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Sherwood boys shut down rival Magruder in hoops game, 58-41

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Sherwood’s Domenico Martella (5) goes for a layup in a game against rival Magruder. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTHSherwood’s Domenico Martella (5) goes for a layup in a game against rival Magruder. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  ROCKVILLE — Another chapter in the storied rivalry between the Sherwood Warriors and the Magruder Colonels unfolded Friday as the two varsity boys basketball teams went head to head on the Colonels’ home court, just a few miles down the road from Sherwood High School. This time, the Warriors shut down Magruder’s offensive weapons to earn a 58-41 victory.

Magruder forward Ebby Asamoah led all scorers with 25 points. Senior guard Justin Hawkes fed Asamoah the ball again and again as the junior appeared to be the only Colonel who could drive through the Sherwood defense in the paint.

Meanwhile, the Warriors took full advantage of their multiple scoring threats, as five players each landed at least one three-point basket. Seniors Donovan Lacey (13 points), Brad Riley (10) and junior Domenico Martella (12) all finished with double-digit points scored.

The Colonels kept it close in the beginning and the game was tied twice in the first quarter. Magruder senior forward Collin Bannister grabbed Hawkes’ pass and shot a trey as time expired in the first quarter for the second and final tie of the evening.

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Churchill sweeps Springbrook, Sherwood in regular-season-ending tri-meet

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Churchill's Marc Ballman needs only 1:41 to fall Sherwood's Adam Pfeiffer in the 170lb weight class. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKChurchill's Marc Ballman needs only 1:41 to fall Sherwood's Adam Pfeiffer in the 170lb weight class. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  After helping his fellow Churchill Bulldogs secure a hard-earned five-point victory over Sherwood’s squad, Andrew Welch sat in the bleachers at Springbrook High School and watched the host team build a 43-point advantage, leading to a 40-point Blue Devil victory over the Warriors.

“We only beat Sherwood by single digits, and sitting in the stands looking at the scoreboard, I saw Springbrook beating them, 49-6, at one point,” said Welch, of an eventual 58-18 victory by the host Blue Devils over the Warriors. “We were getting a little nervous, but our coaches brought us together and told us how matchups work.”

Bulldogs coach Tony Howard, a three-time state champion at Magruder, and Tim Lowe, a two-time state champion at Einstein, assured their wrestlers they were nevertheless confident of taking the Blue Devils. “Our guys saw the score and were a little concerned, but matchups are so unique. Wrestling’s one of those sports where you really can’t watch what’s happening between two other teams,” said Lowe, the Bulldogs’ head coach.

“Coach Howard and myself weren’t concerned. I told them that Sherwood matches up well with us and wrestled us tough, and that we were in for a tough match against Springbrook, but that we have the right matchups as a whole group of 14 wrestlers to get it done.”

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Sherwood wrestler Higazi overcomes setbacks, hands first loss to Churchill’s Tranquill

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Sherwood's Yusef Higazi pulls a 3-2 upset of over previously undefeated Fio Tranquill of Churchill to win the 182lb weight class. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKSherwood's Yusef Higazi pulls a 3-2 upset of over previously undefeated Fio Tranquill of Churchill to win the 182lb weight class. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  SILVER SPRING — As Sherwood Yusuf Higazi sought to overcome a throbbing sore ankle and an 11-pound weight disadvantage against the undefeated Churchill Bulldog named Fio Tranquill, the junior wrestler’s parents – Wail and Sumaya – appeared to be more concerned than he was.

“Yusuf had an ankle injury a couple of weeks ago, and he’s still recovering,” said Wail, whose animation in the stands during the match included twisting his own body in synchronization with his son’s maneuvers.

“I know I’m a concerned parent because the kid was pulling on his ankle. But Yusuf is very tough and in very good condition. He works out a lot and does weights. It was a matter of him getting up to win, and he did that.”

With nine seconds left in the match, all that work paid off, as he found the strength to pull one point ahead of Tranquill with an escape. Higazi held that one-point advantage to lock in a score of 3-2 and earn his 30th victory of the season over the previously-undefeated Tranquill, a senior whose record dropped to 30-1 for the year while Higazi’s record rose to 30-2.

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Blair Blazers take down Sherwood Warriors in critical MoCo dual

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SANDY SPRING — Senior Bryan Huynh endured cramping in his lower right leg and scored an overtime takedown on mat’s edge for a pivotal 6-4 decision against junior Paul Christianson during a 33-32 dual meet victory for the visiting Blair Blazers at Sherwood on Jan. 24.

The Blazers also won the evening’s final two bouts on a fall by Matt Morris (195) and a forfeit to senior Rudy Ngougni (220), erasing a 32-21 deficit and rising to 25-4 overall (11-0 in non-tournament dual meets) under second-year coach Tim Grover.

“I was ahead 2-0 in the first period after the takedown, and it just hit me really hard. I wasn’t sure, at that point, if I’d be able to wrestle well enough to win,” said Huynh, a junior varsity county champion last season.

