Don’t look now, but the biggest game of the Montgomery County Girls basketball season is tonight in Gaithersburg as undefeated Paint Branch goes for their73rd consecutive win over Montgomery County opponents when they face Gaithersburg. This is a rematch as Paint Branch prevailed 64-57 in their first meeting on January 13th (Gaithersburg vs Paint Branch).
BothGaithersburg and Paint Branch were undefeated ahead of the game, and when Gaithersburg took the lead at 44-42 in the third quarter it marked the first time Paint Branch was behind in a game to that point in the season. As usual Brene Moseley led the way for the Panthers with 31 points, while Kara Marshall scored 18 points for Gaithersburg. The game was tight right through the fourth quarter, and with the notable exception of Blake, nobody has come as close to beating Paint Branch as Gaithersburg did that evening. And by the way, Blake gets their shot again as they travel to Paint Branch on (Thursday) February 11th.
So what’s at stake tonight? In addition to the Paint Branch winning streak, first place. The loss to Paint Branch is the only blemish on the Trojan’s resume, and with a win they will climb into a first-place tie in the Montgomery County 4A East division.
In 4A West action, division leader Walt Whitman (13-3 9-1) visits Northwest (9-6 7-2) with a share of the division lead on the line. Whitman has won four games in a row since an overtime loss to Churchill, while Northwest has been up and down, but is still (along with Churchill) just a game out in the loss column in the race for first place in the division.
In the 3A/2A East and West divisions, Blake and Seneca Valley, respectively, remain atop the division, undefeated in division play and in the case of Seneca Valley, undefeated for the season to date.
With games and standings under our belts, here is my updated Bastow Best-Five, with last week’s ranking in bold.
- Paint Branch (1): I don’t know how you can’t put a team that hasn’t lost a county game in almost three years in first place. Especially when they have, arguably, the best player (Brene Moseley) on the team. Until they lose, I won’t. Next Game: At Gaithersburg
- Seneca Valley (2): I said Brene Moseley is arguably the best player in the county: others might argue for Kelsey Wolfe, with great conviction and strong, valid points. After all, her team is undefeated, too. Next Game: Home vs Clarksburg
- Gaithersburg (3): No arguments about best player in the county at Gaithersburg, but maybe an argument about best overall team. They will get their chance to avenge a loss to Paint Branch, and make some history, tonight. Next Game: Home vs Paint Branch
- Blake(4): OK, we need to include Christine Weithman into the mix for best player in the county, and again, a lot of people will make a lot of good points and a convincing case. In the meantime, all she does is lead the team and win games. Next Game: Home vs Northwood
- Whitman (5): A team that is playing really well, with contributions from everyone on the roster. This is a potentially dangerous, dangerous team. Next Game: At Northwest.
Tomorrow: Tuesday night review