ROCKVILLE — Basketball season may have just begun, but don’t tell that to the Magruder and Northwest girls varsity teams. The two squads clashed Tuesday in a hard-fought seesaw game that saw the visiting Northwest Jaguars pull away at the last minute and hand the Magruder Colonels their third loss, 53-49.
Both teams appeared evenly matched from the very first whistle and neither the Colonels nor the Jaguars trailed by more than four points during the course of the game. Magruder’s Laila Grant and Northwest’s Khienya Benjamin, both senior guards, traded highlight reel plays and finished as the highest scoring player on their respective teams. Grant registered 27 points and Benjamin wasn’t far behind with 20 points of her own.
Even though Northwest missed several big buckets that could have helped them pull away from Magruder, the Jaguars made up for their errors by stealing turnovers and grabbing rebounds.
Benjamin, however, wasn’t worried about the Colonels coming away with the victory.
“I have confidence in myself and I have confidence in my team and I know that we want to win,” she said. “I heard about [Grant] and she is a great player but we matched their intensity.”
MONTGOMERY VILLAGE — Former Good Counsel assistant David Blumenthal picked up his first victory as head coach of the Churchill Bulldogs varsity boys basketball team Monday in the Bulldogs’ 56-26 road win over the Watkins Mill Wolverines.
“Anytime you can get a road win it’s huge,” said Blumenthal.
Churchill senior Jake Ruben scored a game-high 13 points as the Bulldogs improved to 1-1.
“Ruben is definitely a guy that we look to off the bench as a huge spark,” said Blumenthal. “He comes in, he’s full of energy, he’s all over the court and the kid can shoot so he comes in and he gets space and he hits that three, it seems to get everybody up. They start to steamroll once he hits one or two so he stepped up big.”
DERWOOD — As C.J. Cramma pursues this year’s 120-pound 4A-3A state title after having placed third at states last season, Landon junior Axel Giron will be among the Magruder senior’s greatest supporters.
That’s due, in part, to Giron scoring a double-leg takedown of Cramma in the final seconds to secure a 5-4 victory in Saturday’s finals of Mad Mats Tournament at Magruder, a feat which evened his series mark to three wins each against Cramma, whom he won't have to wrestle for the remainder of their high school season.
“Second period, I got the first point for a 1-0 lead, then it was 2-1 after he took me down. I escaped to make it 2-2,” said Giron, a triple-overtime winner of their summer meeting at a Landon wrestling camp.
DERWOOD — Poolesville junior Kieran Barney finished with a record of 8-15 last year and the 182-pounder began this, his third-ever season of wrestling, on his back.
Barney was pinned in 3:34 by Sherwood’s sophomore county and regional fourth-place finisher Adam Pfeiffer during a 38-37 dual meet victory by the Falcons on Dec. 6, and was itching to redeem himself in last Saturday’s Mad Mats Tournament at Magruder.
In the end, it was Barney planting shoulders to the mat for the Falcons at Mad Mats as he decked all three opponents, including Good Counsel senior Alwyn Taylor in 2:38 of their title bout. His triumph paced the Falcons to third place in the 19-team field behind champion St. Paul’s of Baltimore County and Stephen Decatur of Berlin in Worcester County.
“Kieran did a lot of lifting during the offseason and wrestled in a couple of tournaments here and there. He just never gives up and goes at it 100 percent,” said Poolesville head coach Tim Tao.
“He asks lots of questions like, ‘Show me this,’ and, ‘Show me that,’ and is eager to learn. I told him after his finals match at Mad Mats if he wrestled like that all year, he’s placing at counties, regions and going to states.”
Deborah Sternberg sings frequently.
She’s the cantorial soloist at Congregation Or Chadash in Damascus, and performs with the Washington Chorus and the Washington Master Chorale.
“What I had never done until recently was to be in a show,” Sternberg said.
Or, more accurately, a reading with music.
That changed when Rachel Stroud-Goodrich, member and choir director of Or Chadash, approached Sternberg about lending a musical component to “The Grunch that Stole Hanukkah.”
Sometimes you get an offer you can't refuse.
When the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation approved The Highwood Theatre's request to license "The School of Rock," even though it is still playing on the Great White Way, moving forward was a no-brainer.
"It was a unique opportunity to do a Broadway show," said Kevin Kearney, the theater's executive director who is co-directing the show with Dylan Kaufman. "We're part of a select group of youth theaters and schools who received the licensing."
But aside from the opportunity, "School of Rock" is also "the perfect show for Highwood," said Kearney, who saw the musical four times on Broadway and "loved" it.
Mitsubishi was ahead of the curve when it launched the 2011 Outlander Sport. A size smaller than a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4, the Outlander Sport offered the high seating position, available all-wheel-drive and useful cargo capacity of competing compact crossovers – just without as much bulk or as high of a price.
Now, an entire market class has joined Mitsubishi: the subcompact crossover. It faces off against such competitors as the Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR, after those automakers also realized that not everyone wanted a crossover as large as their best-selling models.
The Outlander Sport has changed little since 2011, but it retains its fundamental appeal. From its base price of $21,360, the 2018 Outlander Sport provides a credible crossover experience in a class where some models offer no more cargo space or ground clearance than an economy car. Mitsubishi also boosts its value quotient by including such items as a touchscreen infotainment system, 18-inch alloy wheels and automatic climate control as no-extra-cost standard equipment, along with generous warranty coverage.
That's not to say that it's all good news. Even back in 2011, the Outlander Sport wasn't too impressive for its refinement or driving dynamics – and without major mechanical upgrades since then, it's not surprising that the 2018 also isn't going to blow you away.