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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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MoCo leaders and residents turn out to help those hurt in Puerto Rico

  • Published in Local

IMG 2883Congressman Jamie Raskin (D) takes on a local grade schooler in a chess competition held during a local basketball game fundraiser for Hurricane Maria relief to victims in Puerto Rico. PHOTO BY BRANDY SIMMS  BETHESDA – The Montgomery County community came together Saturday at Thomas W. Pyle Middle School to attend a local celebrity basketball game and fundraiser to provide Hurricane Maria relief for victims in Puerto Rico.

Congressman Jamie Raskin (D), Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner (D), State Sen. William C. Smith Jr. (D-20), State Sen. Susan Lee (D-16), Del. Marc Korman (D-16), and County Council at Large candidate Will Jawando (D) were some of the community leaders in attendance.

Officers Greg Davis and Sarah Federico from the Montgomery County Police Department participated in the basketball game. The fundraiser also included appearances by local celebrities such as rapper Moe Vision, actor DJ Wilson, and fashion designer & creator of Engreve clothing Thar Tariq.

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Highlights in local sports feature football standouts in high school and college

DJ MooreMaryland wide receiver DJ Moore gets loose from Northwestern linebacker Paddy Fisher. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  Maryland junior wide receiver DJ Moore was a bright spot in the Terrapins’ 32-21 loss to Northwestern Saturday in College Park.
Moore, a Philadelphia native, became just the seventh player in school history to record 200 yards in a game, registering 210 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
“He’s been that way pretty much every week,” said Maryland head coach DJ Durkin. “He’s a really talented guy that plays hard. He runs good routes and has good ball skills. We do a lot to get him the ball and design it that way and he always answers the call.”

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Durant honored in hometown of Seat Pleasant

  • Published in Sports

KD Day picsKevin Durant enjoys a ride with hundreds of fans in Seat Pleasant. COURTESY PHOTO  NBA champion and Prince George’s County product Kevin Durant was honored last week in his hometown of Seat Pleasant.

Durant, who guided the Golden State Warriors to the 2016-17 NBA title, was celebrated Thursday at the Seat Pleasant Activity Center.

“I thought it was a great idea,” said Stu Vetter, who coached Durant at Rockville’s Montrose Christian School during the 2006-07 campaign. “Kevin certainly deserves it.”

The Kevin Durant Day parade began in the morning at Judith P. Hoyer Montessori School in Landover and ended in Seat Pleasant with Durant being recognized by Maryland’s Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford.

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Matthew Balanc’s game is a slam dunk

  • Published in Sports

MPI MDElete 0038 1Matthew Balanc goes for the dunk during the Maryland Elite Summer League All-Star Game. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER     Springbrook senior guard Matthew Balanc is a human highlight reel.

During the Maryland Elite Basketball Summer League at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, the 6-foot-3 standout wowed fans with his highlight reel dunks.

Balanc, who averaged a team-high 20.4 points per game last season, erupted for 50 points last month in the Maryland Elite Basketball Summer League All-Star Game. He also earned game MVP honors despite his team’s 103-101 loss.

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Wall succeeds in inking a new deal with the Wizards

  • Published in Sports

WASHINGTON – The Washington Wizards have locked up John Wall for the next several years.

On Friday, the Wizards held a news conference to announce the signing of Wall’s multi-year extension with the National Basketball Association franchise.

Wall, the top overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, signed a four-year, $170 million contract extension that will keep him in Washington through the 2022-23 campaign. Wall’s new deal starts with the 2019-20 season.

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McClinton All-Stars narrowly defeat the Wash Associates 77-75.

  • Published in Sports

In a thrilling game, the Darren McClinton All-Stars (8-2) eked out a 77-75 come-from-behind victory over the A. Wash Associates (7-3) in the semifinals of the Kenner League at McDonough Arena on Saturday afternoon.

A buzzer beater attempt that would have won the game by A. Wash forward Keldon Johnson glanced off rim. The result, the All-Stars moved onto the finals.

“They had it last but we were able to make a stop,” said All-Stars head coach Darren McClinton.

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McClinton All-Stars defeat On Point in Kenner League playoffs

  • Published in Sports

 1Anthony Cowan gets set for a layup in the second half. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER   WASHINGTON – Friday’s Kenner League basketball playoff game between Darren McClinton All-Stars and On Point featured some of the DMV’s top talent.

Anthony Cowan, a rising sophomore at Maryland, scored a game-high 35 points to lead Darren McClinton’s squad to a 92-82 victory over On Point at McDonough Memorial Gymnasium on the Georgetown campus.

“For me it’s always a blessing to be able to play against the best out there,” said former North Carolina Tar Heel Marcus Ginyard, a Bishop O’Connell graduate who finished with 19 points, “he’s definitely got a bright future ahead of him.”

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Summer League All-Stars put on a show

  • Published in Sports

MPI MDElete 0224Team Sploosh’s Kevin Neal tries for a basket. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER ROCKVILLE – The 2017 Maryland Elite Summer Basketball League ended with a bang Monday evening in the Daniel Pearl Memorial Gymnasium at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School as the best players from the summer season competed in the All-Star game.

The students were divided into two teams: Team Bunnies and Team Sploosh. The highly entertaining game came down to the wire as a last second layup by Bullis junior fstorward Nendah Tarke gave Team Sploosh the victory, 103-101.

Springbrook senior guard Matthew Balanc led all players with 50 points scored for Team Bunnies. Balanc was awarded the Most Valuable Player trophy at the game’s conclusion.

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Oakdale edges out Springbrook to win basketball championship 69-6

  • Published in Sports

MPI mdelite 0024Springbrook’s Peace Addo (8) and Cameron Rucker (11) move to block Oakdale’s Drew Jezioro (3) as he attempts a layup. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  ROCKVILLE — Thursday’s championship game of the Maryland Elite Summer Varsity League pitted the Springbrook Blue Devils (7-3) against Frederick County’s Oakdale Bears (9-1). Despite a 28-point performance by Delano Jessup, Springbrook fell to Oakdale, 69-68.

Springbrook head coach Darnell Meyers viewed the loss through a positive lens. Pointing out that two of his starters, Matthew Blanc and Anthony Thomas, were missing.

“The young kids stepped up and did a great job,” said Meyers. “We should’ve won, we missed a lot of free throws, but that’s what summer league is for, it’s a chance to grow.”

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