North Point runs by Great Mills in Maryland 4A East region quarterfinal

North Point runs by Great Mills in Maryland 4A East region quarterfinal

By Daniel Gallen
The Washington Post

At the end of a first half marred by a nightmarish start, turnovers and missed shots, North Point sophomore guard Necole Hope gave a glimpse of how effective the team could be when things were running perfectly.

In the final 10 seconds of the second quarter, Hope cut along the baseline behind the Great Mills defense and curled onto the left wing. Her defender got lost in the traffic under the basket, and Hope’s teammates whipped the ball around the outside of the arc to her. She drained the open three-pointer with a few ticks left on the clock.

Hope’s shot extended North Point’s lead to nine points entering halftime, and the Eagles held off the Hornets in the second half for a 56-37 victory in a Maryland 4A East region quarterfinal at Great Mills. Hope had a game-high 18 points, and North Point was able to extend its lead down the stretch despite shooting 18 of 39 from the free throw line.

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Northeast boys’ basketball shakes off years of struggles, eyes deep postseason run

Northeast boys’ basketball shakes off years of struggles, eyes deep postseason run

By Daniel Gallen
The Washington Post

When Roger O’Dea took over Northeast 13 games into the 2010-11 season, his alma mater was winless and stumbling through another lost season. It had been more than a decade since the Eagles’ last winning season and almost 20 years since they last advanced to the Maryland state semifinals.

But O’Dea knew there was a group of eighth graders, including Trent Smoot, Sergio Andino and Chris Dumsha, who were a year away from enrolling at Northeast. And those players were going to be the ones to pull the Eagles out of mediocrity.

Entering Tuesday’s Maryland 3A East region quarterfinal against Huntingtown, Northeast is 15-7 — the Eagles’ best win total since they went 16-8 in 1990-91 — and a No. 1 seed in the state tournament. And in the trio of Smoot, Andino and Dumsha, O’Dea has one of the school’s all-time leading scorers, its all-time steals leader and a three-year team captain, respectively.

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Taylor Murray caps Annapolis Area Christian career with MCST title

Taylor Murray caps Annapolis Area Christian career with MCST title

By Daniel Gallen
The Washington Post

During her four years at Annapolis Area Christian, guard Taylor Murray developed a reputation as a flashy scorer capable of draining three-pointers from the outside or slashing through the lane to the basket.

And in her final games with the Eagles, Murray put on the type of performance that embodied her career. The McDonald’s all-American and Kentucky recruit averaged 32 points per game in three games to help deliver Annapolis Area Christian the Maryland Christian Schools Tournament Division I title.

In Saturday’s 49-30 title game win over Covenant Life, Murray scored 29 points, grabbed nine rebounds and notched eight steals to lead the Eagles.

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Ice hockey: Churchill steamrolls Marriotts Ridge for second MSHL title in three years

Ice hockey: Churchill steamrolls Marriotts Ridge for second MSHL title in three years

By Daniel Gallen
The Washington Post

Before Churchill took on Marriotts Ridge in the Maryland Student Hockey League 2A final, Bulldogs forward Ross Allen stood on the ice and listened to the student section chant his name.

Allen was being honored with the MSHL’s Yvon Labre award, which is presented annually for a player’s on-ice, academic and community service achievement. The Cornell-bound senior took the plaque, posed for some pictures and then skated back to the Churchill blue line while his peers serenaded him.

Allen heard his name called early and often at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel on Friday as he tallied five points (three goals, two assists) to help No. 2 Churchill blast No. 10 Marriotts Ridge, 10-0, to claim its third MSHL 2A title in five years and fourth overall.

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Capital Scholastic Hockey League finishes inaugural season of inclusivity

Capital Scholastic Hockey League finishes inaugural season of inclusivity

By Daniel Gallen
The Washington Post

Two years ago, Robinson Coach Mike Mulligan faced a tough decision. His squad, which had been combined with Stuart, had enough players from Robinson that it could shed its combined label and become a pure team eligible for the Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League playoffs. But in order to do that, Mulligan would have been forced to cut a senior from Stuart who had been on the team for three years.

Mulligan wasn’t prepared to do that.

So he struck out on his own. Robinson played the 2013-14 season as an independent squad, and for this season, Mulligan founded the six-team Capital Scholastic Hockey League as an opportunity for more local ice hockey players to find teams.

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PVAC girls’ basketball final: Covenant Life pulls away from Grace Brethren, 57-46

PVAC girls’ basketball final: Covenant Life pulls away from Grace Brethren, 57-46

By Daniel Gallen
The Washington Post

Covenant Life held a slim lead over Grace Brethren at halftime of the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference championship game at Hebrew Academy in Rockville when Coach Terri Marshall made a strategic decision. She wanted her players to start driving the lane and going straight to the basket on fast breaks.

The plan worked, as Covenant Life was able to pull away for a 57-46 victory. Forward Jordan Robinson scored 14 points while forward Kayla Merryman had 11 points and guard Anna Falcione added 10.

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Boys’ basketball: Marcus Adkison leads St. Andrew’s past Flint Hill for first MAC title

Boys’ basketball: Marcus Adkison leads St. Andrew’s past Flint Hill for first MAC title

By Daniel Gallen
The Washington Post

Marcus Adkison couldn’t sleep Sunday night, not with the biggest game of his high school career looming.

The St. Andrew’s guard awoke at 5 a.m. Monday, and a premonition told him he needed to be ready for the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament final at Flint Hill . So he took an Epsom salt bath and watched clips of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, along with Bryant’s recent longform interview with Ahmad Rashad.

Adkison found the inspiration he sought, and the senior scored a game-high 13 points to lead St. Andrew’s over Flint Hill, 60-54, for its first MAC championship Monday night before an energetic crowd at the Huskies’ home gym in Fairfax.

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