Col. Zadok Magruder High School, Gaithersburg and Thomas S. Wootton are separating from the pack in the Montgomery 4A West Division heading into the final stretch of the season. Magruder (9-4, 4-2 as of Monday), which went 11-12 last season, has made significant improvements with most of its key players returning. The Colonels have won their past two games (before Tuesday) and four of five, including a 50-39 win over James H. Blake on Thursday and a 60-56 win over Wootton on Friday. Janel Brown (12.5), Hannah Barr (10.9), Hope Randolph (10.2) and Adjowa Pinkrah (9.5) account for most of Magruder’s scoring.
Wootton (8-6, 4-2) continues playing competitive basketball but slid down the standings after close losses to Gaithersburg and Magruder, both division foes. Gaithersburg (7-4, 5-1), led by senior Janessa Fauntroy, has won seven of its last nine games.
Playing without 6-foot-5 senior Rhamat Alhassan, the Academy of the Holy Cross’ basketball team needed somebody to step up Saturday against Bullis. Senior Jillian Dunston did exactly that, scoring a game-high 30 points and setting a school record with seven 3-pointers, leading the Tartans to a 64-58 victory.
Dunston, who signed a letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Michigan, has been Holy Cross’s top scorer as of late and is averaging a team-best 13.7 points per game on the season.
“She’s playing out of her mind,” Holy Cross coach Clyde Singleton said. “I’m so proud of her.”
Dunston is the team’s best 3-point shooter, with 33 on the season.
“She can flat out shoot it,” Singleton said.
Holy Cross (9-11, 6-4) has won six of its last seven games after dropping five straight in late December through early January.
John F. Kennedy (10-1, 4-1) has won four straight since losing to Paint Branch (12-2, 4-0), and the Cavaliers will get another chance at the Panthers in a rematch on Friday. Paint Branch won the first meeting 53-49, limiting Kennedy to five points in the fourth quarter to earn the road victory. The Panthers have won five of six; their lone loss during that stretch came against Walt Whitman (44-43).
Walt Whitman (12-2, 5-0) has taken control of the Montgomery 4A South Division, but Montgomery Blair, Winston Churchill and Walter Johnson all look capable of grabbing second place. Blair (10-4, 4-1) has lost three of four, though remains at the top of the conference thanks to its fast start and strong division play.
Walter Johnson (9-6, 3-3) has won four straight and Churchill (7-6, 3-2) is also on a four-game win streak that includes wins over Blair and Walter Johnson.
Poolesville at Damascus, 7 p.m. Tuesday
Poolesville (12-1, 5-1) would still be undefeated if not for a 22-point loss to top-ranked Damascus (12-2, 5-0) earlier this month. The Falcons and Swarmin’ Hornets meet again on Tuesday in a matchup that could determine the winner of the Montgomery 3A/2A Division.