The Richard Montgomery Rockets (10-3) were facing an uphill battle. One player had fouled out and another had taken an elbow to the face. Yet, the Rockets hung together for a two-point victory against the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons (8-4), 44-42.
Rockets head coach Michael Oakes voiced his opinion on the evening. “I feel fantastic. I am so proud of my team. We knew that this was a huge game for us. We have not beaten B-CC since I’ve been the varsity coach.”
When Rockets junior center Nusaibah Rashad (four points) fouled out early in the fourth quarter, Rockets junior forward Melanie Osborne (10 points) felt compelled to stay in the game despite having taken an elbow to the face.
Then, with four seconds left in a one-point game, Osborne made a crucial free throw to seal the Rockets’ win.
On the injury, Osborne said, “I don’t know. I just knew I had to stay in. There was only four minutes left, and I knew I had to play for the team, had to take one for the team.”
Barons Head Coach Ryan Ingalls voiced her displeasure with her team’s inability to make baskets, saying, “... really all around today our shots weren’t falling. We got some good looks, but they weren’t going in.”
The Barons did have a star performance in the loss. Barons junior forward Caitlyn Clendenin had a team-high 20 points.
Coach Ingalls expressed that she could take positives from Clendenin, saying, “She’s really came on strong this year as a leader on the court. Really dominant inside, very aggressive on the offensive end and defensive boards. She’s done a great job this year. We’re really proud of how she’s performed so far.”
Ingalls added, “It’s always good to play in close games. It’s good experience for the girls. I think we fought to the end, and I like to think we could have come out on top. But that is how it happens sometimes.”
The key to the Rockets’ success seemed to be point guard Karon Williams.
Oakes felt Williams was very good “for really picking the spots and knowing when to distribute and run the offense and when to step up and take the shots that we needed... She’s an incredibly hard worker.”
Williams was equally happy with the win, saying, “I feel very proud of my team; they’ve all been working hard, and I’m glad that all this hard work is paying off with this big win against B-CC.”
Williams, a junior who has been on varsity for three seasons, said this win was one of her biggest yet. “I feel personally this is one of my best games because I held in my opponent, one of the best players (Barons senior guard Mariah Mcallister) in Montgomery County to under double digits.”
Ingalls felt that this game worthy of a rematch. “The only chance we’d see them, I guess, is if we’re seeded similarly in the playoffs. And I think that would be a really good matchup, so hopefully that happens.”