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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.

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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.

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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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B-CC boys earn ninth straight win, defeating hoops rival Whitman

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Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School's Elijah Wood (#3) goes up for a dunk in the game against Whitman. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH B-CC Barons' Elijah Wood (#3) goes up for a dunk in the game against the Whitman Vikings. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  BETHESDA — Bethesda-Chevy Chase senior Gordon Gibson scored 26 points against the Whitman Vikings boys varsity basketball team when the visiting B-CC Barons faced them on Jan. 2. On Tuesday, Gibson dropped 22 points against the Barons’ arch-rivals, leading B-CC to its ninth straight win, a 65-47 victory over Whitman.

“It’s been awesome,” B-CC head coach Sean Tracy said of the winning streak. “Just trying to chase perfection, trying to sustain it and maintain it. There’s no reason why we can’t continue to win. There’s no rule that states that you have to lose.”

B-CC and Whitman came into the game going in opposite directions. The Barons entered as winners of eight straight in-County games, while Whitman was in the midst of a two-game losing streak, and a sub .500 record.

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Springbrook does just enough late in the game to defeat Whitman

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Whitman Vikings vs. Springbrook Blue Devils 1 12 15 17Whitman's Joey Squeri and Springbrook's Michael Germain get tangled in the net during a contested rebound.                PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  BETHESDA — Despite a ferocious fourth-quarter comeback attempt by the Walt Whitman Vikings, the Blue Devils of Springbrook High School found the last drops of fuel in their tank in the game’s final minutes to defeat Whitman, 67-59.

Friday’s match – contested by two of Montgomery County’s best squads – was decided by four big scoring runs.

The first belonged to Whitman, which began the game with ten unanswered points until after a Springbrook timeout, after which the Blue Devils rallied, and even took the lead for a few seconds before a buzzer-beating layup by Whitman’s Rodrigo Ruiz gave the Vikings a 16-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“Defense,” Springbrook head coach Darnell Meyers immediately responded when asked what changed during the timeout. “And some words I said in the huddle,” Meyers continued with a smile.

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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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WJ, Whitman take MoCo cross country titles

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DSC 8747WJ Lady Wildcats' Abbey Green aids teammate Janet Scott. Green finished first in the girls cross country championships for Montgomery County, 47 seconds ahead of Scott in second place . PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

GAITHERSBURG — The Walter Johnson High School varsity girls and the Walt Whitman varsity boys cross country teams each finished with the lowest amount of points overall, earning them the championship trophies.

The Montgomery County varsity boys and girls county 5 kilometer individual champions were not unfamiliar faces.

Two seniors – Poolesville’s Ryan Lockett (15 minutes and 32 seconds), the county’s 2016 runner-up and 3A state champion, and Walter Johnson’s Abbey Green (17:57), two-time county champion (2015, 2016) and 2016 4A state runner-up – won their respective races.

“It was close the entire race,” Lockett said.

For the girls team, Walter Johnson head coach Tom Martin said the girls work together well. This year was Walter Johnson's fourth consecutive County title.

“Our four seniors have been good – they’ve done this plenty of times, they know what they have to do, and when it comes down to this time of year, they’re a good group at figuring out what they have to do in a race, where they have to be to be successful,” Martin said.

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Whitman Vikings defeat Churchill Bulldogs, 2-1

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Whitman vs. Churchill soccer 10 7 17Churchill Bulldogs' Alok Kothari (10) and Whitman Vikings' Pablo Bayona Sapag (14) battle for the ball.   PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  BETHESDA – In a hard-fought encounter at home, the Walt Whitman Vikings defeated the Winston Churchill Bulldogs 2-1 in boys varsity soccer Saturday afternoon.

The Vikings pressed forward early and took a two-goal lead before halftime. During the second half, the Bulldogs managed to narrow the score but were unable to level the match.

“I thought the first half was brilliant, we had numerous chances, we had the run of play,” said Whitman coach Dave Greene. “We did everything we had to do, we scored two goals.”

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Prep grabs 12-0 scrimmage win over Whitman

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MPI GTPrepWhitman 066 2Whitman Vikings quarterback Elliott Kelly under pressure from Georgetown Prep's defense during football scrimmage. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  ROCKVILLE – A heavy rainstorm couldn’t keep the Georgetown Prep Little Hoyas from defeating the Whitman Vikings in their first scrimmage of the season on Friday, 12-0. 

A rainbow framed the field as both squads stomped onto the rain-soaked turf. Since the game was a scrimmage, there were no quarters, kickoffs or halftime. Coaches from both teams stood in the opposite end zones and watched intently, shouting instructions.

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Bulldogs crush Vikings in LAX playoffs 10-3

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xChurchill Bulldogs vs. Whitman Vikings LAX 2bChurchill’s Ryan Leonard (5) goes for the goal as Whitman defenders move to intercept.    PHOTO BY MARK POETKER

After a close three quarters, the Churchill Bulldogs boys varsity lacrosse team (15-1) lambasted the Whitman Vikings (11-4), 10-3 in the MPPSSA regional semifinals at Churchill Stadium on Monday evening.

Bulldogs junior attacker Ryan Leonard (3 goals) said of the win, “We always have a chip on our shoulder playing against Whitman. They’re our rivals. So, we knew we wanted to come in and win.”

Bulldogs senior goalie Alex Crombie credited the win on the Bulldogs’ team energy, saying, “We all came out just as we would in a playoff game. Against Wootton we came out with a lot of energy. Tonight was no different. It mostly started on the defensive end. We brought a lot of energy. Although our offense had a slow start. I thought the energy resonated. They picked up as the game went on. They feed off it. A lot of our success came off the energy we had.”

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