Friday, December 28, 2007

T.C. Williams Basketball

Titans Get Balanced Scoring
No. 18 T.C. Williams 57, Bowie 41
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, December 29, 2007; E08

Senior forward Anthony Winbush scored 11 points last night in T.C. Williams' 57-41 Wakefield Holiday Hoops tournament championship victory over Bowie -- good enough for what Titans Coach Ivan Thomas called an "off night."

Travis Berry, an explosive 6-foot-2 senior guard who was averaging 16.2 points per game, wasn't in the T.C. Williams starting lineup, and junior guard Edward Jenkins had just four points at halftime.

Without typical production from its top three players, No. 18 T.C. Williams relied on scoring from 10 Titans to extend its win streak to four and drop Bowie to 5-2.

Even with a new, more selfless approach, the Titans might be just as dangerous as last season's 25-4 squad that rode NCAA Division I prospects Mike Davis (Illinois) and Glenn Andrews (Tulsa) to a Northern Region title and a berth in the Virginia AAA tournament.

"These guys don't care who scores," Thomas said of the change in mentality. "They play together. They don't care who gets the glory. These guys are what made us good last year because we had these guys coming off the bench."

Through 29 games last winter, there were only three times that Davis (16.7 points per game) or Andrews (17.6 points per game) did not lead the Titans in scoring, and the tandem combined for 42 percent of the offense.

During its 6-1 start this season, T.C. Williams has used three starting lineups. In the Titans' 86-75 victory over Wise in the Wakefield tournament semifinals, four players scored in double figures.

"It makes the defense on the other side play a lot harder, because if they try to put the attention on us, we can swing it to somebody else and let them do the work," said Berry, who scored nine of his 10 points from behind the three-point line.

T.C. Williams's depth and versatility makes the Titans (6-1, 1-0 Patriot District) the Northern Region's most stable squad during a transition period that has seen nine coaching changes and resulted in a spin-cycle of upsets early this season.

"There's not just one person that has to score for this team," said Winbush, a 6-7 forward who is drawing recruiting interest from George Washington, College of Charleston and Appalachian State. "There's a lot of people that can get it done."

No. 18 T.C. Williams 57, Bowie 41
Holiday Hoops: In its fifth year, the Wakefield Holiday Hoops Tournament has had 24 different teams with four different champions. "I don't like to call up my Northern Region coaching buddies because we see them so much," Wakefield Coach Tony Bentley said. "We try to rotate different looks from different regions."
Three Quarters' Work: Bowie's Dwayne Jackson, a 6-7 guard-forward, scored 15 points in only three quarters, including a three-pointer that tied it at 21 with 1 minute 55 seconds left in the second quarter.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Kendro Feature

The Son Rises to the Occasion
Urbana Athletic Director Kendro Donates a Kidney to Save Father's Life
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, December 27, 2007; E08

Tom Kendro didn't know what his son was up to.

He didn't know that when nurses were tending to him in an examination room, his son -- Urbana Athletic Director Kevin Kendro -- was on the other side of the door, begging the doctors to take one of his kidneys and give it to his father.

"Even before it was an issue, the son was asking me to do [a transplant] before we were even allowed to do it," said Michael Choi, a physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

In 2001, Tom Kendro found out he had idiopathic membranous nephropathy, a rare disorder that results in the dysfunction of the kidneys' filtering system. Little is known about the disorder, which occurs without warning and can result in kidney failure and death.

"I did every test they know of to try to cure it," said Tom Kendro, 63. "I couldn't walk. I was 50 percent, at minimum, weaker than I should be. I was just tired. I couldn't do anything."

In July, both of his kidneys were removed and he was put on dialysis for three months.

"The death rate is much higher with patients on dialysis, no question about it," Choi said.

His name was placed on a regional list for those in need of a transplant and the wait, according to Tom Kendro, could have been up to six years. His son had other ideas.

"I had no idea that Kevin had talked to the doctors behind my back and that he wanted to be the donor," Tom said. "I was concerned with his safety more than anything, and my wife was a banana. Not only did she have me, but now she had him to worry about."

On Sept. 21, doctors at Georgetown University Hospital completed a successful four-hour surgery in which Tom Kendro received a kidney donated by his son.

"Right when they wheeled me back, I wasn't trying to look at him because I could see that he was really upset," Kevin Kendro said. "I was just happy that the day got there."

When the surgery was complete, "The first thing they each asked was how the other one was doing," said Judy Kendro, Tom's wife and Kevin's mother.

Less than a month after the surgery, Kevin Kendro -- one of the youngest ADs in the state at 28 -- was back at work, his BlackBerry buzzing constantly.

In his cramped office, which is decorated with baseball posters and memorabilia, Kevin remembered growing up around sports, remembered all the ground balls he'd taken from his father, how his dad had helped him with his swing and nurtured his talent. Those memories only tell part of the story as to why Kevin volunteered his own kidney for his father.

"He couldn't put his shoes on," Kevin said. "That's the reason that I wanted to do it. I wanted to see him like he used to be."

Sure, the timing wasn't great. The Hawks were in the fourth week of football season and the track, field hockey and volleyball teams had their demands.

"When you are the athletic director, you tend to feel like this is your home," Kevin said, looking around his office. "You want to make sure everything is going well. You live here, basically. It was probably one of our busiest weeks of the year."

In Kevin's absence, the Urbana coaching staff and administration rallied.

Coaches volunteered to pick up some of Kevin's daily duties, which include lining fields, ordering buses, securing officials, scheduling and rescheduling games, ordering equipment, staffing athletic events with game managers and ticket takers, working with boosters, and collecting and reviewing paperwork.

"There was a tremendous outpouring from the community," Urbana girls' basketball coach Chris Krivos said. "They were bringing him food and food to his parents' house in Frederick. There was so much of it, he couldn't even eat it all. He had to bring it into school."

Kevin still is finding letters from students on his desk.

"He was selfless and I think it's incredible how he set an example for the students and teachers to always be giving of yourself," said Urbana senior Allie Taylor, who runs cross-country and plays basketball for the Hawks. "Life isn't just about yourself, it's about how you give of yourself."

Kevin missed a total of eight work days.
"He didn't want to stay away when he had every reason or right to," assistant athletic director Terry Connolly said. "No one would question him being out for two or three weeks and here he is back after one week."
Just seven days after the surgery, Kevin and Tom sneaked into the school's press box to watch the Urbana football team's 28-20 loss to Frederick -- their first outing since the transplant.

"There were a lot of stares at the beginning because what does a guy with one kidney look like?" Krivos said of Kevin. "He came back way too early. He was walking kind of like an old man and everyone knows he is always sprinting from his office to the main office; he's running from his office to the stadium to paint the field. He's always on the go. He was just slow. Everything he did was in slow motion."

Kevin -- a triathlete and marathon runner -- has returned to his training. He plans to run in six events in the new year and already has signed up for the Ironman Florida triathlon, featuring a grueling 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run.

Tom currently takes about 20 medications a day, including anti-rejection medicine, and is being closely monitored by doctors.

He is walking up to three miles a day and has lost much of the 40 pounds of water weight he gained following the transplant.

"What I learned about my dad is how tough he is because he was still trying to do things even when he was sick," Kevin said. "That's been his mentality: You're sick, you still try."

Boys' Hoops Tournament Preview

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Lee Boys' Basketball

'Goody-Goody' Granger Steps Up
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, December 22, 2007; E07

Lee senior Alex Granger had never been in trouble at school until Tuesday, when he was issued an in-school suspension for having a cellphone in class. The daylong detention meant he missed the Lancers' basketball game that night and earned some ridicule from his teammates.

"He's a goody-goody," sophomore forward Walter Griffin said of Granger.

Last night, in a 54-47 upset of No. 18 Lake Braddock, Granger was better than good.

The guard scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter as the Lancers (6-1, 1-0) earned their first victory over the Bruins (4-1, 0-1) since joining to the Patriot District in 2005.

Granger made a pair of three-pointers and added two layups in less than five minutes to help Lee rally from an 11-point deficit.

Entering last night's game, Lee was 0-4 against Lake Braddock and had lost those games by an average margin of 22.5 points.

