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Magruder boys hand Springbrook their first defeat in summer hoops

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Magruder Colonels' Chris Asamoah (12) takes it to the hoop through the Springbrook Blue Devils' defense in the summer league game at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School on Monday.  PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHMagruder Colonels' Chris Asamoah (12) takes it to the hoop through the Springbrook Blue Devils' defense in the Maryland Elite Summer League game Monday.                              PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  ROCKVILLE — The Magruder Colonels overcame a slow start to seize the second-half momentum and hand the Springbrook Blue Devils their first loss of the season Monday, 48-40 in the Maryland Elite Summer Basketball League at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School Daniel Pearl Memorial Gymnasium.

The previously undefeated Blue Devils looked quite different from the basketball team that last donned the navy blue and Columbia blue back in February. Eight seniors graduated, giving the underclassmen an opportunity to step up and earn their spot on the team.

However, youth and inexperience often go hand in hand.

That inexperience came into play against Magruder. The Blue Devils started the game with a 7-0 run and even though forward Xavier Harris and guard Timitrius Hawkins combined for 16 first-half points, the Colonels trailed by just three at halftime.

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RM Rockets hang on against Magruder in Maryland Elite hoops

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The Magruder Colonels put full-court pressure on the Richard Montgomery Rockets in the last few minutes of the game; here Magruder’s Malik Abudu (3) guards RM’s Austin Chung (2). Still, the Rockets were able to keep the Colonels at bay, winning 39-33. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTHThe Magruder Colonels put full-court pressure on the Richard Montgomery Rockets in the last few minutes of the game; here Magruder’s Malik Abudu (3) guards RM’s Austin Chung (2). Still, the Rockets managed to keep the Colonels at bay, winning 39-33. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  ROCKVILLE — The Richard Montgomery Rockets (2-2) capitalized on a strong first half effort to hold off the Magruder Colonels 39-33 Tuesday in the Maryland Elite Summer Basketball League at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School Daniel Pearl Memorial Gymnasium.

Summer league play provides an opportunity for players, especially underclassmen, to fine-tune their skills and step up their game in anticipation of the regular season.

Even though the Rockets took the court against Magruder (0-2) without their starting point guard and a few other key players, center Will Davenport (12 points) and guard Ryan Cornish (13 points) picked up the slack and made sure Richard Montgomery never trailed.

In fact, a scoreless five minutes for Magruder led to a 7-0 Rockets run that haunted the Colonels for the rest of the game.

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Northwest Jags shut out by Severna Park in title softball game, 13-0

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Severna Park Falcons pose with their well-earned trophy from the 4A state championship, after shutting out the Northwest Jaguars, 13-0. PHOTO BY EVA PASPALISThe Severna Park Falcons softball team poses with their well-earned trophy from the 4A state championship, after shutting out the Northwest Jaguars, 13-0. PHOTO BY EVA PASPALIS  COLLEGE PARK — It’s hard to get to the top of the 4A class in high school softball. It’s even harder to stay at the top.

The defending state champion Northwest Lady Jaguars (17-3) fought to stay at the top Saturday before getting shut out by the Severna Park Falcons, 13-0, in five innings of the 4A state championship game at the Maryland Softball Stadium at University of Maryland College Park.

The game was delayed for over three hours as the torrential downpour of a thunderstorm cleared the area. State Softball Committee members had to clear the rain off of the turf before either team could take the field. Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, fans from both squads filled the drenched bleachers to see if Northwest would repeat as champions or if the Falcons would win their first softball state title since 2003.

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Churchill boys LAX lose heartbreaker to Severna Park in 4A state championship

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Severna Park High School's Colin Shadowens (14) and Winston Churchill High School's Merrick Willeford (1) battle for the ball after a face off during the Boys Class 4A Lacrosse Final played at Stevenson University in Owings Mill on Wednesday, May 22, 2018. The Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker 8-7 in overtime to Severna Park High School, repeating the outcome of last year's final.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHThe Severna Park Falcons' Colin Shadowens (14) and Churchill Bulldogs' Merrick Willeford (1) battle for the ball during a face-off in the 4A state championship game played Wednesday in Mustang Stadium at Stevenson University. The Bulldogs would lose a heartbreaker to the Falcons 8-7 in overtime, repeating last year's outcome. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHOWINGS MILLS – The rematch. The almost perfect season. Trailing early, leading late. One overtime period, one final Severna Park goal and the heartbreaking sting of defeat. One team with the county’s eyes upon it, still waiting for its first lacrosse state championship.

