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Lady Wildcats hold off Churchill LAX team for 11th straight win

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Sierra Agarwahl of Walter Johnson fights the Churchill Defenders for position. Agarwahl had four shots on goal and a 2nd half goal in the 10-8 Walter Johnson playoff win. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKSierra Agarwahl of Walter Johnson battles Churchill defenders for position. Agarwahl had four shots on goal and a second half goal in the 10-8 Walter Johnson playoff win.                  PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  BETHESDA — Several lacrosse sticks were thrown high up into the air as the buzzer signaled the end of the game. The Walter Johnson Wildcats varsity girls lacrosse team had just held on against a second half Churchill surge to beat the visiting Bulldogs 10-8 Friday in the 4A West Section 1 semifinals.

It was the second time this season that the Wildcats had hosted the Bulldogs, and both times the Wildcats escaped with a narrow victory. This time, however, it was Churchill that came from behind to score four unanswered goals to tie the game.

Churchill junior attacker Elizabeth Hsu earned three of her game-high five goals in the first half. In fact, she was the only Bulldog to score at all in the first period.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats were on a roll as six different players got the ball past Churchill’s goalie to give Walter Johnson a comfortable 7-3 lead going into the half.

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Whitman eliminates WJ in first-round playoff game

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With the ball well out of reach, Whitman Vikings' Shinnosuke Ishiyama (1) tries to find the plate without stepping on WJ Wildcats pitcher Kyle Peterson (17) who is covering home. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHWith the ball well out of reach, Whitman Vikings' Shinnosuke Ishiyama (1) tries to find the plate without stepping on WJ Wildcats pitcher Kyle Peterson (17), who is covering home.        PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  BETHESDA — The 2018 Maryland high school baseball playoffs got started with a bang as four-seed Whitman and five-seed Walter Johnson faced off.

In a wild, and certainly not pretty game that lasted almost three hours, the Whitman Vikings advanced to the second round with a 19-16 win over the Walter Johnson Wildcats.

“In a high school game, I’ve never seen 35 runs between two teams,” Whitman head coach Joe Cassidy said.

The two Bethesda rivals combined to score 35 runs, use eight pitchers and walk 23 batters.

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Undefeated, WJ boys volleyball team beats Magruder in final regular season match

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WJ Wildcats vs. Magruder ColonelsBETHESDA — Corey Criss slammed an emphatic kill over the net and wagged his finger as the rest of the Walter Johnson Wildcats varsity boys volleyball team gathered around him to congratulate him. Criss’s point was one of many that led the undefeated, defending county champion Wildcats to a 25-10, 25-20, 25-21 victory Monday over the visiting Magruder Colonels (7-4) on Senior Night.

The Wildcats (11-0) established their dominance from the very first set as senior captain Andrew Harper launched several ace serves that the Colonels scrambled to try to return. In fact, Harper started all three sets and helped give WJ the advantage in all but the last set.

“Harper is a great senior leader that keeps things together,” said Walter Johnson head coach Brian Fairall. “He’s a great captain and we rally behind him.”

In addition to established players like Harper and Criss, there are a few younger players on the Wildcats’ squad that are playing with a chip on their shoulder, especially now that the regular season is over.

“We lost a lot of key seniors last year so it’s not the same group coming back,” said Fairall. “We have a lot of younger kids coming into the program that have something to prove, that they can step into those shoes.”

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Whitman baseball team gets payback with defeat of WJ Wildcats

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Whitman Vikings’ Sam Mermelstein (15) makes it back to second base after taking a bit too much of a lead on WJ Wildcats second baseman Ian Rickles (3). PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHWhitman Vikings’ Sam Mermelstein (15) makes it back to second base after taking too much of a lead on WJ Wildcats second baseman Ian Rickles (3).  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  BETHESDA — In the second matchup between varsity baseball teams the Whitman Vikings and the Walter Johnson Wildcats, the visiting Whitman offense started out hot, taking an early lead and never looking back as they took down Walter Johnson on their home turf, 10-7.

The Vikings came into the 2017 playoffs as the number one seed in their section, only to lose to the Wildcats in the second round of the playoffs. Then, in the first meeting between Whitman and WJ this season, the Wildcats emerged victorious once again in extra innings. Whitman coach TJ Caswell, filling in for head coach Joe Cassidy for this game, said the Vikings were ready to finally get payback.

“They have a little bitter taste in their mouth. We played them in the playoffs. We lost. We got our teeth kicked in. We wanted to come back this year and own Bethesda,” said Caswell.