"I'm sure that people still don't know me, but I'm not worried about that," said Granger, who had 19 points this season before last night. "We are one of those teams that we have so many weapons, it's going to come from somewhere."

Granger replaced starter Andres Vitola, who was benched for drawing a technical foul.

Vitola was just one of several Lancers to become frustrated as they failed to score for the first three minutes of the fourth quarter and fell behind, 44-33.

Then Granger entered and the Lancers outscored the Bruins 21-3 in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter.

"It's a tribute to him because he hasn't gotten a lot of minutes before this, but he's stuck with it," Lee Coach Mike Harris said.

Lee's fourth consecutive victory helped the Lancers match their win total from last season's disappointing 6-15 finish. Lee is just 13-37 since 2005.

"This means something to the program and the fans," Griffin said. "We want to show them that we are here to work."

As for Granger, he says he has no plans to bring his cellphone back to school.

"I was putting it in my backpack," said Granger, who missed Lee's 54-43 win at Robinson. "But the rule is, if the teacher sees it, you get an automatic suspension. That's the first time I've ever had a suspension. It will never happen again."

Lee 54, No. 18 Lake Braddock 47

300 Club: Lake Braddock Coach Brian Metress was honored before Tuesday's win over Westfield for earning his 300th win in the Bruins' first game of the season. Lee Coach Mike Harris, in his 14th season, won his 290th last night.

Free Throw Woes: Lake Braddock was 15 of 25 from the free throw line and committed 18 turnovers.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Washington Post All-Met

Check out The Washington Post's All-Met section.

About This Section
Coaches from more than 250 schools in the Washington area were invited to nominate top athletes from their sports. Selections were made by The Post's scholastic sports staff.

All-Met is a selection of the best high school athletes in the Washington D.C. Metro.

Check out the video.

All Extra Teams
Southern Maryland
Washington D.C.
Montgomery County
Prince George's County
Fairfax County

Monday, December 17, 2007

Edison Boys Basketball

Edison's Wallace Is Serving Notice in Northern Region
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, December 18, 2007; E08

Edison boys' basketball coach Kevin Quinlan called senior forward Kendall Wallace a "quintessential gamer." "A beast and a warrior," Quinlan adds.

He could have included one more: "Streak-killer."

The 6-foot-2 forward scored a season-high 27 points in Friday's 79-74 win at T.C. Williams, which marked the first time a Northern Region team has defeated the Titans since the 2005-06 season.

It is fitting that the Eagles (3-2), still riding the high of Friday's upset over then-No. 8 T.C. Williams (2-1), head to Herndon (1-2) tonight -- the site of another one of Wallace's streak-ending performances.

Last January, Wallace scored 22 points as Edison topped Herndon, 63-60, and ended the Hornets' home-court winning streak at 21.

That win also snapped Herndon's undefeated streak against region opponents that had spanned nearly two seasons and more than 30 games.

"Our saying is that we have 26 strong, including the girls [team], and that's the only people that believe in us," Wallace said of the Eagles' underdog mentality. "All the teams say we can't do this and we can't do that. That's how I get Edison hyped for the game."

T.C. Williams came into Friday's game 51-10 since third-year coach Ivan Thomas took over, including 34-0 in the Patriot District.

Friday's upset made Edison 2-1 against T.C. Williams since 2005. The Eagles are the only Northern Region team with a winning record against the Titans during that time.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Boys Basketball

South Lakes Gets Assist From Byrd
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, December 15, 2007; E09

South Lakes-Herndon has long been one of the area's most storied boys' basketball rivalries.

Before last night's game, first-year Seahawks coach Darryl Branch, seeking to end a losing streak to the Hornets that had lasted more than three years, reached out to the man he replaced -- Wendell Byrd -- in an attempt to quell his own frayed nerves.

The conversation paid dividends, as the Seahawks turned back the Hornets, 68-59, in a packed gym in Herndon.

"I talked to Wendell this morning," Branch said. "He told me he was coming to the game."

Byrd, who coached South Lakes for 23 years before stepping down last spring, was indeed in attendance to watch his former team. But these players are Branch's now, and they knew the importance of the win for their new coach.

"It's big for our coach because it's his first year," said South Lakes forward Jay Bowman, who scored 17 points to go with five rebounds and two blocks. "We just wanted to get the win for Branch."

Branch, an assistant to Byrd for 13 years, earned South Lakes' first win over Herndon since the 2003 Northern Region final, and it was the first win in what Herndon Athletic Director Mike Mahoney called a "new era" in the series.

Herndon also was sporting a new coach in Chris Whelan, a 1996 Herndon graduate who replaced Gary Hall, his former coach.

Herndon senior guard Nicco Berry made six three-pointers for a game-high 18 points, but four Seahawks scored in double figures to give South Lakes (3-1) its third straight victory.
Herndon dropped to 1-2.

"This was intense," Branch said. "I love this atmosphere. I would like to play in a bigger venue to get more people into the game, but there's something about playing here."

Bowman scored 11 of 17 points in the first quarter to help the Seahawks take an 18-16 lead. Following three ties and three lead changes in the first quarter, South Lakes never trailed and built a 12-point lead in the third quarter.

Senior guard Curtis Keys added 15 points and A.J. Price scored nine of his 13 points in the second half to fend off a late charge by Herndon, which cut the lead to three with 3 minutes 55 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

"It's crazy," Price said. "I don't know any other way to explain this. All rivalries are exciting and everyone wants to win, so it's a good feeling to win one."

South Lakes 68, Herndon 59

Not in the Box Score:
Herndon's administration hired 12 police officers to control a venue that had sold out by 6:15 p.m. and was standing room only before the start of the 6:00 p.m. girls' game.

Transfers Help: Herndon got 24 of its points from transfers. Tucker Lucas (O'Connell) scored 10 points and Joey Marentette (Westfield) added 14 points.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hoops Notebook

Court Report This Week in Northern Region High School Basketball
Thursday, December 13, 2007; VA20

Even though the Herndon and South Lakes boys' basketball teams have new head coaches, both already understand the importance of Friday's game at Herndon.

"I'm very familiar with the Herndon-South Lakes game," said Hornets Coach Chris Whelan, who played at Herndon and graduated in 1996.

South Lakes Coach Darryl Branch, who graduated from the Reston school in 1989, played in the rivalry and was an assistant coach for 13 seasons before taking over the program.

"I enjoy the atmosphere at Herndon, having all the people on top of you like that," Branch said. "I remember being over there years ago as a player and just being so hot and having sweat coming off your face, and it hasn't changed as an assistant coach."

Whelan and Branch replaced coaches who built two of the area's most successful programs over the past two decades. Both were coached by the men they replaced.

In 23 seasons, Wendell Byrd posted a 441-153 record and led South Lakes to 12 district titles and six region titles. In 18 seasons, Gary Hall coached Herndon to a 319-146 record en route to six Concorde District titles and one regional title.

Herndon's 68-64 win over South Lakes last December gave Hall his 300th career victory.
"These players have grown up with each other, and they are friends," Whelan said. "We don't want it to become a personal battle. Players always want to show up their best friend on the other team."

Herndon, which had nine seniors from last season's 21-3 team graduate, will have the help of three transfers, Joey Marentette (Westfield), Jared Johnson (O'Connell) and Tucker Lucas (Ireton). Lucas, who scored seven points in Herndon's season-opening 45-38 win at Washington-Lee, is the younger brother of former Herndon star Ricky Lucas (Stony Brook).
South Lakes is led by senior guard Curtis Keys and senior forward Jay Bowman.

"Hopefully, we can handle them inside and use our speed to our advantage," Branch said.

Madison Coach Chris Kuhblank drew up the buzzer-beating play perfectly, and the Warhawks executed the scheme, known as "Dumbo," to perfection Friday. The result: a 66-64 win over Oakton.

With the game tied at 64 with three seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Kuhblank called timeout and called the play. Why "Dumbo"?

"We think that everyone is going to [defend] it dumb," Kuhblank said.
Senior forward Scott LeDuc, who led Madison with 17 points, ran toward guard Keith Moyer "screaming for the ball," Kuhblank said.

Moyer instead sent a lob pass to a streaking Collin Flaherty, who tipped in the offering to beat the buzzer. The tip-in gave Madison its third straight victory over Oakton.

