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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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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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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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B-CC girls make comeback to defeat RM and win first regional hoops title in team history

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Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons’ Charlotte Lowndes (#11) takes a running shot over Richard Montgomery Rockets’ Karon Williams (#4) as their teams clashed for the 4A regional championship. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHBethesda-Chevy Chase Barons’ Charlotte Lowndes (#11) takes a running shot over Richard Montgomery Rockets’ Karon Williams (#4).        PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  ROCKVILLE — Bethesda-Chevy Chase head coach Ryan Ingalls pumped her fist and yelled with joy as Barons senior Caitlyn Clendenin made a layup while being fouled. The Barons’ student section jumped out of their seats and cheered. B-CC was still trailing, but the momentum had certainly turned.

The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons varsity girls basketball team looked completely dead in the water as the Richard Montgomery Rockets dominated early on. Still, this close-knit Barons team never gave in, coming back to win the game 56-49. The win marked the first ever regional championship in team history.

“It’s awesome, we’ve worked so hard. This was our goal at the beginning of the season. We knew this was what we wanted to do. It feels good to finally do it,” Clendenin said.

The Rockets, who had lost just one game all season (to the Barons in the regular season finale), came out absolutely on fire. RM forced turnover after turnover after turnover, and jumped out to an 11-0 lead over the Barons. RM’s Nusaibah Rashad had 10 points in the first quarter, and finished the game with 24.

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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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B-CC point guard Lowndes leads Lady Barons to historic victory over Whitman

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B-CC Barons’ point guard Charlotte Lowndes (#11) pushes the ball upcourt against Whitman Vikings’ Molly Knox (#21), constantly pressuring the Whitman defense in the playoff game on the Barons’ home court Tuesday night. The Barons defeated the Vikings 49-25 to advance to the Sectional Final against the Walter Johnson Wildcats on Thursday, March 1. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHB-CC Barons’ point guard Charlotte Lowndes (#11) pushes the ball upcourt against Whitman Vikings’ Molly Knox (#21), constantly pressuring the Whitman defense in the playoff game on the Barons’ home court Tuesday night. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  BETHESDA — It had been over eight years since the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons girls basketball team last defeated the Whitman Vikings. It had been three years since any girls team other than Whitman won the region. Now, the tables have been turned, and the streak is no more.

Led by a dominant effort from point guard Charlotte Lowndes, B-CC soundly defeated the visiting Vikings, 49-25.

“It’s been tough coming close in past years…It’s nice to return the favor this year, but we expected to do it,” B-CC head coach Ryan Ingalls said of the win.

After falling behind 6-2 in the early minutes of the game, B-CC finally began to click. The Barons rattled off a 12-0 run to end the first quarter, giving them a 14-6 lead. Once B-CC took the lead at 7-6, they never looked back.

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Lady Trojans beat Northwest in first round of hoops playoffs, 63-47

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NW Jaguars vs. Gburg TrojansGAITHERSBURG – “It’s playoff time!” shouted Gaithersburg head coach Adrian McDaniel as his team took the court on Friday.

The postseason has indeed descended on high school varsity basketball and the Lady Trojans kicked off the first round when they hosted and defeated the Northwest Jaguars, 63-47 in a 4A West matchup.

The Trojans entered the game as the third seed and Northwest was the sixth seed. However, the Jaguars kept the game close in the first half until Gaithersburg tightened up its defense in the second half to kick Northwest out of the postseason.

At first, the Trojans appeared to have difficulty containing Northwest senior guard Khienya Benjamin, who drove through the lane repeatedly en route to 16 points. Gaithersburg managed to neutralize Benjamin in the second half and the Trojans dug a hole too large for the Jaguars to climb out of.

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B-CC Barons hand RM girls first loss of the season, 61-55

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B-CC Barons’ Stephanie Howell (14) drives the lane past RM Rockets’ Melanie Osborne (12). PHOTOS BY GEORGE P. SMITHB-CC Barons’ Stephanie Howell (14) drives the lane past RM Rockets’ Melanie Osborne (12). PHOTOS BY GEORGE P. SMITH  BETHESDA — Caitlyn Clendenin saved the best for last.

The senior finished with a game-high 22 points Friday to lead the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons varsity girls basketball team to a 61-55 win over the Richard Montgomery Rockets in the regular season finale.

It was a special moment for Clendenin and her senior classmates as B-CC handed visiting Richard Montgomery their first loss of the season on Senior Night.

“It feels really good,” said Clendenin. “Some of my friends were on that team so it was exciting to play against them and have a little friendly competition with them and obviously exciting to get the win as well.”

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Blair Blazers take down Blake in girls hoops, 50-32

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Blair's Nora Olagbaju skies for an offense rebound and put back aginst Blake defenders. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKBlair's Nora Olagbaju skies for an offense rebound and put back aginst Blake defenders. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  SILVER SPRING – The Montgomery Blair Blazers varsity girls basketball team made a statement Tuesday when it handily defeated the visiting Blake Bengals, 50-32.

The Blazers opened the game with an 11-0 scoring run and never relinquished their lead. Senior guard Alayna McFadden (15 points) and senior forward Aissatou Bokoum (10 points) made sure a Bengals comeback was out of the question as McFadden cut through the Blake defense and Bokoum dominated on the offensive boards.

Even though Blake created turnovers and players were going to the ground to grab the ball, the Bengals couldn’t translate their efforts to the scoreboard and trailed 28-9 at halftime.

Blake’s pair of shining moments came courtesy of senior guard Kennedy Love in the third quarter. Love hit two back-to-back three-pointers to try to cut into Blair’s lead. However, with McFadden shouting instructions to her teammates from the top of the key and senior forward Nora Olagbaju registering six points in the third quarter, the Bengals couldn’t recover.

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