“I usually shoot a lot more but I wasn’t as confident, thinking my leg would cramp up on me if I took another shot. I had to look for opportunities that were less stressful. I felt a cramp coming on as I took that final shot, but I just pushed through. He had a whizzer in, but I got points for it, and I’m happy I won.”

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Sherwood junior defeats Clarksburg senior for impressive victory at Battle of the Brook

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Chris Sanchez of Sherwood takes a 15-8 decision on Clarkburg's Nick Gonzalez for the 138lb weigth class tournament. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKSherwood's Chris Sanchez takes a 15-8 decision on Clarkburg's Nick Gonzalez for the 138lb weight class tournament. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  Chris Sanchez executed a five-point throw to break a 4-all tie and end the first period as the 138-pound Sherwood junior overcame Clarksburg senior Nick Gonzalez for a 15-8 title-winning victory in a marquee bout of the Jan. 12-13 Battle at The Brook tournament at Springbrook.

A DeMatha transfer who was fifth in last year’s private schools' state tournament, Sanchez won a clash between two of Maryland’s top public school wrestlers in only his second tournament of the year over consecutive weekends.

“Getting that move late in the first period was big for creating separation,” said Sanchez, who improved to 6-0 with four pins and a technical fall, pacing the Warriors (180 points) to a runner-up finish behind the host Blue Devils (197.5).

“I wish I could have stuck him, but I really didn’t get the right angle on it. I was able to maintain the right mindset for the rest of the match and take advantage of my opportunities.”

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Paint Branch Panthers quell Sherwood’s basketball spirit 77-40

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DD5A3692aAnticipating a collision, Sherwood’s Nathaniel Lacey (#20) drives into the lane, eyes closed, as Paint Branch’s Mishi Etuaful (#3) looks to block the shot. Paint Branch went on to defeat Sherwood on their home turf Friday night, the final score 77-40. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  SANDY SPRING — From the start of the game, the Paint Branch Panthers varsity boys basketball team determined to give the home team Sherwood Warriors a hard time Friday night in every aspect of the game. By the fourth quarter, an exhausted Warriors squad could barely muster the strength to try and stop the Panthers juggernaut as the margin continued to widen, ultimately ending with the final score 77-40.

With the victory, the Panthers remain at the top of the County leaderboards, with only one loss to their name.

“Just play day by day, practice by practice. Just try to improve as a team and keep on working. We want to play every game like we’re the underdog,” said Dudley on the Panthers’ mentality that keeps them going.

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Ewing, Higazi, Pfeiffer and Ghosh pace Warriors’ wrestlers

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Sherwood's Sam Ewing falls Kennedy's Tran Thong in the 132 lb. weight class. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKSherwood's Sam Ewing falls Kennedy's Tran Thong in the 132 lb. weight class.              PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKSherwood junior Sam Ewing epitomizes the Warriors’ general improvement, his midseason record of 14-1 at 132 pounds being a testament to a grueling summer regimen and swiftly encroaching on his finishing mark of 16-17 from last year.

Similarly there is sophomore Adam Pfeiffer (182) cruising at 14-1 after being 32-10 and fourth at counties and regions last year, and junior Yusuf Higazi (170) at 15-0 with 12 pins, on pace to surpass his 32-9 record and fifth place regional finish.

“Making the regionals last year was a big step up for me because freshman year, I only won about five matches,” said Ewing, whose dedication carries into a 3.4 grade average academically.

“This summer, I did three different camps and a lot more offseason work. I started lifting a lot more, and I’ve been more and more dedicated toward wrestling. This is my third year on varsity. I think I have about seven pins but I have a lot more endurance and I’ve gotten better when it comes to riding and wrestling from the top.”

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Musical chairs on the county’s gridiron begins anew this holiday season

Montgomery County’s version of musical chairs has already begun on the gridiron.
Rockville graduate Jason Lomax has stepped down at Springbrook in order to accept the same position at his alma mater.
“It is with mixed emotions that I am stepping down as head varsity football coach at Springbrook to take the head coaching position at Rockville High School,” Lomax wrote in a letter addressed to the Springbrook Community. “This was a difficult decision that was made with my family in mind. The demands of coaching are very stressful and taxing on a family. This move allows me to spend more time with my family, coach at the school me and my wife graduated from, and coach in the community in which I live. This was a unique opportunity that my family could not pass up.”

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Montgomery County’s high school wrestling preview

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Colonels’ C.J. Cramma aims for elusive state title, while Damascus goes for another team crown 

Magruder’s C.J. Cramma need no further inspiration than his past two meetings with Parkdale of Prince George’s County’s 4A-3A runner-up Axel Giron, who defeated the Colonels’ wrestler, 6-3, in last year’s 113-pound state semifinals, and, in triple-overtime at a summer wrestling camp at Landon High.

Giron lost his state title bout, 3-2, to repeat winner Brent Lorin of Harford County’s Bel Air, a junior like Giron, who has yet to lose a high school bout.

“We were tied 3-3 at states and Giron got back points,” said Cramma, who went 4-1 at states with two pins, a technical fall and a 9-5 decision to end the year with a mark of 41-6. “At Landon, we were tied 4-4 but went into triple-overtime and I lost on the ultimate ride-out.”

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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.

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