"I was really proud of the pass and the catch," Kuhblank said. "It was textbook. That play was executed to a T."

At times during Jefferson's 1-20 finish last season, Colonials Coach Ed Grimm was tempted to bring up some of his junior varsity stars to help the varsity team.

"We just had a [junior varsity] group together that we didn't want to divide up," Grimm said. "We probably could have brought some of those kids up and won two or three more games, but the thinking was that we wanted them to learn how to win first. We bit the bullet on varsity."

Grimm's patience has paid off for Jefferson, which has won its first two games. Senior guard Will Riedel's leaning 12-foot jump shot with less than three seconds remaining gave Jefferson a 41-39 win over Yorktown on Friday and helped the Colonials surpass last season's win total.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stone Bridge Football

Bulldogs 'Scaled Back' Against Potomac
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to the Washington Post (Loudoun Extra)
Monday, December 10, 2007

CHARLOTTESVILLE -- Despite going for it four times on fourth down in a 38-0 victory over Potomac in Saturday's Virginia AAA Division 5 state final, Stone Bridge Coach Mickey Thompson thought he'd actually tempered his aggressive nature.

"I thought we scaled it back a bit," Thompson said with a grin. "I mean, we punted, more than once."

Thompson has garnered a reputation for his aggressive style and big-play mentality.

Both were in full view Saturday as Stone Bridge scored on three plays of more than 20 yards and attempted an onside kick.

"If you have that mentality and you expect your players to make big plays, they grow up that way," said Thompson, who went for it seven times on fourth down in a 15-8 loss to Hampton in the 2005 AAA Division 5 championship game.

Stone Bridge (14-1) converted four fourth down tries, including a four-yard run by Virginia Tech-bound star Jeron Gouveia on the Bulldogs' opening possession of the second half that "set the tone that we are still in charge," Thompson said.

Added Gouveia: "I want to get the ball in clutch situations. If it's fourth and short, I'm getting the ball and getting two yards."

Stone Bridge also rushed Potomac (13-1) into two missed field goals and forced a fumble on a punt to set up a 31-yard field goal that gave the Bulldogs a 17-0 lead at halftime.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Hubbard Feature

His Father's Son, Westfield's Hubbard Shows His Versatility
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, December 6, 2007; VA20

As he squeezed his 6-foot-6 frame into a desk in his Westfield High School classroom, senior forward Maurice Hubbard was surprisingly comfortable.

It's all part of his "roll with the punches" attitude.

The approach has helped the 17-year-old, who averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds last season, adjust to his environment after moving three times before he was in the seventh grade.

It's also helped Maurice, known as 'Mo,' shrug off his critics.

"They say I'm selfish and I'm living off my dad's name," said Hubbard, the son of Washington Wizards assistant coach Phil Hubbard.

Maurice talked about the opportunities his dad has created for him, and explained how his father helped him improved his game during offseason Wizards pick-up games at Verizon Center. He talked about how he and his father will break down game tape together.

Then he leaned forward, unfolded his hands and said: "I know he's there helping me, but he can't do everything on the court for me."

Phil Hubbard is one of four players who has had his number (35) retired at the University of Michigan, where he led the Wolverines to the 1976 NCAA championship and helped the U.S. Olympic team win a gold medal that summer in Montreal. He spent 10 seasons in the NBA with Cleveland and Detroit and was an assistant coach at Golden State and Atlanta before coming to Washington.

"There's always going to be comparisons," Phil Hubbard said. "I'm in basketball. He's in basketball, so that's just a natural thing. I think it's very tough, but I think he's handled it well, knowing that there is always going to be some comparison. That's why he's picked the places that he's picked, so that he can get his own identity."

Maurice recently signed a letter-of-intent with Ball State -- a program recently rocked by allegations of racism. Following last season's 9-22 finish, coach Ronny Thompson resigned, citing a racially hostile work environment.

Before choosing Ball State over Minnesota, Virginia Commonwealth, Akron, George Mason, and Penn State, Hubbard welcomed his dad's help as the two launched their own independent investigation.

They wanted to see if the school was right fit for Maurice, "whether he is black or white," his father said.

"Is this the right place for my son? Because that's all that matters," said Phil, who used his connections with other coaches, players and journalists to help his son and him come to their conclusion.

"I felt there were more positives," Maurice said.

Maurice hoped to create his own identity or as his father said, "put his stamp on something" when he chose Westfield over local private school powerhouse programs that recruited him before he started high school.

"I was enrolled at O'Connell in eighth grade. I had my schedule and everything," Maurice said. "Me and my dad discussed it and we decided that if you are a good enough player you will be seen [by] private school or public school."

As a sophomore in 2005, Hubbard was a dominating inside presence and helped Westfield to the Concorde District title.

Last season, he was moved to guard, which many believed was to help him attract college recruiters.

But as Hubbard improved his outside shot and ball-handling, Westfield didn't find the same success, evidenced by a 77-42 blowout loss to Herndon in last season's Concorde District final.

"I'm always trying to help my team," Hubbard said. "If it's inside, I'm going to help; if it's outside, I'm going to contribute that way, too. If the coach tells me to stay inside, then I'm going to stay inside because that's what we need."

Hubbard will be called upon this season to be an inside and outside threat.

It's the same versatility that earned him a reputation of being selfish and that makes Westfield one of the top teams in the Northern Region.

In addition to Hubbard, Westfield returns starters Jamie Richardson, a 6-foot-2 guard, 6-5 forward Jon Gaston and point guard Brian Kennedy.

"Right now, I see us as at the middle of the pack because we have a lot of work to do," said Hubbard. "We have the talent to be at the top, but we just have to bring it together."

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

O'Connell/Woodson Basketball

O'Connell Finds Much to Cheer About After Win
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, December 5, 2007; E08

After last night's 71-52 boys' basketball victory over visiting W.T. Woodson, Bishop O'Connell Coach Joe Wootten stood at the front of a classroom and read from the stat sheet.

Huddled near Wootten, sitting in a cluster of desks, the third-ranked Knights clapped in unison each time they heard a statistical category that they'd won.

After dominating nearly every facet of the game, including a 36-17 rebounding advantage, the clapping soon turned to a constant applause as Wootten continued.

"It's going to be a special year," said sophomore guard Kendall Marshall, who scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half and added seven assists.

Marshall, who has orally committed to North Carolina, is one of perhaps three Division I-bound players for O'Connell -- a program that has won three regular season Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles, one tournament title and four state titles in Wootten's nine seasons.

Georgetown-bound guard Jason Clark scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half to help the Knights to a 36-15 halftime lead, and 6-foot-11 senior center Frank Ben-Eze (Harvard) scored all nine of his points in the second half.

O'Connell built a 19-9 first-quarter lead and pushed its lead as high as 27 in the third.

"If I give it to Kendall, I know he can do something," said Clark, who had three assists. "Giving it to Frank, I know he can do something with it, and they know if they give it to me, I can do it, too."

Clark, Kendall and Ben-Eze each carried the Knights at different times, and 10 Knights scored as O'Connell shot 26 of 50.

"That's what's so good about Jason, a four-year varsity player," Wootten said. "He's really committed to making this about the team."

Ben-Eze, who played limited minutes because of a stress fracture in his right shin, is in his second season with the Knights after moving from Nigeria, and Marshall is one of five sophomores.

Woodson junior guard Stephen Stepka led all scorers with 23 points and hit all five of his three-point attempts in the second half.

No. 3 Bishop O'Connell 71 No. 19 W.T. Woodson 52 Craig's List: With one available date on his schedule last March, Woodson Coach Doug Craig asked his rising seniors to create a list of schools they wanted to play. "I told them, 'Anyone you want to play.' . . . They asked for O'Connell. These guys believe they can play with anyone" Craig said. Boardroom: O'Connell's coaches stressed offensive rebounding in practice heading into this game, and the Knights did not allow Woodson one offensive rebound in the first half.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Westfield Football

Glennon Leads Westfield Rally
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, December 2, 2007; D09

CHESAPEAKE, Va., Dec. 1 -- In the past six seasons at Westfield, Coach Tom Verbanic has consistently led the Bulldogs to the top of what many consider Virginia's toughest district, the AAA Concorde -- home to six of the past 11 Division 6 state champions.

