Branch varsity boys basketball team defeated its division rival Springbrook Blue Devils on Springbrook’s home turf, the Blue Devils strode into the Panthers’ house Friday and returned the favor, winning by a score of 80-76.

The bleachers were once again packed to capacity as fans poured into the gym to witness two of the county’s top teams vie for the No. 1 spot in their division.

Springbrook’s fast, aggressive start seemed to stun the Panthers as the Blue Devils jumped out to an early lead behind Quinnipiac University commit Matthew Balanc (29 points) and senior guard Anthony Deruisseau (13 points.)

The Blue Devils dictated a breakneck pace from the beginning, capitalizing on turnovers and beating the Panthers on the boards. Balanc stole the ball and blazed down the court, emphatically slamming down his first dunk of the evening to bring the screaming crowd to its feet.


Gaithersburg Trojans hold off RM Rockets comeback in narrow victory

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Gaithersburg's Jordan Graham drives the center of the lane surrounded by Richard Montgomery players. Graham forced a foul and picked up two points at the line. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEGaithersburg's Jordan Graham drives the center of the lane surrounded by Richard Montgomery players. Graham forced a foul and picked up two points at the line. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

GAITHERSBURG — On Friday, the Gaithersburg Trojans proved that its breakout season is the real deal, as they defeated the visiting Richard Montgomery Rockets 45-42.

The Rockets have been the top seed in its section each of the last three years, but this season, Gaithersburg has emerged as a contender. By beating Richard Montgomery, the Trojans proved that they truly will be a force to be reckoned with throughout the season, and into the playoffs.

The Trojans’ star freshman duo of Jao Ituka and Jordan Hawkins, as well as the rest of the Gaithersburg team, didn’t have a very quick start. Gaithersburg didn’t get on the board until nearly midway through the first quarter, but quickly made up the deficit they had fallen into. Behind Ituka’s five first-quarter points, Gaithersburg closed the gap to 15-12 at the end of the first quarter.

The Trojans carried the momentum they had at the end of the first quarter into the second. For the second straight quarter, Gaithersburg came out hot to start the second half. The Trojans began to build a lead, up to 11 points at its largest. The Trojans began to hit three-pointers in the third quarter, after struggling during the first half, which propelled the team on its run.


Churchill Lady Bulldogs dominate Sherwood in girls b-ball, 59-34

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W DSC6098 1Cat Correa (22) of the Churchill Lady Bulldogs crosses into the lane under pressure from a Sherwood player.     PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  POTOMAC — The Churchill Lady Bulldogs varsity basketball team once again fulfilled their goal of holding opponents to less than 35 points a game on Friday as they soundly defeated the visiting Sherwood Warriors, 59-34.

The 35-point threshold exists thanks to a theory by head coach Kate Blanken that suggests keeping opponents below that mark will allow the Lady Bulldogs to win games.

So far, so good.

The plan worked against a 1-1 Sherwood team that struggled to score just one bucket in the entire first half, other than 12 points at the free throw line.


Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets demolish Glenelg, 42-7, head to states

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1008 20171124 DHS vs GlenelgGlenelg quarterback Tyler Reiff's attempted pass is foiled by Damscus tight end Matthew Betterelli who snags Reiff's shoulder, forcing a fumble.  PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  DAMASCUS — The Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets once again proved themselves among the most dominant football teams in Maryland as they advanced to the 2A football championship game by defeating the visiting Glenelg Gladiators on Friday with the final score 42-7, setting up their fourth straight state championship appearance.

Friday's performance was a return to form for the Hornets' offense after last week's quarterfinal match against Walkersville turned into a defensive battle, and allowed Damascus to claim their 41st straight victory with a tried-and-true formula: run hard and run often.

The Damascus running attack – led by junior running back T.D. Ayo-Durojaiye – couldn't be contained by the Glenelg defense or slowed down by cold weather. Ayo-Durojaiye's offensive efforts were an integral part of his team's win, as he rushed for 145 yards and finished the game with three touchdowns.

While Ayo-Durojaiye put points on the board, Damascus' signature stifling defense made sure the Gladiators didn't make much offensive progress by keeping enough pressure on Glenelg junior quarterback Tyler Reiff that he struggled with fumbles, interceptions, and incompletions for most of the game.


Congressional Polo Club hosts George S. Patton Polo Cup

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POOLESVILLE – The pounding of horses’ hooves and the crack of mallet against ball were the only sounds that broke the silence in the wide open field. The horses wore saddles and leg wraps; the riders wore helmets and knee-high boots. Several members of the Congressional Polo Club shouted instructions to their teammates during a practice session before hosting the George S. Patton Polo Cup Finals on Sunday.

Even though the sport of polo has existed for centuries, the average person is unaware of the rules. The match is played with two teams of four players each. There are between four and eight periods which are called chukkas. Each chukka lasts seven minutes and the riders must switch horses several times during the match. The object is to get the ball through the goalpost on either end of the field by hitting the ball with a mallet while still mounted on the horse.

Nicolas Eurnekian is the head of the polo club and the manager of the Congressional Polo Academy. Eurnekian started playing polo with his family as a child growing up in Argentina.


DC United sits with the Spirit at the bottom

DC United (5-15-4) played a most unusual match, losing 1-0 against Real Salt Lake (8-12-5) at RFK Stadium this past weekend. The match started Saturday with the possibility of threatening thunderstorms, and broke off abruptly on the heels of an hour-long drenching and lively display of lightning at the stadium. Such a spectacular dumping of water would not be complete without inches-deep waterfalls on the stairways and newly-visible watermarks two feet high in some of the hallways within the restricted access areas of the stadium.
After the rain had stopped, the field could not be drained well enough for a restart of the match, and the referee called for a postponement. Sunday at 7 p.m. found DC United resuming the match in front of a crowd so thin, that management requested people with seats higher up in the stands to move closer to the field.


Spirit back on the bottom again

On Saturday, the Washington Spirit (4-9-4) took on the Boston Breakers (3-7-7). A win would have moved the Spirit into eighth place. Instead they came up with a 2-2 draw, dropping them back into last place in the league. While the Spirit has 16 points, the same number as the Boston Breakers, their larger negative goal differential, -7, puts them back on the bottom. It’s hard to see a team with a storied reputation for being formidable league leaders sitting at the bottom of the rankings.
The Spirit has played matches where it looks like they are going to turn a corner towards stringing some wins together. Most recently they played Sky Blue FC on Saturday, Aug. 4. They won that match 4-1. All four Spirit goals were in the second half showing off their physical stamina and mental willingness to play hard until the end.
Four days later, the team who had just crushed Sky Blue FC is playing the Orlando Pride in Orlando. Orlando, like Washington was coming into this match with only four days since their last match. The Pride controlled the pitch and left the Spirit with zero goals while scoring three of their own. Orlando added three points to their standings, the Spirit added none.

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