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B-CC girls beat WJ Wildcats, advance to first regionals since 2004

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Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons’ Charlotte Lowndes (#11) tiptoes along the baseline as Walter Johnson Wildcats’ Kristin Lucas (#13) and Jessica Enright (#33) try to deny her a way through. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHBethesda-Chevy Chase Barons’ Charlotte Lowndes (#11) tiptoes along the baseline as Walter Johnson Wildcats Kristin Lucas (#13) and Jessica Enright (#33) try to block her way. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  BETHESDA — Frustration and anxiety gripped the locker room of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons varsity girls basketball team at halftime. The Barons had just played their worst first half of the season, although they were still tied with the Walter Johnson Wildcats at the break. Knowing that this was her last game on her home floor, B-CC senior center Caitlyn Clendenin told her team that this wasn’t going to be the way they went out.

Through the frustration, B-CC found a spark in the locker room at halftime. The Barons cleaned up their mistakes in the second half, and pulled away for a 59-45 victory in the 4A West Section I championship over WJ. This victory marked the Barons first trip to the regional final since 2004.

“We have such a special team; it means tons to me, but also for the girls to show what they can do. It’s awesome to be back there, we’re really excited,” B-CC head coach Ryan Ingalls said. Ingalls was a player on the 2004 B-CC team to reach the regional championship.

“It’s very exciting,” Clendenin said of the win, “especially with this team. We’re all very good friends. It’s so fun to keep winning with them. We’ve been working hard all season. We knew what our goals were: to get to regionals and keep winning.”

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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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Ninth grader stands out in Rockville victory over WJ, 49-46

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Rockvlle’s Jimmy Sorunke (#42) gets a hand up trying to block WJ’s Josh Forburger (#20). Sorunke scored a game-high 16 points for Rockville Rams, who would go on to defeat WJ, 49-46. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHRockvlle’s Jimmy Sorunke (42) tries to block WJ’s Josh Forburger (20). Sorunke scored a game-high 16 points for Rockville Rams, who would go on to defeat WJ, 49-46. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  ROCKVILLE — A freshman stole the show on Senior Night at Jim Conner Coliseum.

Jimmy Sorunke, a 6-foot-10 ninth-grader who moved to the United States from Nigeria last year, scored a game-high 16 points Tuesday to lead the Rockville Rams varsity boys basketball team to a 49-46 win over the visitingWalter Johnson Wildcats.

“Jimmy had a great performance,” said Rockville head coach Todd Dembroski. “Jimmy was playing on one good leg tonight, he was hobbling around. He was playing injured, playing hurt but he sucked it up and he came in there and had a great fourth quarter when his team needed it.”

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Local athletes break personal records at Montgomery Invitational track meet

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Walter Johnson’s Abigail Green leads the entire race of the girls’ one mile race. She finishes with a 5:03.86, a personal record. Right behind her for most of the race is Paint Branch’s Yasmine Kass who places third with a personal record of 5:12.99.  PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEWalter Johnson’s Abigail Green leads the entire race of the girls’ one mile race. She finishes with a 5:03.86, a personal record. Right behind her for most of the race is Paint Branch’s Yasmine Kass who places third with a personal record of 5:12.99. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  LANDOVER — At last week’s Montgomery Invitational track meet at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex, the Bullis School girls 4x200 meter relay team became the fastest girls’ relay team in the United States, racing on a flat track, shattering the previous track record.

The quartet of two sophomores (Shaniya Hall and Leah Phillips) and two seniors (Ashley Seymour and Masai Russell) finished their race in one minute, 37.28 seconds.

“When we ran that 1:37, we were really impressed and elated,” said Russell, who anchored the relay.

The Lady Bulldogs had been trying to break the facility record at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex since the start of this season, Russell said.

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Green places first again in one mile run at track meet

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LANDOVER — Walter Johnson senior Abigail Green, 18, placed first in the girls one mile run invitational at the Montgomery Track and Field Championship Saturday.

“It’s been so long since I last ran a mile,” Green said after finishing in 5:04 minutes.

Five seconds after the starting gun went off, she maintained a lead of several meters until the finish line. Paint Branch senior Yasmine Kass (5:12.99 minutes) kept a close distance behind her for a majority of the eight laps. Green said she was aware Kass was close behind her.

“I could feel kind of pressure behind me; I wasn’t really sure, but I could hear people cheering for Yasmine behind me, so she was going to be close by,” said Green.

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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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