He's posted a 68-6 record, won two region titles and one state title.

But after a 24-21 victory at previously undefeated Oscar Smith in a Div. 6 state semifinal Saturday, Verbanic was hard-pressed to think of a tougher opponent than the Tigers.

"I haven't seen a team this good," said Verbanic, shaking his head as a smile of relief peeked out from under his graying mustache.

Second-ranked Westfield (14-0) needed late-game heroics from 6-foot-6 N.C. State-bound senior quarterback Mike Glennon to overcome a Tigers attack that included single-game playoff records for completions by a quarterback, passing yardage by a quarterback, catches by a wide receiver and receiving yards by a wide receiver.

Oscar Smith sophomore quarterback Phillip Sims completed 26 of 43 passes for 480 yards and all three of his touchdowns to University of North Carolina-bound receiver Todd Harrelson (15 catches, 354 yards, 3 touchdowns).

The gaudy numbers went for naught, however, thanks to Glennon, who led his team on a 63-yard scoring march by completing 8 of 10 passes, capping the drive with a five-yard pass to senior receiver Randy Johns that put the Bulldogs up by three with less than three minutes remaining.

Oscar Smith fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Westfield ran out the clock.

"We saw them on film all week and it was 'wow,' " Verbanic said of a Tigers squad that some recruiting observers expect to send 11 players to the Division I ranks. "What we did was we really just hung in there."

Oscar Smith (13-1), which held its previous two playoff opponents to an average of six points, allowed the most points it had all season.

"They are by far the best team we've played all year," said Glennon, who completed 18 of 34 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for a one-yard score.

Westfield converted only one of 11 third downs, but on a fourth and six at the Oscar Smith 16-yard-line, Glennon found senior receiver David Kruchko for an 11-yard gain on an inside slant route that kept the game-winning drive alive. Westfield had failed on two previous fourth-down conversion attempts.

Senior defensive back and running back Brian Kennedy led the Bulldogs in tackles (10) and rushing yards (52). He scored on a 49-yard run at the start of the second half to put Westfield up 10-7 and on Oscar Smith's ensuing possession, Kennedy picked off Sims to stymie an eight-play, 66-yard inside the Bulldogs 19-yard-line.

"Brian Kennedy is a little undersized, but I think he is one of the best high school players in the state of Virginia," Glennon said of the 5-foot-8, 162-pound senior. "He's the heart and soul of our team."

Up Next: Westfield (14-0) will face Woodbridge (9-4) in Saturday's Div. 6 state final at the University of Virginia's Scott Stadium at 4:30 p.m. No. 2 Westfield 24, Oscar Smith 21 Pickett's Power: Westfield wide receiver Johnny Pickett had nine catches for 180 yards, including an 83-yard bomb from Mike Glennon that set up the quarterback's one-yard touchdown run for a 17-7 lead with 2:43 left in the third quarter.

Mixed Martial Arts

Wiuff's Elbow Shot TKOs the 'Ironman'
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, December 1, 2007; E07

Travis "Diesel" Wiuff delivered a vicious left elbow that triggered a flow of blood from the left eye of Travis "The Ironman" Fulton and ended their match last night in front of 2,452 fans at SMASH, the first mixed martial arts event at George Mason University's Patriot Center.

"He's got over 200 wins, so I didn't want to do anything too risky," said Wiuff, whose elbow blow gave him his third victory over Fulton (181-44-9, 56 technical knockouts) 3 minutes 27 seconds into the second round of last night's main event. "He's a legend in the sport and it didn't matter that I beat him twice before. He's 'the Ironman.' "

Wiuff's 14th technical knockout, delivered from a full-mount position, pushed his record to 48-11.

In his professional debut, Johnny Curtis of Manassas used an arm triangle to choke out Bill Clifford (5-3) 1:44 into the first round of the ninth and final bout on the undercard.

"I think the guy was a little more scared than he should have been, but I'll take all the respect he wants to give me," said Curtis, 37, whose wrestling resume has brought him that kind of respect.

Curtis, a graduate of Fairfax High School, was a two-time all-American wrestler at George Mason before graduating with a degree in government and politics in 1993.

Though he fell short in his quest to become an Olympic wrestler, the former U.S. national team member -- a towering presence at 6 feet 3, 233 pounds -- won't rule out a career in some form of fighting.

"Right now this is just a glorified hobby," said Curtis, a husband and father of four who runs a tree removal service in Manassas and earned first-round submissions in three amateur fights since August. "I'm hearing that they might do this again. If they have another event here, I really see the numbers picking up."

Jimmy Lange Enterprises and Ice Promotions, both key parties in recent boxing events held at the Fairfax campus, promoted last night's event and are considering making Patriot Center the hub of combat sports in the metro area.

"I don't think people around Virginia have been exposed to real good MMA like this," said Lange, a veteran professional boxer from Great Falls who will appear in his fifth boxing match at Patriot Center on March 29. "If you put on a good show anywhere, it will gain traction."

Jackie Kallen, head of Ice Promotions, expects mixed martial arts to catch on in Virginia.
"Boxing is being outdrawn by MMA in many cities," said Kallen. "This is the first one [in Northern Virginia]. Is it worth doing it again at this large of a venue? We'll look at the numbers and see what happens."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Howard Teams Rake In the State Titles
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, November 22, 2007; HO10

With River Hill's 2-1 double-overtime victory over Eastern Tech and Glenelg's 2-0 victory over Sparrows Point, Howard County has claimed 14 of 43 state titles since 1997.

That's the most by any county in that time.

River Hill (18-1-1) and Glenelg (12-6-1) have combined for 11 of those titles.

"Howard County, I think, has some of the stronger high school teams," said Glenelg senior forward Emily Horwath, whose sixth goal of the season gave the Gladiators their second straight title and fifth since 1997. "There's a lot of girls coming over from the club teams and freshmen and sophomores moving up, so there's still going to be good soccer."

Glenelg (12-6-1), which has been in six state finals in 11 seasons, demonstrated how Howard teams always seem to reload.

The Gladiators graduated 10 seniors, including eight starters, from last season's state title winning team, which went 11-5-3 and finished ranked seventh.

After dropping five of its first eight games, Glenelg won 10 of its final 11 before claiming the title Saturday.
"This is an entirely new group of girls," Glenelg Coach Dean Sheridan said. "At the beginning of the season, I thought we'd go 4-10, but I knew we'd win the state title."

After going 20-0 in winning last season's 3A title, River Hill (18-1-1) dropped to the 2A division, where it was dominant, outscoring its opponents, 70-16.

Senior forward Erica Suter (19 goals) headed in Brittany Yancey's corner kick in the third minute of the second overtime to give River Hill its sixth state title since 1997.

"Honestly, I feel like we could have won the 3A title this year," said Suter, whose team defeated 3A champion Urbana, 3-0, in September.

River Hill also defeated 1A champion Glenelg (12-6-1) and last season's 4A winner Leonardtown (14-3) this season.

But perhaps it was Wilde Lake's 3-2 shootout loss to Urbana in Thursday's 3A final that exemplified the county's soccer strength.

Without three of its starters, including senior forward Katie Leffner (10 goals), Wilde Lake (16-5) relied on goals from Caitlin Duff and Faryn Watts to play 3A power Urbana (12-3-1) to a 2-2 tie before losing in the shootout.

"Howard County is a nightmare," Urbana Coach Chuck Nichols said. "There's a lot of good teams coming out of Howard County."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Howard County Shows Its Mettle
Wednesday, November 21, 2007; E07

With three representatives in four state title games, Howard County had another dominant showing in girls' soccer this season.

With River Hill's 2-1 double-overtime victory over Eastern Tech and Glenelg's 2-0 victory over Sparrows Point, Howard County has claimed 14 of 43 state titles since 1997 -- the most by any county over that span.

Second-ranked River Hill (18-1-1) and ninth-ranked Glenelg (12-6-1), which each won back-to-back titles, have combined for 11 titles in the last decade.

But perhaps it was Wilde Lake (16-5) -- which fell to Urbana, 3-2, in the 3A title game -- that proved just how strong Howard County girls' soccer was this season.

