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Blair falls to Howard in softball regional championship, 2-0

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Despite the Blair Blazers' 8-2 victory against the Urbana Hawks earlier the same day (with pitcher Courtney Wyche seen here on the mound), the Blazers would fall later in the second game of a doubleheader to the Howard Lions.  PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHDespite the Blair Blazers' 8-2 victory against the Urbana Hawks earlier the same day (with pitcher Courtney Wyche seen here on the mound), the Blazers would fall in a second game against the Howard Lions for the regional championship. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  SILVER SPRING — No one could say that the Blair Blazers varsity softball team didn’t give it their all Monday night, but after a thrilling victory against the Urbana Hawks earlier that day, the Blazers lost to the Howard Lions in the regional championship, 2-0.

A team that came in with only two losses to their name, playing at home (the game counted as away for Blair but took place on Blair’s home field) after a resounding 8-2 win over the Urbana Hawks the same day, could not get over errors in the first inning that led to the only two runs the Howard Lions scored the entire game.

Part of it could definitely be chalked up to exhaustion: the Blazers came out of a brief hiatus due to a streak of rained-out games to play a doubleheader in humid weather. The game against the Hawks gave them the brunt of the heat.

Meanwhile, the Lions came into the game rested since their win against the Catonsville Comets on Saturday.

“This one wasn’t very hard either for us, it’s just because we were tired, because we know what’s at stake, we just couldn’t seem to find a way to get those two runs across the plate,” said Blazers pitcher Courtney Wyche.

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Damascus crowns six champions, sends nine wrestlers to the Class 2A-1A states

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Damascus Swarmin HornetsTwo-time county champion Johnny McLaughlin won a clash of 126-pound juniors, 7-5 over state title-winner Travis Crawford of South Carroll for his third straight regional crown at the Feb. 23 and 24 Class 2A-1A West Regionals at Boonsboro High in Washington County.

Twice a third-place finisher at states, McLaughlin (38-6) used a quarterfinal pin and a 15-2 semifinal major decision to reach the finals against Crawford (35-2), being among six titlists and nine Damascus wrestlers who placed fourth or higher to qualify for this weekend’s Class 2A-1A state tournament at The Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro.

“I knew it was gonna be a tough match, and I had to wrestle hard and smart for the entire six minutes to secure the ‘W,’” said McLaughlin, a county runner-up as a sophomore.

“It was fun to win, but I didn’t know until afterward that he was a state champ. And when I found out that he wasn’t attending the awards [ceremonies,] that made the win feel so much better.”

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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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B-CC boys soccer wins region with 3-0 victory over G’burg

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B CC Barons vs. Gburg TrojansROCKVILLE — The third seeded Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons boys soccer team advanced to the state semifinals Wednesday night at Richard Montgomery High School as they defeated the Gaithersburg Trojans 3-0.

Early on in the game, Gaithersburg controlled the pace of play. It was the Trojans who had the bulk of the early opportunities to score. However, each and every time that Gaithersburg launched an attack, the Barons defense stifled it.

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Sherwood Warriors eke out 2-1 victory for regional varsity softball championship.

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xSherwood vs Dulaney Softball bSherwood senior Amanda Berkley unloads a pitch in the 2-1 win over Delaney.                 PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  Coming off a highly contested 5-3 win against the number two seed Howard Lions (19-6), local girls varsity softball powerhouse Sherwood Warriors (17-1) extended their winning streak to 15 games against fellow number one seed, the Dulaney Lions (19-3) of Baltimore County, securing the regional championship with a final score of 2-1.

The contest was a pitcher’s duel, with Sherwood senior Amanda Berkley meeting her match against Dulaney junior Akirra Pullen. Both pitchers toyed with the other team’s offense, and base runners were hard to come by.

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