Region champions Sanchez, Higazi among eight Sherwood wrestlers headed to Class 4A-3A states

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Wrestling clip artJunior title winners Chris Sanchez (138) and Yusuf Higazi (170) are among eight wrestlers from the Sherwood Warriors who placed fourth or higher at the Feb. 23 and 24 Class 4A-3A North Regionals at Milford Mill High, an effort that qualifies the contingent for this weekend’s Class 4A-3A state tournament at The Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro.

Finishing third were Sherwood senior Rhyth Ghosh (152) and juniors Paul Christianson (126), Sam Ewing (132), Tristan McKneely (145) and Adam Pfeiffer (160), with sophomore Brandon Holda (113) being fourth.

Blair and Paint Branch each had five wrestlers place within the top four of their divisions at Class 4A-3A North Regions, and Springbrook placed four, all of whom qualified for states.

Ghosh pinned Dheduhs Anumgba of Paint Branch in their third-place bout, avenging a 9-4 loss and improving on his sixth-place finish at counties where Anumgba was third.

Ewing upset Blair’s Bryan Huynh, 3-1, in overtime for third place, avenging an earlier 11-7 loss and improving on his fourth place finish at counties where Huynh was first.

Also, Pfeiffer improved on his fourth-place finish at counties, Holda on his fifth, and Christianson his sixth. McKneely failed to place at counties.

“It’s great to see all of the hard work and effort is starting to pay off at the right time,” said Sherwood wrestling coach Pete Siarkas. “The boys have worked real hard, and I’m glad they are peaking at the right time.”


Damascus crowns seven champions, dominates for 16th county grappling title

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Undefeated Ryan Lawrence of Damascus earns the 8-6 win in the 145lb championship over Ryan Holland of Blair. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKUndefeated Ryan Lawrence of Damascus earns the 8-6 win in the 145lb championship over Ryan Holland of Blair. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  State champion Ryan Lawrence pinned twice in the first period to reach last Saturday’s 145-pound county title bout, where the Damascus senior overcame Blair’s all-time winning wrestler Ryan Holland, 8-6, for his third straight crown to lead the Swarmin’ Hornets to their seventh consecutive and 16th overall Montgomery County tournament championship at Gaithersburg.

A two-time county and regional champion who was third at states as a sophomore, Lawrence (41-0) was among seven titlists, nine wrestlers who finished within the top three of their weight classes and 10 who were within the top six for the Swarmin’ Hornets (238.5 points), who overwhelmed runner-up Churchill (148.5 points) and the rest of the 25-team field.

Winning counties for the second time were Swarmin’ Hornets’ seniors John Allan Furgeson (152), Ben Lokos (170) and state champion Paul Purkey (195), junior Johnny McLaughlin (126), and sophomore Timothy Furgeson (160), with junior Elijah Baisden (285) capturing his first.

Senior Dyllan Ramirez (132) and sophomore Aiden Beall (220) placed third, and senior Josh Creegan (138), sixth, the latter in the event’s most difficult weight class after having finished third at counties, fourth at regions and sixth at states as a junior.

Other repeat champions were seniors Yonas Harris (106) of Northwest, C.J. Cramma (120) of Magruder, Gabe McAndrew (182) of Bethesda-Chevy Chase, and John-Luke Iglesias (220) of Whitman, with junior Alex Carbonell (113) of Poolesville, senior Bryan Huynh (132) of Blair, and junior Chris Sanchez (138) earning their first crowns.


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.


Blair Blazers take down Sherwood Warriors in critical MoCo dual

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SANDY SPRING — Senior Bryan Huynh endured cramping in his lower right leg and scored an overtime takedown on mat’s edge for a pivotal 6-4 decision against junior Paul Christianson during a 33-32 dual meet victory for the visiting Blair Blazers at Sherwood on Jan. 24.

The Blazers also won the evening’s final two bouts on a fall by Matt Morris (195) and a forfeit to senior Rudy Ngougni (220), erasing a 32-21 deficit and rising to 25-4 overall (11-0 in non-tournament dual meets) under second-year coach Tim Grover.

“I was ahead 2-0 in the first period after the takedown, and it just hit me really hard. I wasn’t sure, at that point, if I’d be able to wrestle well enough to win,” said Huynh, a junior varsity county champion last season.

“I usually shoot a lot more but I wasn’t as confident, thinking my leg would cramp up on me if I took another shot. I had to look for opportunities that were less stressful. I felt a cramp coming on as I took that final shot, but I just pushed through. He had a whizzer in, but I got points for it, and I’m happy I won.”


Churchill wrestlers earn Paint Branch crown, eye Damascus showdown

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20180120 The Pit 195lb 1Both Andrew Welch of Churchill and Ike Kalu of Western Tech are exhausted as their 195-lb weight class finals took 8:00. Welch prevailed for the win. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  Sean Mahan (145), Fio Tranquill (182) and Andrew Welch (195) won titles, with seniors Chris Ervin (120) and Jack Connolly (138) finishing second as Churchill placed 11 wrestlers within the top six of their weight classes to win the 21-team Paint Branch Invitational Tournament on Jan. 19 and 20.

The Bulldogs (18-0 overall, 8-0 minus tournament dual meets) outscored runner-up Old Mill of Anne Arundel County 220.5-to-203.5, continuing their tremendous year under coaches Tim Lowe and Tony Howard heading into Saturday’s tri-meet with Quince Orchard at 15-time county champion Damascus.

At Paint Branch, Elijah Jack (152) finished third, Ryan Kaplow (220) and Alec Velikanov (285) were fourth, Carlos Villamar (132) fifth, and Parker DeSalvio (160) and Mac Ballman (170) both sixth.