Without three starters, including Katie Leffner (10 goals), Wilde Lake took 3A power Urbana (12-3-1) to the brink in a 2-2 tie before losing in a penalty-kick shootout.

"Howard County is a nightmare," Urbana Coach Chuck Nichols said.

-- B.J. Koubaroulis

Girls' Soccer, Final Rankings

Pallotti rejoins the rankings for the first time since late September after defeating McDonogh (Baltimore) to win the program's first IAAM A Conference title. Pallotti scored 1-0 wins against Institute of Notre Dame, John Carroll and McDonogh -- all teams that beat Pallotti during the regular season.

Ranks, Team, Record, Last Week

1. St. John's (D.C.) (21-2-2) 1

2. River Hill (18-1-1) 4

3. Pallotti (12-5-2) NR

4. Quince Orchard (17-2) NR

5. O'Connell (17-4-2) 3

6. Urbana (12-3-1) 10

7. Spalding (18-2-1) 2

8. Potomac School (11-3-2) NR

9. Glenelg (12-6-1) NR

10. Bethesda-CC (14-1) 5

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Girls' Soccer

In Final, Glenelg Plays for Keeper
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, November 18, 2007; D14

The sight of senior goalkeeper Kerry Krammer being strapped to a stretcher and wheeled into an ambulance during Glenelg's 2-0 victory over Sparrows Point in last night's Maryland 1A girls' soccer final at Broadneck didn't break the spirit of her Gladiators teammates.

"After something like that, a team can lose their wind and lose their focus," Glenelg Coach Dean Sheridan said.

Instead, the Gladiators were inspired by Krammer, who suffered a concussion in a collision with a Sparrows Point player in the game's 36th minute.

Before the 25-minute second-half injury stoppage, during which emergency medical technicians tended to Krammer, the Gladiators' high-powered offense had failed to convert on six shots on goal, one corner kick chance and seven free kicks.

Three minutes after the ambulance carrying Krammer left for Anne Arundel Medical Center, Glenelg (12-6-1) scored on its first shot on goal of the second half to help capture its second consecutive state title and fifth since 1997.

"Our intensity picked up a lot after that," said senior forward Emily Horwath, who had a goal and an assist in the win. "It was really scary to watch your teammate go through something like that. All she kept saying was, 'Guys please win this for me, win this for me.' "

Sparrows Point ended up 14-5 and Glenelg pushed its win streak to nine, finishing a season that, at first, looked as if it would be a rebuilding one.

Glenelg lost 10 seniors and eight starters from last year's state title-winning team, which posted an 11-5-3 record and finished ranked seventh by The Post.

It dropped five of its first eight games this season before winning 10 of its final 11, including a five-game postseason run in which the Gladiators outscored their opponents, 28-2.

Glenelg 2, Sparrows Point 0 Gladiators' Quest: The Gladiators played a rigorous schedule that included losses to No. 4 River Hill and Maryland private school powers John Carroll and second-ranked Spalding. Markwordt's Mark: Alayna Markwordt, an Ohio State-bound lacrosse player who transferred to Glenelg from top-ranked St. John's, had 15 goals and three assists this season, including one in the final minute last night.

Girls' Soccer

River Hill Collects Another Crown
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, November 18, 2007; D14

Erica Suter headed in Brittany Yancey's corner kick in the third minute of the second overtime to lift River Hill to a victory over Eastern Tech in last night's 2A state final at Broadneck, giving the Hawks their second consecutive state title and sixth since 1997.

"I knew it was a better corner kick than the ones I'd taken earlier because it was higher and it was farther," Yancey said of her 30-yard right-footed offering that Suter buried with a lunging header near the left post.

Yancey touched in Amy Song's 35-yard throw-in for a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute, marking the 13th time this season that fourth-ranked River Hill (18-1-1) had scored on a throw-in by the 5-foot-7 junior defender.

Eastern Tech junior forward Brittany Rhodes tied it at 1 in the 65th minute on a right-footed blast from 15 yards before Suter connected on the game-winner -- her 19th goal of the season.
Eastern Tech dropped to 13-3-1.

"I'm so glad we won because I think we deserved it," Suter said. "It didn't matter who scored, I just wanted to win a state championship as a senior."

River Hill followed last season's 20-0 run to the 3A state title with a dominant showing in Maryland's 2A classification, where it outscored its opponents, 70-16.

To remain battle-tested, River Hill relied on a brutal out-of-conference schedule, in which it defeated 10th-ranked 3A state champion Urbana (12-3-1), last season's 4A champion Leonardtown (14-3) and Glenelg (12-6-1), which captured its second consecutive 1A title last night.

"Honestly, I feel like we could have won the 3A title this year," Suter said.

The Hawks shut out nine opponents and outscored their five playoff opponents, 14-5.

River Hill 2 Eastern Tech 1 Suter's Season: River Hill senior Erica Suter finished the season with 19 goals and six assists. Howard's End: Howard County had a team in three of the state's four title games. River Hill and Glenelg captured titles and Wilde Lake dropped a shootout to Urbana in Thursday's 3A final.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Mohns and Urbana Hold Their Nerve, Win a Title
Injured Player Hits Crucial Penalty Kick in Shootout
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, November 16, 2007; E06

Urbana senior Kelly Mohns limped to the circle of her celebrating teammates.

She was late to her own celebration -- one she started with her right-footed game-winning penalty kick that gave Urbana a 3-2 victory over Wilde Lake in an overtime shootout in last night's 3A state final at Broadneck.

It was Urbana's first state title.

"I take a lot of [penalty kicks] in practice to make sure that I make them in moments like these," said Mohns, who injured her right knee in the first half. "I tell myself that it's just like practice."

And No. 10 Urbana has had plenty of practice in penalty kick shootouts -- it won three of its five postseason games in such fashion.

In its run to the title, Urbana defeated teams with a combined 56-21-2 record, including shootout wins over Tuscarora and fifth-ranked Bethesda-Chevy Chase. Those teams have combined for four state titles since 2001.

"This group, somehow, just kept finding a way," Urbana Coach Chuck Nichols said. "Winning one overtime shootout game is unique, winning three in a postseason is . . . I don't know?"

Urbana scored just 24 goals this season but gave up only 16 en route to a 12-3-1 finish.
Wilde Lake finished 16-5.

"We do not have a high-powered offense, but we possess the ball well," Nichols said. "It's not been pretty, but all year we've been finding a way to win."

Urbana junior midfielder Julia Roberts scored two goals -- her sixth and seventh goals of the postseason -- and connected on the Hawks' first penalty kick to set the tone for a shootout in which four of five Hawks converted their shots.

"I don't care who scores as long as they get it done," said Roberts, a member of the under-16 national team. "Coach told us, especially in the playoffs, to 'shoot, shoot, shoot.' "

Urbana outshot Wilde Lake 15-9.

Roberts intercepted a Wilde Lake free kick, settled it off her chest and delivered a 35-yard boot to the top right corner of the goal for a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute.

Wilde Lake junior midfielder Caitlin Duff tied the game in the 57th minute when she slipped a right-footed free kick under the crossbar and, 10 minutes later, the Wildecats took a 2-1 lead on an 18-yard shot from junior forward Faryn Watts (14 goals).

Roberts answered 30 seconds later by burying a 25-yard free kick that tied it at 2.

No. 10 Urbana 3, Wilde Lake 2

Procida Steps Down: After five years as the Wildecats head coach, Dave Procida announced yesterday that he will not return next season. "What I'll remember most about this team is their resilience," Procida said.

Koplow's Stops: Wilde Lake junior goalkeeper Grace Koplow had 12 saves, including a diving stop in the shootout.

Girls' Soccer

Quince Orchard Completes Its Championship Quest
Cougars Defeat C.M. Wright in Penalty-Kick Shootout
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, November 16, 2007; E07

After a 1-0 loss to Leonardtown in last season's 4A state final, the Quince Orchard girls' soccer team talked all season about redemption.

The Cougars took a businesslike approach to the season, methodically winning 16 of 18 games entering last night's state final against C.M. Wright.

There was a muffled and uninspired celebration following the team's 4A West Region title victory, and the state semifinal win over Eleanor Roosevelt brought only a few smiles.

