Paint Branch defeats Kennedy in Walter Hardy Holiday Hoopfest

  • Published in Sports

Walter Hardy Holiday Hoopfest Paint Branch vs. KennedyKennedy Cavaliers' Jalen Lovell (#20) and Paint Branch Panthers' Richard Dudley (#5) dive for a loose ball during the Walter Hardy Holiday Hoopfest Invitational Tournament.               PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH.BURTONSVILLE — The Paint Branch varsity basketball team emerged victorious Thursday over the visiting Kennedy Cavaliers, 79-75, in the final championship game of the Walter Hardy Holiday Hoopfest Invitational Tournament.

It was a fitting ending to a tournament that honored a man who had left an indelible mark on both schools featured in the championship game.

Hardy, a Paint Branch graduate, coached the Panthers for 17 seasons and served as athletic director at Kennedy. He had just begun his tenure as Sherwood’s athletic director when he died suddenly in September.

Current Panthers head coach Chris Bohlen helped organize the tournament as a way to not only honor Hardy but to raise money for the Walter Hardy Scholarship Fund. Bohlen hopes to make the tournament an annual affair.

“[Hardy] has done so much for the community and for Paint Branch,” said Bohlen. “When his family established the scholarship fund, it was a no-brainer to use the proceeds and donations to help benefit that fund.”


MoCo fans mourn the loss of two local sporting greats

We lost two individuals with deep roots in Montgomery County athletics during the past two months, a former athlete, and an alum and coach.
Eric Nichols, the popular Gaithersburg quarterback who guided the Trojans to their first state championship in 1986, died in August at the age of 48.
Nichols was also the DC Touchdown Club’s Maryland High School Player of the Year in 1986 and led Maryland to a victory over Pennsylvania in the 1987 Big 33 All-Star football game.
Maryland’s 26-22 victory over Pennsylvania at Hersheypark Stadium marked the first time in history that a team from Maryland had beaten Pennsylvania in that game.
“That was one of the baddest quarterbacks I’ve ever seen in this area,” said former Seneca Valley standout Wayne Turner, “[He’s in the] top ten.”

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