Blair softball team blazes to victory over Paint Branch 5-4

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PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH Paint Branch Panthers shortstop Myla Oliphant (13) waits with ball in hand to tag out Blair Blazers' M. Elliott (10). PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  BURTONSVILLE — Friday’s battle between the Paint Branch Panthers varsity softball team and the visiting Blair Blazers not only marked a duel between two of Montgomery County’s top pitchers but also marked a showdown of two of the County’s top teams.

Blair junior Courtney Wyche and Paint Branch junior Kate Windsor combined to toss 24 strikeouts in the Blazers’ 5-4 road victory over the Panthers.


Blake Bengals decimate Paint Branch in girls LAX, 20-6

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PB Panthers vs. Blake BengalsSILVER SPRING — The Blake Bengals varsity girls lacrosse team proved Tuesday that snow days, spring break and rescheduled games have no effect on them as they demolished the Paint Branch Panthers at Bengal Field by a score of 20-6.

The game, originally scheduled for March 23 and postponed due to inclement weather, ended up serving as the season opener for both teams.

The Lady Bengals appeared undeterred by the damp field and cold weather as they poured on goal after goal and secured a running game clock with five minutes left in the first half. The Panthers didn’t seem to have an answer for Blake junior midfielder Caroline Via, who finished the game with an unprecedented 10 goals. Sophomore attacker Kiely Hutchcroft wasn’t far behind with six goals.


Paint Branch boys fall to Perry Hall Gators in 4A North Regionals

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Paint Branch senior Bobby Miller floats up under the rim to put the ball in for two. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEPaint Branch senior Bobby Miller floats up under the rim to put the ball in for two. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  BURTONSVILLE — When the second-seeded Paint Branch Panthers varsity boys basketball team took the court Saturday for the 4A North Regional championship game against the visiting Perry Hall Gators from Baltimore County, the Burtonsville squad wore t-shirts that read “OC pressure.”

That meant “Outta Control pressure.”

It was a mantra the Panthers took to heart in the first half, a motto that enabled them to go into halftime with a five-point lead. However, the defending state champion Gators orchestrated an 8-0 scoring run in the third quarter to pull away from the Panthers and stamp their ticket to the Xfinity Center by a score of 88-75.

The regional title game loss to the Gators is the second one the Panthers have suffered in as many years. Perry Hall knew the key to victory was to contain Paint Branch junior guard Richard Dudley, especially after Dudley earned 25 of his 32 points in the first half.


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.”


Region champions Sanchez, Higazi among eight Sherwood wrestlers headed to Class 4A-3A states

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Wrestling clip artJunior title winners Chris Sanchez (138) and Yusuf Higazi (170) are among eight wrestlers from the Sherwood Warriors who placed fourth or higher at the Feb. 23 and 24 Class 4A-3A North Regionals at Milford Mill High, an effort that qualifies the contingent for this weekend’s Class 4A-3A state tournament at The Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro.

Finishing third were Sherwood senior Rhyth Ghosh (152) and juniors Paul Christianson (126), Sam Ewing (132), Tristan McKneely (145) and Adam Pfeiffer (160), with sophomore Brandon Holda (113) being fourth.

Blair and Paint Branch each had five wrestlers place within the top four of their divisions at Class 4A-3A North Regions, and Springbrook placed four, all of whom qualified for states.

Ghosh pinned Dheduhs Anumgba of Paint Branch in their third-place bout, avenging a 9-4 loss and improving on his sixth-place finish at counties where Anumgba was third.

Ewing upset Blair’s Bryan Huynh, 3-1, in overtime for third place, avenging an earlier 11-7 loss and improving on his fourth place finish at counties where Huynh was first.

Also, Pfeiffer improved on his fourth-place finish at counties, Holda on his fifth, and Christianson his sixth. McKneely failed to place at counties.

“It’s great to see all of the hard work and effort is starting to pay off at the right time,” said Sherwood wrestling coach Pete Siarkas. “The boys have worked real hard, and I’m glad they are peaking at the right time.”


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.


Paint Branch rallies for 74-65 win over Whitman in girls basketball

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Paint Branch's Jabria Bruce (#32) drives the lane between Whitman's Molly Knox (#21) and Carter McGloon (#22).  PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHPaint Branch's Jabria Bruce (#32) drives the lane between Whitman's Molly Knox (#21) and Carter McGloon (#22).   PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  BETHESDA — It was a scrappy win for the visiting Paint Branch Panthers against the Whitman Vikings in girls’ basketball, but one that ended in dominant fashion with a narrow 74-65 win.

The Panthers are one of the top teams in the county, while Whitman is a solid mid-table squad, but before halftime it seemed as if the roles were reversed.

Slick passing from the Vikings disoriented the Panthers, and the Vikings’ speedy play helped them gain an edge over the visitors to go into the second quarter with a 21-15 lead.

However, the fluid play came at the cost of a rigid defense that gave up plenty of fouls. Seven of the Panthers’ points in the first quarter came from the line.


Sanson leads Whitman to upset win over Paint Branch in double OT thriller

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Whitman's Abdou Diouf (#44) blocks Paint Branch's Richard Dudley (#5).  PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHWhitman's Abdou Diouf (#44) blocks Paint Branch's Richard Dudley (#5).                       PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHBETHESDA — DJ Khaled’s song “All I Do is Win” blared from the Whitman Vikings’ locker room as the varsity boys basketball team celebrated a victory. The 2017-18 season has been a trying one for Whitman, but on this night, winning was all Whitman would do, no matter how long it took.

Whitman, which has hovered around .500 all season, recorded its signature win with a 70-67 upset of the visiting Paint Branch Panthers in double overtime, a front runner for game of the year.

“This is a big win for us,” Whitman head coach Chris Lun said. “We want to prove that we can hang with some of the better teams in the county. We’re turning the corner.”

“Everyone’s been doubting us from the start of the season…This game means a lot,” Whitman guard Alex Sanson said.


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.


Churchill wrestlers earn Paint Branch crown, eye Damascus showdown

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20180120 The Pit 195lb 1Both Andrew Welch of Churchill and Ike Kalu of Western Tech are exhausted as their 195-lb weight class finals took 8:00. Welch prevailed for the win. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  Sean Mahan (145), Fio Tranquill (182) and Andrew Welch (195) won titles, with seniors Chris Ervin (120) and Jack Connolly (138) finishing second as Churchill placed 11 wrestlers within the top six of their weight classes to win the 21-team Paint Branch Invitational Tournament on Jan. 19 and 20.

The Bulldogs (18-0 overall, 8-0 minus tournament dual meets) outscored runner-up Old Mill of Anne Arundel County 220.5-to-203.5, continuing their tremendous year under coaches Tim Lowe and Tony Howard heading into Saturday’s tri-meet with Quince Orchard at 15-time county champion Damascus.

At Paint Branch, Elijah Jack (152) finished third, Ryan Kaplow (220) and Alec Velikanov (285) were fourth, Carlos Villamar (132) fifth, and Parker DeSalvio (160) and Mac Ballman (170) both sixth.

The Bulldogs are now 3-0 in tournaments, having gone 10-0 to win the Rocket Launch Duals at Richard Montgomery and captured the title at the Joe Verciglio Memorial Tournament at Chantilly High of Virginia under Lowe, who was a two-time state champion at Einstein while Howard was a three-timer at Magruder.

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