But last night's 1-0 win over C.M. Wright in a penalty-kick shootout finally brought the Cougars the release they'd been seeking for a full year. The emotions swelled, with several players in tears and others participating in a euphoric group jumping session.

"We've redeemed ourselves," said junior goalkeeper Amanda Whitney, who made two saves in the shootout to give the Cougars (17-2) their first state title since 2002.

The Cougars' march to a state title was a dominant one. They averaged 3.1 goals a game, allowed only 20 goals and shut out five opponents.

"It was all about getting back to the states this year," Quince Orchard coach Peg Keiller said. "They wanted to show that we are a better team than we showed last year."
C.M. Wright dropped to 13-5-1.

Senior defender Maureen McMeekin delivered the decisive goal of the shootout on a right-footed penalty shot to the top left corner of the goal.

"We haven't been working since preseason, we've been working since we lost that game last year," McMeekin said. "Every game was just another game to us until we got here."

After failing to connect on 13 shots during regulation and two overtimes, Quince Orchard buried three of its five penalty kicks and Whitney made two saves to help the Cougars past the Mustangs, 3-2, in the shootout.

Quince Orchard's Kayla Clarke and Emily D'Italia also connected on their penalty shots.
"I'm happy for Maureen McMeekin because she moved from midfield and selflessly went to defense after having scored a lot of goals for us," Keiller said.

McMeekin, who missed a penalty kick in a shootout loss two seasons ago, "never wanted to feel that way again," she said. "I never wanted to feel like I did when we lost states last year. I felt like we totally deserved this."

Sophomore forward Ele Margelos sent the Cougars' best chance screaming toward the goal in the fourth minute of the first overtime, but Mustangs goalkeeper Allison Kuchar made a diving save to keep the game scoreless.

Quince Orchard 1, C.M. Wright 0

Dominance: Since 1999, Quince Orchard has posted an 83-15-22 record en route to three division titles, two region titles and two state titles.

Ariel's Time: Cougars senior forward Ariel Nehemiah finished the season with 15 goals, six of them game-winners.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Girls' Soccer

River Hill Making A New Statement
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, November 11, 2007; D07

Still catching her breath following a 4-1 victory over Century in last night's 2A state semifinal at South River, River Hill senior forward Janie Tankard was flustered as she tried to control a swell of mixed emotions.

Cupping her hands over her eyes, Tankard -- who scored two goals to push River Hill into a meeting with Eastern Tech in next Saturday's 2A state final at Broadneck -- tried to explain herself.

"I'm like all over the place right now," Tankard said. "I feel like this whole season, everyone has compared it to last year and how great last year was. And last year was great, but I feel like, finally, we are setting our own statement this year, with this team."

Fourth-ranked River Hill went 20-0 in winning last season's 3A state title, but has since dropped to the 2A division, where it has just one loss and has outscored its opponents, 68-15.

"This team is also capable of great things," said Tankard, who has 15 goals and five assists this season and, as a three-year starter, has helped the Hawks to a 52-4-1 record.

River Hill (17-1-1) will be looking to capture its second straight state title and sixth this decade against Eastern Tech (13-2-1), which scored a 1-0 victory over previously undefeated Parkside (16-1) in last night's other semifinal.

"We got rid of old rivalries and teams that we knew, so, now we have to bring the intensity no matter what because we are not as familiar with them," said Tankard of Eastern Tech.

Tankard controlled junior midfielder Kathryn Rodgers's through pass and dumped two defenders before scoring on a sliding left-footed shot from 20 yards for a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute.

River Hill sophomore midfielder Anna Kim scored in the 46th minute and three minutes later sent a right-footed cross that Tankard finished from 15 yards for a 3-0 lead.

Century junior forward Lauren Resutek scored in the 57th minute on a left-footed shot to the upper right corner before Kim scored her second goal of the game and sixth of the season on a shot that deflected off of a Century player and rolled into the goal in the 76th minute.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Roberts, Urbana Go Slip-Sliding to Final

Wilde Lake Will Be Thursday's Foe
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, November 10, 2007; E08

In the 80th minute of Urbana's 1-0 victory over Northern in last night's 3A state semifinal at Tuscarora, junior midfielder Julia Roberts slid as she punted away Northern's last scoring opportunity.

Roberts -- smeared in mud during the slide -- finally could empathize with a group of mud-covered Northern defenders, who'd slipped and stumbled all night in their attempts to contain Roberts.

Roberts accounted for the game's scoring in the 31st minute, when she bent a 35-yard boot off her left foot into the top right corner of the goal.

"I looked up and the keeper was off her line, so I tried to chip it over," Roberts said.
Roberts has scored five of her 10 goals in the postseason to help Urbana -- the 3A West Region's third seed -- survive a postseason schedule in which it has faced teams with a combined 41-17-2 record.

And when No. 10 Urbana (11-1-3) looks for its first state title in a meeting with Wilde Lake (16-4) Thursday at Broadneck, the Hawks will draw on experience they've gained from an unforgiving regular season schedule.

Urbana's regular season included losses to top-ranked St. John's (21-2-2), No. 3 Bishop O'Connell (17-4-3) and No. 4 River Hill (16-1-1) and wins over Baltimore power John Carroll (17-5) and New Mexico's St. Pius X (20-3).

"When we are playing the private schools, they are all club players and they are all the best players," said Roberts, a member of the under-16 national team. Among the colleges she is considering are Virginia, Duke, Florida, Santa Clara and Stanford. "We have learned how to play against different systems and in tournaments, even playing against a better team, we have a better feel for what could happen."

On a whiteboard in the locker room before the game, "I wrote The Washington Post's top 10 down," Urbana Coach Chuck Nichols said. "So, St. John's? Oh yeah, played them. O'Connell? Oh yeah, played them, River Hill? Played them. Did we learn anything? So far, so good."

Duff Lifts Wilde Lake

With three of its starters sidelined because of injuries, Wilde Lake relied on a goal and an assist from junior midfielder Caitlin Duff for a 2-1 victory over Catonsville in last night's early 3A state semifinal at Tuscarora.

Junior forward Faryn Watts finished Duff's corner kick in the 51st minute to push the Wildecats (16-4) into Thursday's 3A state final at Broadneck, where they will meet Urbana.

"I thought I needed to get this in right now because this could be our last opportunity," said Watts, who headed in her 12th goal of the season against a Catonsville side that had allowed just five goals, shut out 13 opponents and outscored its previous three postseason opponents, 11-0. "We are expecting the next team to be better than anything we've seen, so we just need to stay focused."

Duff finished senior midfielder Skye Fishbein's 15-yard left-footed cross with a jumping right-footed shot near the left post for a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute.

Catonsville (16-2) answered five minutes later when senior forward Jessica Nonn (32 goals) broke through two defenders and sent a 17-yard right-footed shot to the back right corner of the goal to tie the game at 1.

Wilde Lake junior goalkeeper Grace Koplow had seven saves.

"They are special not because they are winning, but because of what they are doing to prepare," Wilde Lake Coach Dave Procida said. "We've got three starters down and these kids have picked up their game and their intensity."

Girls' Soccer

Latour Is Catalyst for the Cougars
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, November 9, 2007; E08

Each time the clock stopped during Quince Orchard's 4-1 win over Eleanor Roosevelt in last night's 4A state semifinal at South River, the Cougars made their way toward midfielder Yvonne Latour.

The sophomore, who assisted on three of the Cougars' four goals, has become the focal point for a team going to its second consecutive state final.

Quince Orchard (16-2) will face C.M. Wright (12-3-1) in Thursday's 4A state final at Broadneck.

"She's emerged as a leader, even though she's a sophomore," said senior forward Ariel Nehemiah, who finished two of Latour's feeds to spark the come-from-behind victory. "In high-pressure situations, she steps up."

Nearly every offensive set, every set piece, six of the Cougars' nine free kicks and four of their seven corner kicks went through Latour.

"With the free kicks, I knew my team was going to get on them and I knew exactly where to place them," said Latour, who has 12 assists this season.

It was the second consecutive season that Quince Orchard defeated Eleanor Roosevelt (14-4) in the 4A state semifinals.