There wasn’t much else Churchill could have done Wednesday to secure a victory. The Bulldogs strode into Mustang Stadium at Stevenson University as an undefeated team that still had something to prove, even after three finals appearances in four years.

Churchill gave the two-time defending champion Falcons a rough ride, beating Severna Park in face-offs, total shots and groundballs. In the end, with a late goal reminiscent of last year’s walk-off winner, sophomore Michael Harmeyer raised his stick over his head and gave Severna Park its eighth lacrosse championship in school history by a score of 8-7.

A few Bulldogs sat on the field in stunned silence as the Falcons wildly rejoiced, sticks and helmets flying through the air.

It wasn’t supposed to end this way.

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Whitman girls LAX team loses to Dulaney in state semifinals

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Whitman's Gaby Svec (3) squares off against Dulaney's Ellie Dreschler (15) to score.  PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH Whitman's Gaby Svec (3) squares off against Dulaney's Ellie Dreschler (15) to attempt to get a goal past Dulaney goalie Jules Dotterweich. The Whitman Vikings would come up short against the Dulaney Lions (24), losing the semifinals game 12-6. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  GAITHERSBURG — The Whitman Vikings varsity girls lacrosse team fell short against the Dulaney Lions in the 4A state semifinals Saturday, losing by a score of 12-6 at John H. Harvill Stadum at Gaithersburg High School.

The loss was an unceremonious ending to a dominant season that featured the Vikings steamrolling most of their opponents. Whitman entered the game with just one loss against Sherwood in a double-overtime thriller earlier this month.

At first, it appeared as though the match would be a close one since the Lions had an answer every time the Vikings scored. Senior Maddy Kostopulos and junior Hanna Freund both registered a team-high two goals. Kostopulos was the first player to put Whitman on the board when she fired in her first goal unassisted just two minutes in.

Dulaney junior Zoe Hermann gave the Lions their first lead midway through the first half and Dulaney never looked back. The Vikings attackers drove toward the net again and again but senior goalie and McDaniel College soccer commit Jules Dotterweich denied goal after goal.

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Lady Wildcats hold off Churchill LAX team for 11th straight win

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Sierra Agarwahl of Walter Johnson fights the Churchill Defenders for position. Agarwahl had four shots on goal and a 2nd half goal in the 10-8 Walter Johnson playoff win. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKSierra Agarwahl of Walter Johnson battles Churchill defenders for position. Agarwahl had four shots on goal and a second half goal in the 10-8 Walter Johnson playoff win.                  PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  BETHESDA — Several lacrosse sticks were thrown high up into the air as the buzzer signaled the end of the game. The Walter Johnson Wildcats varsity girls lacrosse team had just held on against a second half Churchill surge to beat the visiting Bulldogs 10-8 Friday in the 4A West Section 1 semifinals.

It was the second time this season that the Wildcats had hosted the Bulldogs, and both times the Wildcats escaped with a narrow victory. This time, however, it was Churchill that came from behind to score four unanswered goals to tie the game.

Churchill junior attacker Elizabeth Hsu earned three of her game-high five goals in the first half. In fact, she was the only Bulldog to score at all in the first period.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats were on a roll as six different players got the ball past Churchill’s goalie to give Walter Johnson a comfortable 7-3 lead going into the half.

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Whitman baseball team suffers shutout by Damascus, and bids farewell to principal

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Damascus' Ethan Wentzlaff (27) took the first pitch of the game for an early home run. Damascus would shut out Whitman 10-0.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHDamascus' Ethan Wentzlaff (27) took the first pitch of the game for an early home run. Damascus would shut out Whitman 10-0. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  BETHESDA — The visiting Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets varsity baseball team closed the regular season Monday night with a statement and a shutout against the Whitman Vikings, 10-0.

