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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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Gaithersburg Trojans fall to Perry Hall Gators in boys hoops state semis, 85-62

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Gaithersburg senior guard Kevin Neal (3) runs into the brick wall that is Perry Hall senior forward Anthony Higgs (24). PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTHGaithersburg Trojans' senior guard Kevin Neal (3) runs into the brick wall that is the Perry Hall Gators' senior forward Anthony Higgs (24). The Trojans would fall to the Gators, 85-62. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  COLLEGE PARK — The Gaithersburg Trojans were simply overmatched by the Perry Hall Gators Thursday night in the Maryland 4A state semifinals at Xfinity Center.

Although the Trojans sought to capture their first state championship in 20 years, Gaithersburg couldn’t handle a Perry Hall varsity boys basketball team that was on a mission.

Perry Hall, the defending Maryland 4A state champion, moved a step closer to another state title by posting an 85-62 victory over the Trojans.

Xavier Gravette led four Gators in double figures with a game-high 19 points and Tyler Holley added 17 points while Anthony Walker and Anthony Higgs added 15 points each.

Perry Hall boasted a roster that most Maryland private school basketball programs would envy; the Gators feature 6-foot-9 LaQuill Hardnett along with the 6-foot-8 Walker and Higgs. Cameron Wheeler, Gravette and Holley are each listed at 6-foot-4.

“We haven’t played anybody in Montgomery County with that type of size,” Gaithersburg head coach Jeff Holda said afterward. “The closest thing would be Paint Branch.”

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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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Paint Branch boys fall to Perry Hall Gators in 4A North Regionals

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Paint Branch senior Bobby Miller floats up under the rim to put the ball in for two. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEPaint Branch senior Bobby Miller floats up under the rim to put the ball in for two. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  BURTONSVILLE — When the second-seeded Paint Branch Panthers varsity boys basketball team took the court Saturday for the 4A North Regional championship game against the visiting Perry Hall Gators from Baltimore County, the Burtonsville squad wore t-shirts that read “OC pressure.”

That meant “Outta Control pressure.”

It was a mantra the Panthers took to heart in the first half, a motto that enabled them to go into halftime with a five-point lead. However, the defending state champion Gators orchestrated an 8-0 scoring run in the third quarter to pull away from the Panthers and stamp their ticket to the Xfinity Center by a score of 88-75.

The regional title game loss to the Gators is the second one the Panthers have suffered in as many years. Perry Hall knew the key to victory was to contain Paint Branch junior guard Richard Dudley, especially after Dudley earned 25 of his 32 points in the first half.

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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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Rockville boys knocked out of hoops playoffs after regional loss to TJ Patriots

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Rockville Rams vs. TJ PatriotsFREDERICK — A glimmer of hope in the second quarter was not enough for the visiting Rockville Rams varsity boys basketball team, as they lost to the Thomas Johnson Patriots 64-51.

With the win, the Rams are knocked out of the basketball playoffs and the Patriots are crowned 3A West regional champions, now moving to the state semifinals.

From the beginning, Thomas Johnson kept Rockville playing a game of catch up with their strong defensive game and accurate shots.

The Rams’ mistakes proved too much to make up, and foul trouble later in the game cemented their fate. As the fouls racked up for the Patriots, the momentum shifted in favor of the home team and the win kept on eluding Rockville.

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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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Gaithersburg boys come back late to defeat B-CC Barons, winning 4A West regionals

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With an emphatic dunk, Gaithersburg’s Jao Ituka (#25) helped the Trojans defeat the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons to capture the 4A West Regional Championship and advance to the semifinals at the University of Maryland's Xfinity Center on March 8 in College Park. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHWith an emphatic dunk, Gaithersburg’s Jao Ituka (#25) helped the Trojans defeat the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons to capture the 4A West Regional Championship and advance to the semifinals at the University of Maryland's Xfinity Center on March 8. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  ROCKVILLE — In 1998, the underdog Gaithersburg Trojans varsity boys basketball team prepared to face the Oxon Hill Clippers in the state championship game. Facing a 16-point deficit at halftime, the Trojans came back, and five overtimes later, became state champions. Gaithersburg hasn’t come close since, not even winning regional.

Until now.

Gaithersburg didn’t take a lead until the fourth quarter, but when the Trojans finally pulled ahead, they didn’t look back as they narrowly defeated the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons, 65-61.

“It’s the culmination of an entire season,” Gaithersburg head coach Jeff Holda said. “Being a coach in this program for 12 years, and knowing that it’s been 20 years since our last trip there, it means the world to me.”

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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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Parker leads Sandy Spring Friends to PVAC championship win over St. Anselm’s Abbey

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Mikey Parker (11) of Sandy Spring Friends scores two of his game-high 35 points in the PVAC Championship game against St. Anselm's Abbey.  PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTHMikey Parker (11) of Sandy Spring Friends scores two of his game-high 35 points in the PVAC Championship game against St. Anselm's Abbey. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  ROCKVILLE — Mikey Parker saved the best for last.

Parker, a Sandy Spring Friends School senior, scored a game-high 35 points on Saturday to lead the Wildebeests to a 74-64 victory over St. Anselm’s Abbey in the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference championship game at Wootton High School.

“It meant a lot to win the game,” said Parker, a three-year starter at the Montgomery County private school who was also named MVP. “I didn’t know I had that many points during the game.”

During his senior campaign, Parker led the PVAC in scoring and registered a career-high 51-point game in December. His numbers throughout the season were astronomical to say the least.

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