Maureen McMeekin controlled Latour's 35-yard free kick and dished to Sarah Moran, who connected on a shot from eight yards that tied the game at 1 in the 28th minute.

In the 48th minute, Latour fed Nehemiah (15 goals), who sneaked a sliding right-footed shot from 20 yards just inside the left post for the game-winner.

Eight minutes later, Nehemiah headed in Latour's third assist -- a corner kick -- for a 3-1 lead.
Emily D'Italia scored on a feed from Cailyn Bradley in the 70th minute to push the margin to 4-1.

Nonney Onyekweli scored the Raiders' goal after she broke free from her defender and finished from 12 yards for a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute.

Severna Park Ousted in OT

Lyndsie Ludwig's goal gave C.M. Wright a 2-1 overtime victory over No. 9 Severna Park in the other 4A state semifinal at South River.

"I looked for the far post in case I didn't make it, someone else could finish it," said Ludwig, who finished Kylie Galyen's feed with a sliding left-footed shot from 15 yards with just more than a minute left in overtime.

Ludwig's 12th goal of the season pushed the Mustangs (12-3-1) into Thursday's 4A state final at Broadneck, where they will meet Quince Orchard.

Severna Park (16-3) outshot C.M. Wright 8-5 and stymied 10 of the Mustangs' free kicks and all three of their corner kick chances. After claiming their 13th region title on Tuesday, the Falcons' winning streak was ended at 11.

Severna Park's Missy Weiss scored on a penalty kick that gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute before Mustangs junior defender Alexa Carlevaro's high-arcing shot from 35 yards spun under the crossbar and dropped into the back of the goal to tie it at 1 just 30 seconds before halftime.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Urbana Topples B-CC in Region Final
By B.J. Koubaroulis

Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, November 7, 2007; E10

Urbana junior goalkeeper Caroline Browning stayed on top of the ball for a bit longer than usual.

She just wanted to be sure.

By the time she finally rolled over and let go of the game's final penalty kick -- her first and only save in a 3-2 shootout victory at Bethesda-Chevy Chase in last night's 3A West Region championship -- her teammates had already begun celebrating.

Browning made the game-winning save following a double-overtime 2-2 tie to give Urbana its first region title since 2003.

Urbana will play the winner of last night's Huntingtown-Northern matchup in the 3A South Region final.

"You have to stay calm and you can't get too hard on yourself after missing a few," said Browning, who made two saves in penalty kicks in Saturday's win over Tuscarora. "You have to stay relaxed and focused and move on to the next one as fast as it comes."

Tenth-ranked Urbana (10-3-1) became just the fourth team this season to score against fifth-ranked Bethesda Chevy-Chase (14-1), which had 11 shutouts and outscored its opponents 65-3 entering last night's game.

Urbana sophomore midfielder Amie Ruhe shrugged off her defender and finished a breakaway up the middle of the field with a left-footed shot from 16 yards for a 1-0 lead just two minutes into the game.

In the 24th minute, junior midfielder Julia Roberts bent the Hawks' third shot on goal and fourth free kick just under the crossbar from 28 yards for a 2-0 lead that stood until Hannah Cooper scored in the 59th and 69th minutes to draw the Barons even.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase outshot Urbana 10-5, recording seven of those shots after the first half.
"It was just like practice," said Urbana senior defender Kelly Mohns, who buried the Hawks' fifth and decisive penalty kick into the front right corner of the net. "This feels so good."

B-CC Boys Prevail

Bethesda-Chevy Chase junior forward David Williams didn't even get to see his game-winning shot hit the back right corner of the net in the Barons' 2-1 victory over visiting Urbana in the boys' 3A West Region championship.

Williams settled a feed from junior forward Chris Woodruff and sent a right-footed shot to the back of the net before a collision with Urbana's sliding goalkeeper sent him tumbling to the grass.

"I knew it was in once I kicked it," said Williams, who connected from 22 yards out in the 63rd minute to complete the come-from-behind win. "I didn't need to see it."

The goal gave B-CC (10-3-2) its first region title since 2004 and pushed the Barons into the state semifinals, where they will meet the winner of last night's 3A South Region final between Northern and Chopticon.

Urbana's season ended at 9-7-1.

The Barons scored on two of just four shots on goal, including a goal from Ethan White, who corralled a deflection and connected on a right-footed boot from 28 yards in the 53rd minute to tie it at 1.

"This is huge to move on to the next level when we were below .500 last year," said White, who was a part of the Barons' squad that finished 4-8-1 last season.

Monday, November 05, 2007


West Potomac's Bennett Orally Commits to U-Conn.
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, November 6, 2007; E06

West Potomac senior All-Met Jimmy Bennett has orally committed to play football at the University of Connecticut. Bennett, a 6-foot-8, 285-pound left tackle ranked as one of the nation's top offensive line recruits, made his decision Sunday night.

He chose the Huskies over West Virginia, Boston College, Michigan State, Penn State, Maryland and Virginia Tech.

"It was for all the right reasons," said Bennett, who has not yielded a sack in his high school career and who this season helped West Potomac (7-3, 4-3 Virginia AAA Patriot District) to its first playoff berth since 2000. "The coach takes personal interest in the players' grades and the players themselves, and they're not just another player on the roster. It's a family-type atmosphere up there. It's a great atmosphere for learning and playing."

In just its sixth season of division I-A football, Connecticut (8-1, 4-0 Big East) is ranked 16th by the Associated Press and is 13th in the Bowl Championship Series ratings.

"It would make no difference if they were good or bad," Bennett said. "Even if they were 0-9, I would still go there."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Girls' Soccer

O'Connell's Net Work Lifts Potomac School
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Monday, November 5, 2007; E10

After a vicious aerial collision against Georgetown Visitation, Potomac School sophomore goalkeeper Churchill O'Connell laid flat inside the penalty box. It looked bad, but O'Connell just needed time to recover.

"I'm the only goalkeeper, so I knew I had to get up," said O'Connell, who saved 14 shots in a 1-0 victory over sixth-ranked Georgetown Visitation during yesterday's Independent School League AA final at Episcopal.

O'Connell saved two penalty shots in Friday's 4-2 shootout victory over seventh-ranked National Cathedral (13-3) to help the Panthers -- the tournament's third seed -- advance to yesterday's final.

"That's the second game in a row where she's kept us in it to win it," Potomac School Coach Ross McEwen said of O'Connell.

During its eight-game winning streak, Potomac School (11-3-2) shut out four opponents and beat two of The Post's top 10 teams to claim its first ISL tournament title since 1999.

Georgetown Visitation (14-3) outshot Potomac School 7-3 in the first half.

With 2 minutes and 11 seconds left in the second half, junior midfielder Cassidy Banks bent a 25-yard free kick over a wall of five defenders and into the top left corner of the net for the decisive goal.

"That's my specialty shot," Banks said. "I'm confident and I know what I want to do each time. I don't even look at the wall. I just know I'm going to place it in the upper left corner every time."

Georgetown Day's Reversal

Georgetown Day senior Sophie Gayter ran off the field clapping her hands when she was pulled out in the final minutes of the Mighty Hoppers' 4-0 victory over Flint Hill (10-5) in the ISL A Conference final at Episcopal.

A few teammates saw Gayter clapping and nodded their heads in a silent endorsement only a group of what Gayter called her "sisters" really could understand.

"It's unbelievable," said Gayter, as she tried to explain how her team -- which posted an 0-16-1 record two seasons ago -- was huddling for team pictures with the tournament trophy.

"We were winless. To come back and win the league with virtually the same starting lineup is unbelievable. I'm just happy to be a part of this team."

Gayter delivered a well-placed through pass that junior forward Alex Owens finished with a right-footed blast from 12 yards to put Georgetown Day (14-5) up 1-0 in the first minute.

"That set the tone for us," said Owens, who scored her 28th and 29th goals of the season. "Our goal coming into this season was to win the title for the seniors, and it was a lot of work, but it feels amazing."

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Leonardtown Wins 11th Straight Game
Leondardtown 2, Arundel 0
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, November 3, 2007; E06

Last night's 2-0 victory over visiting Arundel was the first time since last November the Leonardtown girls' soccer players had to tuck themselves into their wool caps, ear-bands and long-sleeve undershirts.