The Bulldogs are now 3-0 in tournaments, having gone 10-0 to win the Rocket Launch Duals at Richard Montgomery and captured the title at the Joe Verciglio Memorial Tournament at Chantilly High of Virginia under Lowe, who was a two-time state champion at Einstein while Howard was a three-timer at Magruder.


Blair senior pins down school’s all-time wins mark.

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Blair BlazersSenior Ryan Holland (160) decked Einstein’s Nehemias Salgado in two minutes, 38 seconds for his 97th victory during a 72-8 triumph on Thursday, becoming Montgomery Blair’s all-time career wins leader.

A fourth-place finisher at counties and states last season who was third at regions, Holland surpassed Billy Santurno, a 125-pound regional champion who graduated in 2012 with 96 wins.

“Ryan Holland is simply an outstanding young man,” said coach Tim Grover. “Being Blair’s career wins leader is a culmination of four years of dedication and daily hard work.”


Lawrence three-peats at War On The Shore with trio of first-period pins, decision

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At the War On The Shore Tournament at Stephen Decatur High in Berlin in Worcester County on Jan. 12 and 13, Damascus’ state champion Ryan Lawrence (145) won his semifinal 3-1, over Virginia’s sixth-place state finisher Elijah Williams of Nansemond River High, then secured his third-straight crown by head-locking two-time Delaware state runner-up Kyle McDonough of Sanford High for a 64-second fall.

A two-time county and regional champion who managed a third-place finish at states as a sophomore, Lawrence (28-0) led the Swarmin’ Hornets (224.5 points) to a runner-up finish behind Baltimore area power Mount St. Joseph (269) on the strength of three falls in a combined 2 minutes, 52 seconds.

State champion Paul Purkey (195) and two-time third-place state finisher Johnny McLaughlin (126) were runners-up for the second straight season, and John Allan Furgeson (152) was third after being fourth a year ago among seven Swarmin’ Hornets finishing within the top four of their weight classes and 11 within the top eight.

The Swarmin’ Hornets’ Elijah Baisden (285) was third, Josh Creegan (138) and Ben Lokos (170), fourth, Timothy Furgeson (160), fifth, Aiden Bell (220), sixth, and Michael Emerick (106) and Dyllan Ramirez (132), seventh and eighth.

“Ryan did a fantastic job in the finals as he has each year in this tournament,” said coach John Furgeson, whose Swarmin’ Hornets (15-0) have won six straight state tournaments, five consecutive state dual meet titles, 15 county tournaments and 142 straight matches. “It was a tough tournament, that’s why we go there and how we’re going to get better. We learned a lot about our young kids and what we need to work on.”


Holland blazing trail toward Blair’s all-time career victories mark

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Blair BlazersSeniors Ryan Holland (152) and Rudy Ngougni (220) and sophomore Mervin Mancia are undefeated in eight bouts, all of them pins, for the Montgomery Blair Blazers, who are off to an 8-0 start in dual meets under second-year coach Tim Grover.

Holland was fourth at counties and states and third at regions, and Ngougni, fourth at counties and third at regions for the Blazers, whose biggest county victories were over Clarksburg, 35-29, and, Quince Orchard, 36-30.

Mancia has decked Walter Johnson senior Leo Saucedo and Clarksburg junior Austin Smith. Saucedo was county runner-up and third at regions, Smith went 24-10 at 220 last season, and Mancia, 13-12.

“Our best performances of the season so far were probably against Walter Johnson and River Hill [Howard County]. We beat WJ, 53-16, on December 6 and River Hill, 42-19, on December 21. Last year WJ beat us, 52-18, and River Hill beat us, 49-17, and we all brought back similar teams this year,” said Grover, whose Blazers were 16-5 last year and 9-12 two seasons ago.


Montgomery County’s high school wrestling preview

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Colonels’ C.J. Cramma aims for elusive state title, while Damascus goes for another team crown 

Magruder’s C.J. Cramma need no further inspiration than his past two meetings with Parkdale of Prince George’s County’s 4A-3A runner-up Axel Giron, who defeated the Colonels’ wrestler, 6-3, in last year’s 113-pound state semifinals, and, in triple-overtime at a summer wrestling camp at Landon High.

Giron lost his state title bout, 3-2, to repeat winner Brent Lorin of Harford County’s Bel Air, a junior like Giron, who has yet to lose a high school bout.

“We were tied 3-3 at states and Giron got back points,” said Cramma, who went 4-1 at states with two pins, a technical fall and a 9-5 decision to end the year with a mark of 41-6. “At Landon, we were tied 4-4 but went into triple-overtime and I lost on the ultimate ride-out.”


RM Rockets clinch playoff spot with victory over Blair, 38-13

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Blair vs. RM FB 11 3 17Rockets QB Spencer Silverstein (5) is taken down by Blair’s Jason Amboo (76). Silverstein would go on to lead RM to victory, earning them a playoff spot. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  ROCKVILLE – Friday night at Roy Lester Stadium, Richard Montgomery clinched a playoff spot and made history in the process.

Richard Montgomery seniors Spencer Silverstein and Daryn Alexander guided the Rockets to a 38-13 victory over the visiting Blair Blazers on Senior Night and helped the program earn its third consecutive winning season for the first time in 45 years.

“It feels amazing just to have a great game and come out with a dub and clinch a playoff spot,” said Silverstein, who ran for two touchdowns in the first half to help the Rockets jump out to a 31-0 advantage at the intermission.

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