New job

Hello,

On Aug. 4, 2015, I started as the University of Maryland football beat writer for The Baltimore Sun Media Group and the Carroll County Times.

I’ve also moved my portfolio to a new site: danieljtgallen.com. This WordPress will no longer be updated.

Feel free to follow along on Twitter: @danieljtgallen.

Thanks for reading,

Daniel

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Girls’ basketball: Forestville knocks off Southern-Garrett for first Md. 1A state title

Girls’ basketball: Forestville knocks off Southern-Garrett for first Md. 1A state title

By Daniel Gallen
The Washington Post

The state championship game was a brand new stage for Forestville, one that Coach James Washington had dreams of bringing his alma mater to after he took over shortly before last season. And during the Knights’ playoff run, he had a strong feeling that this could be the team to deliver the school its first girls’ basketball championship.

But midway through the third quarter against defending champion Southern-Garrett, Washington could start to feel the Rams seize momentum, and after back-to-back three-pointers shaved the Forestville lead down to one, he called a timeout to deliver a simple message.

Washington told his team to stay cool, calm and collected — “We call it ‘Triple C’ where we’re from,” he said — and the Knights never wavered again. Forestville captured the state title with a 54-38 win over Southern-Garrett at SECU Arena in Towson.

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Westlake girls’ basketball fall short once again in Md. 3A semifinal loss to Urbana

Westlake girls’ basketball fall short once again in Md. 3A semifinal loss to Urbana

By Daniel Gallen
The Washington Post

For the third time in four years, Westlake was among the final four teams left in the playoffs, Maryland 3A South region champions and one game away from playing for the state title.

Something was going to be different this year. There was a possibility of a rematch with Milford Mill, the team that ousted the Wolverines last season, on Saturday if they could get past Urbana and the chance to break through to play for the school’s first state championship after coming so close so many times before.

But for the seventh time since 2000, No. 20 Westlake couldn’t quite get over the semifinal hurdle. Urbana used a dominant fourth quarter and 27 points from guard Regan Lohr to oust Westlake, 67-60, at SECU Arena, leaving the Wolverines with tear-stained cheeks, runny noses and more dashed dreams.

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Ed Block Courage Awards: Hammond’s Essien Ture plays on after amputation

Ed Block Courage Awards: Hammond’s Essien Ture plays on after amputation

By Daniel Gallen
The Washington Post

Essien Ture watched intently from the sidelines as Hammond Coach Michael Salapata barked out orders at an early February practice. Clad in a Golden Bears pinny, black leggings and Maryland flag shorts and socks, Ture looked like just another teenager at practice. The only thing that might betray that something was different was a slight protrusion a few inches below his right knee.

That’s where Ture’s prosthetic begins. Ture had his right leg amputated below the knee last April after symptoms of popliteal artery entrapment syndrome — a rare condition where the calf muscle constricts the popliteal artery — manifested in his leg.

Five months after his amputation, Ture was back on neighborhood basketball courts, and seven months after it, he made the varsity team at Hammond. He played in only one game for the 3-20 Golden Bears with a focus on contributing to the team next season.

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Girls’ basketball: Forestville advances to Md. 1A final; Oakland Mills falls in 2A

Girls’ basketball: Forestville advances to Md. 1A final; Oakland Mills falls in 2A

By Daniel Gallen
The Washington Post

Forestville Coach James Washington didn’t berate his team Wednesday after an uneven start left the Knights with a single-digit halftime lead against Pocomoke in the Maryland 1A state semifinals. Washington knew his team could have led by much more, but he kept his halftime speech “cut and dry.”

He asked his players a simple question: Did the Knights want to keep making history?

Forestville answered in the affirmative, then responded in the second half with a 10-1 run en route to a 63-47 victory at SECU Arena in Towson.

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Ice hockey: Churchill takes on all comers during season of dominance

Ice hockey: Churchill takes on all comers during season of dominance

By Daniel Gallen
The Washington Post

When Churchill skated onto the ice for the Maryland Student Hockey League 2A title game against Marriotts Ridge late last month, the Bulldogs were familiar with the big-game, playoff atmosphere. That comfort level on a big stage was on display as they thrashed the Mustangs, 10-0, to win their third MSHL title in five years and earned The Post’s final No. 1 ranking.

Every season, Churchill Coach Ray McKenzie supplements his team’s standard schedule of Montgomery County foes with an array of schools from the Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League in order to keep his players sharp throughout the season. He wants them to be ready for the playoffs and the challenges of getting an opponent’s best shot.

This winter, the Bulldogs put together one of their most impressive showings against local private of McKenzie’s tenure, winning four out of the five games they played against MAPHL teams.

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Md. 4A East girls’ basketball final: Old Mill gets revenge with win over North Point

Md. 4A East girls’ basketball final: Old Mill gets revenge with win over North Point

By Daniel Gallen
The Washington Post

Old Mill and North Point have developed an air of familiarity over the past year, meeting in the Maryland 4A East region girls’ basketball final last March and in the Waldorf Holiday Hoops Classic in December. But each time it ended with a Patriots loss and a lengthy bus ride from Waldorf back to Millersville.

Old Mill Coach Rick Smith was determined to have Monday night’s meeting between the two teams end differently, and he let his team know before the game.

“I said this year it would be nice to send [North Point] back home with the same feeling we had,” Smith said.

And after a dominant second half and along with a game-high 19 points from guard Kaneshia Afi, host Old Mill was finally able to return the favor to North Point with a 77-56 victory in the Maryland 4A East region final in Millersville.

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