No problem, however, because the chilly 4A East Region semifinal showed that the Raiders are heating up at just the right time -- again.

Leonardtown won its final seven games en route to last season's 4A state title, but stumbled early this season in a 2-1 loss to Patuxent on Sept. 17 -- a defeat that cost the Raiders (14-2) the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference title.

"They are hungry," Coach Jennifer Henderson said. "For the second year in a row we didn't win our conference championship. In our conference, it's tough because every team wants to knock off Leonardtown, so our girls have learned that they have to be up for every game. We learned from that loss."

The Raiders have since outscored their opponents 53-1 en route to 11 consecutive victories and a berth in Tuesday's 7 p.m. final at ninth-ranked Severna Park (14-2).

The Raiders will be trying to extend a shutout streak that reached 10 last night. The last time they allowed a goal came on Sept. 21, in a 6-1 victory over Chopticon. They've allowed just six goals all season.

Offensively, the Raiders have plenty of depth. Their first goal, in the 29th minute, came on the strength of a pair of junior midfielders who are not even regulars in the starting lineup. Jessica Cooke found Davi Clark, who headed in the cross for a 1-0 lead.

Junior midfielder Emily Gehrig and sophomore forward Johanna Rambo have each scored 10 goals for an offense that is averaging 4.4 per game.

"We have just as good a team as last year if not better with our chemistry," said Gehrig, who gave the Raiders the 2-0 lead in the 43rd minute when she finished Rambo's 15-yard right-footed cross with a leaning header near the right post. "The loss to Patuxent helped us realize what we want in the end."

Arundel, which played in its first regional semifinal in six seasons, dropped to 11-4.

Leonardtown 2, Arundel 0 Raiders Give Back: On Oct. 22 at Breton Bay Golf Club, the Leonardtown boys' and girls' soccer teams held a golf tournament to benefit wounded military personnel. Arundel's Achilles': The Wildcats suffered two of their four losses to No. 9 Severna Park, including a 2-1 loss to the Falcons in last week's Anne Arundel County championship.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Doubles Wins Carries Churchill to Title
By B.J. Koubaroulis

Special to the Washington Post
Wednesday, October 31, 2007; E05

Churchill's Robyn Segal and Alyssa Perez finish each other's sentences and often steal each other's thoughts. Yesterday at Blake, Segal and Perez -- Churchill's top doubles team -- appeared to be of single mind as they rectified their only loss of the season and dispatched Walter Johnson's Daryl Oh and Jimena Talavera, 6-3, 6-3.

Segal and Perez's win helped Churchill to its fifth Montgomery County girls' tennis title in six years.

"Everyone came in here," Segal said. "Determined to get it done," Perez interjected.

Perez and Segal had their undefeated streak stopped by Oh and Talavera last week as Walter Johnson defeated Churchill, 4-3, in the teams' regular season meeting.
Walter Johnson (13-0) won the regular season title, but Churchill (12-1) had representatives in all seven of yesterday's finals comprising four singles and three doubles matches.

Churchill won all three doubles events en route to a 23-19 win over second place Walter Johnson.

"This time around we knew what was coming," Perez said.

Blake senior Carmen Jackman (12-1) used a mixture of deceiving drop shots and short touch shots to neutralize Churchill sophomore Elizabeth Kaufman's power en route to a 6-3, 6-1 win in the top singles match.

"I was trying to keep it out of her strike zone because it's a lot more difficult to power the ball when you are off balance," said Jackman, who became the first Bengal to win a girls' county tennis title. "Hopefully that will motivate other girls to come out and do the same thing."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

O'Connell Soccer

O'Connell Wins 4th Straight League Title

By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, October 27, 2007; E07

O'Connell senior defender Brandi Lacoe wore the evidence of her efforts yesterday like a wet badge: blades of grass and dirt stains on her face, a rain- and sweat-soaked jersey, dinged-up shin guards.

Each was a tiny trophy left over from the battles she fought holding St. John's All-Met forward Tiffany McCarty scoreless in the Knights' 2-0 victory over the top-ranked Cadets at Bishop Ireton.

McCarty, a Florida State-bound All-Met, has scored 183 goals and 78 assists in her career and is averaging 1.5 goals per game in a high-powered Cadets attack that is scoring 3.27 goals per game this season.

"I enjoy marking her because we have the same exact speed," said Lacoe, who is considering Penn State, Florida and N.C. State. "We give each other good competition and I think we are getting each other ready for college."

Junior midfielder Danielle Corey scored her 19th goal and added an assist to provide the Knights all the offense they would need.

The victory gave third-ranked O'Connell its fourth consecutive regular season Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship and the top seed in next week's conference tournament.

The Knights (15-3-3, 13-1-2 WCAC) are allowing 0.62 goals per game, have shut out six of their past 10 opponents and have 11 shutouts this season.

St. John's (18-2-2, 13-1-2 WCAC) suffered its first loss since it fell, 1-0, to Pennsylvania power Villa Joseph Marie on Sept. 16.
In the 34th minute, Corey had her low corner kick bounced out of the penalty box.

"It came back to me and I just curved it in," said Corey, whose second right-footed 25-yard send-in bent into the back right corner of the goal for a 1-0 lead. "This helps us confidence-wise a lot to know we can beat them and they are our big rivals."

No. 3 O'Connell 2 No. 1 St. John's 0 McCarty's Mark: Cadets forward Tiffany McCarty (183 career goals) has already passed the scoring records in Virginia and D.C. and needs six more goals to pass former McDonogh star Laurie Schwoy (188 goals from 1992 to '95) to set the Maryland record.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Arundel Football

Elko Has His Way for Unbeaten Arundel

No. 15 Arundel 24, Severna Park 14
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, October 25, 2007; AA11

Standing at midfield, nearly 50 yards from Arundel football coach Chuck Markiewicz on Monday, Severna Park Coach J.P. Hines reminisced about the days he spent playing linebacker at Arundel in the late 1970s.

He remembered the time Markiewicz, then an Arundel junior varsity coach, wore full pads to help Hines's defensive unit prepare for a meeting with an opponent's oversize tailback.

"It wasn't easy getting a hit on" Markiewicz, Hines said.

In the week leading up to 15th-ranked Arundel's 24-14 win against visiting Severna Park, there wasn't a Falcons player or coach who could have emulated Arundel quarterback Nick Elko.

Elko, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior, completed 21 of 33 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for a five-yard touchdown, connected on a 22-yard field goal attempt, accounted for 15 of the Wildcats' 16 first downs, converted every extra point attempt, punted twice and handled kickoffs.

"Elko is, everybody knows, one of the best quarterbacks in the state, and our game plan was to keep their offense off the field," Severna Park senior quarterback Pat Morrison said.

Severna Park (4-3, 4-3 Anne Arundel) was able to do that by intercepting Elko in the first quarter and by stopping the Wildcats (7-0, 7-0) from scoring on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line at the start of the second quarter.

The Falcons scored on a 20-play, 75-yard drive that featured two first downs, three Falcons penalties and a punt that deflected off of an Arundel player and was recovered by junior Will Crawford at the 9-yard line to extend the drive. On fourth and goal from the 2, Morrison hit junior wide receiver Anthony Jackson to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead three seconds before halftime.

"They did a good job by keeping the ball out of our hands," Elko said. "It really showed us how to match adversity. We kept our heads together and pulled together in the end."

Elko hit four receivers for his 134 second-half passing yards, including a perfectly timed five-yard fade pass to junior Alec Lemon to tie the game at 7 with 9 minutes 29 seconds left in the third quarter.

Morrison answered by orchestrating a 12-play, 72-yard drive capped by a 10-yard strike to junior Zack Karr to put the Falcons up 14-7 with 4:21 left in the third quarter.

On the ensuing drive, Elko converted five first downs, four of them on passes, and scored on a five-yard run that tied game at 14 just before the end of the third quarter.

Senior wide receiver and defensive back Brandon Johnson-Farrell (seven catches, 134 yards) intercepted Morrison and then caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Elko to give the Wildcats a 21-14 lead before Elko kicked a 22-yard field goal.

"It was a good win. It helps us keep our momentum going into another big game against Old Mill next week," Johnson-Farrell said.