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North wins MoCo all-county senior basketball game

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Basketball through the hoopROCKVILLE — Thursday night’s Montgomery County Senior All-Star Game at Montgomery College featured highlight reel dunks and very little defense from both teams.

Richard Montgomery’s Daryn Alexander and Northwest’s Norval Black erupted for 27 points each to lead the North team past the South, 144-137.

Alexander and Black were teammates last year for Vernon Buckle’s Montgomery County Heat AAU basketball program Team Vito so they had some familiarity with each other entering Thursday’s contest and their skills were displayed on the hardwood.

“We didn’t talk [prior to the game],” said Alexander, “We just got that chemistry from AAU so it was fun playing in this game, too.”

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Driesell to be inducted into Naismith Hall of Fame

Lefty Driesell, seen here during his first season at University of Maryland.  COURTESY PHOTOLefty Driesell during his first season at University of Maryland. COURTESY PHOTO  Finally.
Former University of Maryland head coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
It’s about time.
Driesell, a former Silver Spring resident, was honored over the weekend with the announcement of the crowning achievement of his coaching career.
The father of Springbrook High School graduate Chuck Driesell, Lefty will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame on Sept. 7 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
“He deserves it,” said Rockville High School graduate Brian Howard, who played at Georgia Tech in the 1980s, “How can he not be in the Hall of Fame?”

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Town rallies behind victorious Falcons

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Poolesville girls have perfect season, and win first state title ever

Erin Green of Poolesville concentrates on a shot in the paint while avoiding an injured Alli Haddaway. Green finished with 25 points on the day. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKErin Green of Poolesville concentrates on a shot in the paint while avoiding injured Alli Haddaway. Green finished with 25 points for the day. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  TOWSON — “I had someone email me last week after we won the region” Poolesville head coach Fred Swick said. “They said, ‘Congratulations, coach, your team just woke up the town.”

With a 63-23 victory over the Queen Anne’s Lions, the Poolesville Falcons completed an undefeated 2017-18 season, winning the Maryland Class 2A state championship.

Before this season, the Poolesville girls basketball team had never won a state championship in program history, let alone a regional title.

A final record of 27-0 this season changed that, and the Falcons will be placing a banner commemorating their undefeated season in their gym.

“It was a storybook finish to a storybook season,” Swick said.

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Undefeated Poolesville girls advance to state hoops final after beating Gwynn Park, 61-49

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Poolesville’s Kelliann Lee (#21) takes it to the hoop despite an attempt to swat the ball by Gwynn Park’s Denai Bowman (#1).  PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHPoolesville’s Kelliann Lee (#21) takes it to the hoop despite an attempt to swat the ball by Gwynn Park’s Denai Bowman (#1).                        PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  

TOWSON — Perfection.

The Poolesville Falcons varsity girls basketball team remained unbeaten following a 61-49 victory Friday over the Gwynn Park Yellow Jackets in a Maryland 2A state semifinal game at SECU Arena.

“We’ve had a really good season,” said Poolesville head coach Fred Swick.

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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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B-CC Barons’ historic season in girls b-ball ends with loss to Catonsville

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Bethesda-Chevy Chase’s Caitlyn Clendenin scored a layup in a losing effort that saw the Barons fall to the Catonsville Comets in the state semifinal game.  PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHBethesda-Chevy Chase’s Caitlyn Clendenin scored a layup in a losing effort that saw the Barons fall to the Catonsville Comets in the state semifinal game. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  TOWSON — The 2017-18 season has certainly been a historic ride for the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons varsity girls basketball team. The Barons advanced to the state semifinals for the first time in school history, and during the first half against the defending state champion Catonsville Comets, it looked like this playoff ride would continue.

Then Catonsville’s Jasmine Dickey took the game into her own hands.

Behind Dickey’s dominant second half, Catonsville stormed back in the second half, and defeated B-CC 63-51.

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MC Raptors District VII champs with PGCC defeat, advance to NJCAA DIII finals

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Montgomery College’s Afanna Offor hits a jumper against Prince George’s Community College’s Gus Stone for two of his 23 points in the regional finals. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKMontgomery College’s Afanna Offor hits a jumper against Prince George’s Community College’s Gus Stone for two of his 23 points in the regionals. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKROCKVILLE — Montgomery College is headed to the big dance.

The Montgomery College Raptors men’s basketball team earned its way Sunday to the NJCAA DIII Men’s Basketball Championship with an 85-71 victory over the visiting Prince George’s Community College Owls.

The Raptors captured the District VII championship thanks to a team effort and will play in the finals in Loch Sheldrake, New York scheduled for March 15-17. The win helped Montgomery College head coach Keith Byrd secure his first trip to the national tournament and the program’s first since 2007.

Afanna Offor led four Raptors in double figures with a game-high 23 points and Tyran Crawford scored 17 points while Collin Turner and Chris Johnson also had significant contributions.

“To be honest,” said Crawford, a former Seneca Valley High School standout, “I’m not trying to get too up or too down but we’re on a mission and we’ve got to complete that mission.”

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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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Catonsville girls trounce Paint Branch in 4A North Regionals

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Katerra Myers splits two Perry Hall defenders driving the lane to put one on the backboard.  Her shot missed the rim but the rebound snagged by Amele Ngwafang went through the net.  PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEKaterra Myers splits two Catonsville defenders driving the lane to put one on the backboard. Her shot missed the rim but the rebound snagged by Amele Ngwafang went through the net. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  BURTONSVILLE — The defending state champion Catonsville Comets varsity girls basketball team strode into the Panthers Den Saturday and emerged as the 4A North Regional champions after throttling the Paint Branch Panthers, 78-42.

The staunch Comet defense proved to be too much for the Panthers to handle. Catonsville neutralized Paint Branch center Amele Ngwafang, throwing the senior off of her game and forcing her into foul trouble. Even though the Radford University commit still led her team with 14 points, most of those points were earned at the free throw line.

Meanwhile, Catonsville senior guard and University of Delaware commit Jasmine Dickey ran roughshod over the Panthers, creating turnovers and landing easy layups nearly every time she dashed down the court. Dickey led all scorers with 26 points and in the process, entered the Maryland state history books as she registered her 2000th high school career point.

“I really didn’t know,” said Dickey of her achievement. “It feels great because I know not a lot of people get it.”

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Rockville boys knocked out of hoops playoffs after regional loss to TJ Patriots

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Rockville Rams vs. TJ PatriotsFREDERICK — A glimmer of hope in the second quarter was not enough for the visiting Rockville Rams varsity boys basketball team, as they lost to the Thomas Johnson Patriots 64-51.

With the win, the Rams are knocked out of the basketball playoffs and the Patriots are crowned 3A West regional champions, now moving to the state semifinals.

From the beginning, Thomas Johnson kept Rockville playing a game of catch up with their strong defensive game and accurate shots.

The Rams’ mistakes proved too much to make up, and foul trouble later in the game cemented their fate. As the fouls racked up for the Patriots, the momentum shifted in favor of the home team and the win kept on eluding Rockville.

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