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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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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.

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Paint Branch Panthers run amok over Perry Hall Gators, advance to regional finals

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PB Panthers vs. PH GatorsBURTONSVILLE – Paint Branch running back Justin Page held his helmet aloft as his teammates hoisted him onto their shoulders for a post-game photo op.

The Panthers had just run amok over the visiting Perry Hall Gators by registering over 400 yards rushing in the 4A North Regional Semi-Final game Friday en route to a 44-21 victory.

Page scored four of Paint Branch’s six touchdowns and finished with 183 yards rushing.

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Quince Orchard Falls Short

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Cougars place second as Perry Hall takes boys basketball 4-A state title

QO vs. Perry Hall 1Quince Orchard’s Matthew Kelly drives the lane on Jason Newman for Perry Hall for two points. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

COLLEGE PARK – Senior guard Mitch Czworka went for the pass, down 59-56 with a few seconds on the clock, in hopes of nabbing the championship for the Quince Orchard.

But forward junior Tyler Holley would have none of that, blocking Czworka and forcing a turnover that dashed the hopes of the Cougars, ending the game at 59-56 and crowning the Perry Hall Gators as state champions.

“We’ll look back and reflect, and it’ll be a great season in the end, but right now I’m just really disappointed we didn’t get the last one,” said senior Cougars forward Johnny Fierstein.

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