As always, I think it best to start out on Monday’s with a look at the current standings in Montgomery County boys basketball before I get to the updated Bastow Best-Ten.
- Richard Montgomery 14-2 (8-2)
- Whitman 11-5 (7-3)
- Northwest 10-5 (6-3)
- Wootton 8-8 (6-4)
- Springbrook 14-1 (7-0)
- Paint Branch 9-7 (6-2)
- Magruder 10-6 (5-3)
- Quince Orchard 15-2 (7-0)
- Poolesville 10-5 (6-2)
- Blake 12-2 (8-0)
- Kennedy 8-6 (5-3)
With their thrilling 61-60 win over Northwest secured, Richard Montgomery now has to avoid looking too far forward to a Montgomery County 4A showdown against Springbrook on February 12th. Between now and then lie three games for the Rockets, including games against 4A West division foes Churchill and B-CC. The first order of business must be holding their first place lead on the division and the ability to ensure home court in the playoffs.
The Northwest loss, combined with Wootton’s flat-performance loss against Churchill (Gamedaymd radio Churchill vs Wootton ) and Whitman’s decisive win over B-CC, gives Whitman a leg up on second place, with a chance to keep the pressure on RM down the stretch. Whitman hosts Northwest this week, and with a win they can open up a decisive second-place lead in the division.
For Northwest, this is perhaps the most important week of the year. After travelling to Whitman on Tuesday the Jaguars host Wootton on Friday. Two wins keep them relevant in the division race; one out of two dramatically hurts their chances for a division title or second place.
Magruder and Paint Branch swapped places behind 4A East leader Springbrook last week, as Magruder fell twice, including a loss to Paint Branch, while Paint Branch, in addition to beating Magruder, toppled Sherwood and Blair.
Quince Orchard’s rout of Poolesville (still no word on Brendon McFall) essentially gives them the division title and therefore home court in the playoffs, while Blake dug deep to beat Rockville and Wheaton and assure a 3A/2A East title.
So factoring into account all the data, results, and observations, here is the Bastow Best-Ten for the week of February (yes, it is now February) 1st. Remember, for a full discussion of the Bastow Best-Ten, tune in to the Coaches Show on Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm on gamedaymd.com Also, as always, prior week rankings are in bold, and starting this week, Gazette Power Rankings are in italics. (All Next Games are February 2nd)
- Springbrook (1) (2): Really, why would I change this in any given week? No bumps in the road visible until next Friday night when they host Richard Montgomery. I have to go to that game. Next Game: Home vs Sherwood (5:15 pm)
- Richard Montgomery (2) (4): The Rockets pulled out a huge win over Northwest, and Nick Brown was named gameday athlete of the week. Don’t look past the next three opponents and you will get what you want: #1 vs #2. Next Game: Home vs B-CC (5:15 pm)
- Quince Orchard (3) (6): Unfortunately they can’t play either RM (again) or Springbrook, so they won’t get the chance to jump either team. But Coach Paul Foringer’s Ten Merry Men line-up has destroyed every one else in the county. Next Game: Home vs Watkins Mill (5:15 pm)
- Whitman (4) (9): An interesting turn of events, in that Ross Koehn has cooled off while Charlie Waugh (and Eddie Wytkind) have heated up. Hopefully, Sam Walsh is feeling better before tomorrow’s rematch against Northwest. Next Game: Home vs Northwest (7:00 pm)
- Blake (5) (8): The Bengals are just doing what they do best: win. Got just enough scoring to squeeze past Rockville and Wheaton last week. A big test is coming up Friday night at Kennedy. Next Game: Home vs Northwood (5:15 pm)
- Northwest (7) (10): A heartbreaking loss against RM is another in a series of heartbreakers (see Paint Branch game). This may be the most important week of the year. Next Game: At Whitman (7:00 pm)
- Paint Branch (N/R) (N/R): I did not want to underestimate this team, but they’ve been hard to figure out. Maybe they figured it out on their own, and not too late. Tomorrow night is the time to find out. Next Game: At Gaithersburg (5:15 pm)
- Magruder (6) (N/R): Did the huge loss to Springbrook take it out of the Colonels? Not sure: they rebounded to beat Gaithersburg but lost to Paint Branch. Righting the ship this week will be coach Dan Harwood’s challenge. Next Game: Home vs Blair (5:15 pm)
- Poolesville (8) (N/R): I need to know what the status of Brendan McFall is before I make any moves on Poolesville. Is he injured or did he truly not score on Friday night against Quince Orchard? Need some help! Next Game: At Watkins Mill (5:15 pm).
- Kennedy (N/R) (N/R): The wild card for this week. They’re staying just close enough to Blake to make their game on Friday meaningful, and having won 2 out of 3 last week, they could do some early damage in an early playoff round to an unsuspecting foe. Next Game: At Rockville (5:15 pm)
Tomorrow: Girls Update and Standings