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Gburg Trojans dominate NW Jags in girls lacrosse, 12-8

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Gaithersburg Trojans’ Maisie Scott (23) brings the ball down the field under the watchful eye of Northwest Jaguars’ Jenny Lee (19). Scott scored five goals in the Trojans’ 12-8 win against the Jaguars. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHGaithersburg Trojans’ Maisie Scott (23) brings the ball down the field under the watchful eye of Northwest Jaguars’ Jenny Lee (19). Scott scored five goals in the Trojans’ 12-8 win against the Jaguars. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  GAITHERSBURG — From a close first half to a blowout second, the 12-8 win by the Gaithersburg Trojans varsity girls lacrosse team over the visiting Northwest Jaguars got them out of their rut and kept the Jaguars flustered.

A painful season-opener blowout at home, followed by two straight wins and then two straight losses (including a 11-3 annihilation by Richard Montgomery and a nail-biting 9-8 loss to Quince Orchard) had the Trojans seeking a morale booster in the game against the Jaguars.

The Northwest Jaguars still have only one win to their name, a 12-5 walloping of the Clarksburg Coyotes, and came into the game with three starting players hurt.

“We’ve got three starters out. One of them was in the first half and couldn’t make it through the second half, so I think that had a little bit to do with it,” said Northwest head coach Tara Nicholas.

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Rockville Lady Rams dominate Gaithersburg in lacrosse, 11-4

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Gaithersburg’s Caroline Boyle fires this goal through the Rockville defense, but Rockville’s varsity girls team prevailed 11-5. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKGaithersburg’s Caroline Boyle fires this goal through the Rockville defense, but Rockville’s varsity girls team prevailed 11-5. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  GAITHERSBURG — The Rockville Rams varsity girls lacrosse team opened the season Friday by traveling to Gaithersburg and making a statement, beating the Lady Trojans by a score of 11-4.

The Rams appeared unfazed by the cold, windy weather as they scored early and often. The Rockville defenders swarmed the Gaithersburg attackers and made sure the Trojans never led.

Rockville freshman Paige Krawczel and sophomore Nycole Hidalgo ran roughshod over the Gaithersburg defenders as they both registered four goals apiece. Hidalgo also finished with one assist.

Meanwhile, Gaithersburg senior attacker Caroline Boyle finished the game with two goals of her own, one in each half.

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Rockville Rams soundly defeat Gburg Trojans in boys lacrosse, 18-8

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Rockville’s Timmy Kren sneaks this shot between the legs of Gaithersburg goalie Jake Keeley for a first-quarter goal. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKRockville’s Timmy Kren sneaks this shot between the legs of Gaithersburg goalie Jake Keeley for a first-quarter goal. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  GAITHERSBURG — The Rockville Rams varsity boys lacrosse team opened the 2018 campaign with a bang Friday by registering an 18-8 victory over the Gaithersburg Trojans at John H. Harvill Stadium.

Rockville was designated the home team but poor field conditions forced the game to be moved to Gaithersburg. However, that had little effect on the Rams, who surged to a 10-1 halftime advantage.

“Technically we were the home team,” Rockville head coach Jesse Rutter explained afterward, “because of the snow this week, we came and played it on the turf.”

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Gaithersburg Trojans fall to Perry Hall Gators in boys hoops state semis, 85-62

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Gaithersburg senior guard Kevin Neal (3) runs into the brick wall that is Perry Hall senior forward Anthony Higgs (24). PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTHGaithersburg Trojans' senior guard Kevin Neal (3) runs into the brick wall that is the Perry Hall Gators' senior forward Anthony Higgs (24). The Trojans would fall to the Gators, 85-62. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  COLLEGE PARK — The Gaithersburg Trojans were simply overmatched by the Perry Hall Gators Thursday night in the Maryland 4A state semifinals at Xfinity Center.

Although the Trojans sought to capture their first state championship in 20 years, Gaithersburg couldn’t handle a Perry Hall varsity boys basketball team that was on a mission.

Perry Hall, the defending Maryland 4A state champion, moved a step closer to another state title by posting an 85-62 victory over the Trojans.

Xavier Gravette led four Gators in double figures with a game-high 19 points and Tyler Holley added 17 points while Anthony Walker and Anthony Higgs added 15 points each.

Perry Hall boasted a roster that most Maryland private school basketball programs would envy; the Gators feature 6-foot-9 LaQuill Hardnett along with the 6-foot-8 Walker and Higgs. Cameron Wheeler, Gravette and Holley are each listed at 6-foot-4.

“We haven’t played anybody in Montgomery County with that type of size,” Gaithersburg head coach Jeff Holda said afterward. “The closest thing would be Paint Branch.”

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Gaithersburg boys come back late to defeat B-CC Barons, winning 4A West regionals

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With an emphatic dunk, Gaithersburg’s Jao Ituka (#25) helped the Trojans defeat the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons to capture the 4A West Regional Championship and advance to the semifinals at the University of Maryland's Xfinity Center on March 8 in College Park. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHWith an emphatic dunk, Gaithersburg’s Jao Ituka (#25) helped the Trojans defeat the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons to capture the 4A West Regional Championship and advance to the semifinals at the University of Maryland's Xfinity Center on March 8. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  ROCKVILLE — In 1998, the underdog Gaithersburg Trojans varsity boys basketball team prepared to face the Oxon Hill Clippers in the state championship game. Facing a 16-point deficit at halftime, the Trojans came back, and five overtimes later, became state champions. Gaithersburg hasn’t come close since, not even winning regional.

