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.”
As a team, Churchill converted 10 three-pointers including three from Ruben.
“We found our rhythm tonight,” said Ruben, “the first game we were off but as a team we found our rhythm and shot the ball with a lot of confidence tonight.”
TJ Richardson (10 points), David Orta (9 points), Reed Moshyedi (6 points) and Ryan Leonard (6 points) also contributed to the Churchill win along with Calvin Piker and Martin Geenan.
“All around our whole team from top to bottom,” explained Ruben. “TJ Richardson came into his own. Michael Janis, Reed Moshyedi, our starters had a nice game. David Orta, a big game. All around, we played a very good game.”
Churchill jumped out to a 16-4 lead in the first quarter before Watkins Mill stormed back in the second period. Watkins Mill junior Seth McCarley’s three-point play cut the deficit to 19-11 with 4:25 remaining but Churchill went on a 10-2 run heading into the halftime break.
Watkins Mill senior Markel Grant scored a team-high eight points to lead the Wolverines who fell to 0-3.
Churchill opened the second half with back-to-back three-pointers from Janis and Leonard before Watkins Mill senior Anthony Brown converted a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 35-18 with 5:04 left in the third period.
“For the second game of the year to travel on the road, to play an athletic team and to come away with a win is awesome,” said Blumenthal.
The Bulldogs have high expectations for the 2017-18 campaign; the Churchill boys’ basketball program last captured a Maryland state championship in 1978 but Ruben said this season could mark another banner year for the Bulldogs.
“We think we’ll have a big season ahead of us and we’re excited,” said Ruben. “We’re going for states. That’s what we do.”
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