A standing-room-only crowd was on hand to celebrate Whitman’s Senior Night and Community Night. The Vikings’ final regular season game was the culmination of an afternoon that featured a raffle and games played by the Montgomery County Little League.

However, the Swarmin’ Hornets (15-2) spoiled the festivities by handing Whitman its eighth loss of the season. Damascus pitcher and University of Maryland-Baltimore County commit Ethan Wentzlaff earned his eighth home run of the season on his first at-bat of the evening.

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Undefeated, WJ boys volleyball team beats Magruder in final regular season match

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WJ Wildcats vs. Magruder ColonelsBETHESDA — Corey Criss slammed an emphatic kill over the net and wagged his finger as the rest of the Walter Johnson Wildcats varsity boys volleyball team gathered around him to congratulate him. Criss’s point was one of many that led the undefeated, defending county champion Wildcats to a 25-10, 25-20, 25-21 victory Monday over the visiting Magruder Colonels (7-4) on Senior Night.

The Wildcats (11-0) established their dominance from the very first set as senior captain Andrew Harper launched several ace serves that the Colonels scrambled to try to return. In fact, Harper started all three sets and helped give WJ the advantage in all but the last set.

“Harper is a great senior leader that keeps things together,” said Walter Johnson head coach Brian Fairall. “He’s a great captain and we rally behind him.”

In addition to established players like Harper and Criss, there are a few younger players on the Wildcats’ squad that are playing with a chip on their shoulder, especially now that the regular season is over.

“We lost a lot of key seniors last year so it’s not the same group coming back,” said Fairall. “We have a lot of younger kids coming into the program that have something to prove, that they can step into those shoes.”

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Churchill boys improve to 10-0 after throttling RM in LAX

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Churchill attacker Brady Altobello (27) fires a third period goal between two Richard Montgomery defenders. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKChurchill attacker Brady Altobello (27) fires a third period goal between two Richard Montgomery defenders. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  POTOMAC — The undefeated Churchill Bulldogs boys varsity lacrosse team improved to 10-0 Friday after steamrolling the visiting Richard Montgomery Rockets 18-7 in Shepherd Stadium at Danver Field.

The dominant victory was a fitting end to the Bulldogs’ celebratory evening. In addition to hosting Senior Night and Community Night, Churchill honored head coach Jeff Fritz’s 25 years at the helm of the boys lacrosse program by presenting him with a plaque before the game.

The pregame festivities seemed to energize the Bulldogs, who wasted no time getting on the board in the first quarter and didn’t ease up offensively as the game progressed. Senior attacker and Christopher Newport commit Brady Altobello set the tone for the rest of the night when he slammed in his first of three goals just 16 seconds into the game.

It appeared as though Churchill’s game plan was to score hard and to score often. The Bulldogs registered five goals in as many minutes and six different Churchill players scored in the first quarter as the Rockets reeled.

“I was really happy with the way we came out with a lot of intensity,” said Fritz. “We have a lot of respect for Richard Montgomery and we know they’re good, so we wanted to make sure we didn’t allow them to have any momentum. We wanted to come out early and get things rolling our way.”

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Whitman girls remain undefeated with victory over Quince Orchard in LAX

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Whitman’s Abby Waldvogel (11) fires the goal past Quince Orchard’s Kate Faraone (23) and goalie Josie Juhring (18). PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHWhitman’s Abby Waldvogel (11) fires the goal past Quince Orchard’s Kate Faraone (23) and goalie Josie Juhring (18). PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  GAITHERSBURG –Whitman girls varsity lacrosse continued their perfect season Monday as the Vikings defeated Quince Orchard 12-4 at the Cougar Dome improving to an 8-0 record on the season.

Nine different players were responsible for Whitman’s 12 goals, with seven players scoring in the first half alone. Vikings head coach Katie Bitonti said that the group effort mentality is one of her team’s main focuses in practice.

“From start to finish, we need everyone working together. We don’t like to rely on one player,” she said. “We like to keep the ball moving on attack. We have a very well-balanced team and they work well together. They like feeding the ball to each other.”

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