Until now.

Gaithersburg didn’t take a lead until the fourth quarter, but when the Trojans finally pulled ahead, they didn’t look back as they narrowly defeated the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons, 65-61.

“It’s the culmination of an entire season,” Gaithersburg head coach Jeff Holda said. “Being a coach in this program for 12 years, and knowing that it’s been 20 years since our last trip there, it means the world to me.”

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Region champs Welch, Velikanov among eight Churchill grapplers bound for Class 4A-3A states

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Churchill's Andrew Welch racks up an 11-4 win over Whitman's Yussef Zaki in the 195lb weight class. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKChurchill's Andrew Welch racks up an 11-4 win over Whitman's Yussef Zaki in the 195lb weight class. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  CLARKSBURG — Senior champion Andrew Welch (195) and junior Alec Velikanov (285) are among eight wrestlers of the Churchill Bulldogs who placed fourth or higher at the Feb. 23 and 24 Class 4A-3A West Regionals at Clarksburg, thereby qualifying for this weekend’s Class 4A-3A state tournament at The Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro.

Finishing third were Churchill seniors Jack Connolly (138), Sean Mahan (145) and Elijah Zack (152), with seniors Chris Ervin (120) and Mac Ballman (170) and junior Carlos Villamar (132) all being fourth.

Winning titles for the Northwest Jaguars were seniors Yonas Harris (106) and Luke Patterson (170), with sophomore Siavash Sarvestani (113) being second, and junior Jack Thomas (195), third.

Clarksburg, Magruder, Quince Orchard and Whitman all placed three wrestlers within the top four, with two each doing so for Bethesda-Chevy Chase and Walter Johnson, and one apiece for Einstein, Gaithersburg and Wootton.

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Lady Trojans beat Northwest in first round of hoops playoffs, 63-47

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NW Jaguars vs. Gburg TrojansGAITHERSBURG – “It’s playoff time!” shouted Gaithersburg head coach Adrian McDaniel as his team took the court on Friday.

The postseason has indeed descended on high school varsity basketball and the Lady Trojans kicked off the first round when they hosted and defeated the Northwest Jaguars, 63-47 in a 4A West matchup.

The Trojans entered the game as the third seed and Northwest was the sixth seed. However, the Jaguars kept the game close in the first half until Gaithersburg tightened up its defense in the second half to kick Northwest out of the postseason.

At first, the Trojans appeared to have difficulty containing Northwest senior guard Khienya Benjamin, who drove through the lane repeatedly en route to 16 points. Gaithersburg managed to neutralize Benjamin in the second half and the Trojans dug a hole too large for the Jaguars to climb out of.

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Gaithersburg dominates Churchill, 90-56, earns second seed in playoffs

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20180216 Churchill Gaithersburg Boys Bball 5Gaithersburg's Jordan Hawkins blocks Churchill's Valvin Piker's drive to basket. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  POTOMAC — The visiting Gaithersburg Trojans varsity boys basketball team ended the regular season with a bang Friday when the Trojans strode into the Dawg Pound and handed the Churchill Bulldogs their 12th loss of the season, 90-56.

The Trojans proved their prowess on both sides of the ball as the defense forced multiple turnovers and beat the Bulldogs on the defensive boards. Freshman guards Jordan Hawkins (26 points) and Jao Ituka (18 points) continued their season-long campaign of highlight reel plays that gave Gaithersburg a comfortable lead for most of the evening.

The Trojans began to pull away after an 18-point unanswered scoring run lasted into the beginning of the second quarter. Churchill’s student section, the Dawg Pound, was uncharacteristically quiet as they watched Hawkins steal the ball during a fast break and take it back up the court for an easy two points.

The Bulldogs appeared renewed in the second half as junior guards John Mbeng and Michael Janis combined for 14 third-quarter points that cut into Gaithersburg’s substantial halftime lead.

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Quince Orchard girls fend off Gburg comeback to eke out 49-47 win

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Quince Orchard’s Anaya Bodmus drives over Gaithersburg's K.C. Ashiogwa to score two points.  PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEQuince Orchard’s Anaya Bodmus drives over Gaithersburg's K.C. Ashiogwa to score two points. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  GAITHERSBURG — Two days after orchestrating a comeback victory against the Sherwood Warriors, the visiting Gaithersburg Lady Trojans varsity girls basketball team overcame an 18-point deficit Friday only to fall short against the home team Quince Orchard Cougars at Thomas R. Kautz Memorial Gymnasium, the final score 49-47.

A defensive battle raged in the first quarter as both teams turned the ball over several times. However, neither squad was able to translate its defensive efforts to the scoreboard.

The Cougars contained Gaithersburg senior guard Jordan Odom in the first half and kept her from sinking any buckets. In fact, the Trojans scored just four points in the second quarter.

Odom’s dominant second-half performance canceled out her unproductive first half as she led all scorers with 15 points on the evening. Quince Orchard junior forward Destini Kelley registered 14 points, including a first-half buzzer-beater at the top of the arc that sent the Cougars to the locker room with an 18-point lead.

The Gaithersburg team that emerged from the break seemed drastically different from the lackluster squad of the first half.

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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.

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