With a full slate of games completed on Friday night, the occasion marks the last play until the week of January 22nd as students take second semester final exams this week. Friday night’s results are in the books, and the standings are fairly status quo from last week as you can see, with several teams starting to pull away in their divisions.
- Springbrook 11-1 (5-0)
- Magruder 8-4 (4-1)
- Whitman 9-3 (5-1)
- Richard Montgomery 10-2 (4-2)
- Northwest 8-4 (4-2)
- Blake 9-1 (5-0)
- Rockville 5-7 (3-2)
- Quince Orchard 11-2 (5-0)
- Poolesville 7-5 (4-1)
During the course of the last two weeks teams have played at a minimum five games and some cases six. This week’s Bastow Best-Ten reflects the results of the two-week stretch, with some new names climbing up the ladder (Magruder) and others falling off completely (Paint Branch). Some new names joined the list (Wheaton and Wootton) but the top five stayed the same. As always, last week’s Bastow Best-Ten ratings are in parenthesis:
- Springbrook (1): Suddenly Devon Pestano has found his basketball legs, averaging 10 ppg during last week’s play. Imagine that: another player to add to an already strong team. Next Game: Home vs Kennedy
- Blake (2): Blake is just rolling along quietly waiting for the big moment. They get it this week when play resumes in the county. The result of their next game will go a long way towards their regional title run. Next Game: At Quince Orchard
- Whitman (3): Ordinarily I would rank a team that beat Whitman (Northwest) ahead of them in a poll. But not this time: Whitman followed up a loss with a big win against Churchill while Northwest followed up a big win with a loss to Wootton. By the way, can anyone stop Ross Koehn? Next Game: Home vs Richard Montgomery
- Richard Montgomery (4): The Rockets may be starting to find their stride with easy wins over B-CC and Churchill. When they play with poise and passion they are really hard to beat. They will need a heavy dose of both in their next game, which is as big as it gets. Next Game: At Whitman
- Quince Orchard (5): Yet another football guy, in this case Andre Gaines, finds his basketball legs and starts to dominate, averaging 18 ppg over the last three games. With Gaines on his game and rest of Paul Foringer’s team playing well, this could be a regional championship team. They will get a huge test on Friday in a game I will cover for gamedaymd.com. Next Game: Home vs Blake
- Magruder (9): I know this is a big jump, but consider where Magruder was two weeks ago (3-3) and now (8-4). Tim Harwood is the scorer but everyone else contributes and of course they have Dan Harwood as their coach, one of the best in the county. Magruder is a dangerous team. Next Game: At Watkins Mill
- Northwest (6): Talk about up and down: beat Whitman, lose to Wootton; beat Churchill lose to Richard Montgomery. Willy Lee is solid, Eny Ndubuka is up and coming, and everyone else needs to play just like them for Northwest to be a legitimate, consistent contender. Next Game: Home vs B-CC
- Poolesville (7): The Falcons need Brendan McFall every night as witnessed in their loss to Quince Orchard. Coach Tom Lang and his team have a fairly quiet schedule over the next week, and will probably try not to look ahead towards their return engagement with the Cougars on January 29th. Next Game: Home vs Wheaton.
- Wheaton (NR): The Knights have quietly moved their record to 6-6, and with a fairly deep roster might make some noise as the season moves into late January. Call them a sleeper team with potential, but let’s see how they do in their next outing. Next Game: At Poolesville
- Wootton (NR): Well I admit this is a bit of a homer pick, and any number of teams could get into my number ten slot, but here’s the thing about Wootton: they’ve beaten both Northwest and Richard Montgomery, and not many other teams can say that. They have talent in Freddie Vance, Jack Weis and Ryan Trafton, and can beat virtually anyone on any given night. So let’s just see how the rating plays itself out for a week. Next Game: Home vs Walter Johnson
As I said earlier, this week marks s a break in play a chance perhaps for everyone to catch their breath (of course, exams are nothing to take lightly) and come back refocused and maybe a little rested for the regular season stretch run. In honor of exam week, I will use all of this week to have an exam of my own; every day I will pose a question for a blue book answer that will come the next day. Since mine is essentially a take home exam, it’s not as difficult as the players exams of course, but hopefully I’ll answer the questions posed with enough information and style to bring home the “A”. Tonight’s question is: What teams are legitimate contenders for a regional title?
NOTE: My Bastow Best-Ten and a full discussion of Montgomery County basketball is featured every Wednesday night at 7:00 pm on the gamedaymd.com radio coach’s show. Listen in this Wednesday as we host Russell Fields and the Holy Cross basketball team and Josh Munsey and the Clarksburg wrestling team from the Wing Hub in Bethesda.