Category Archives: Washington Post

Freshman Mamadi Diakite, No. 8 Virginia take care of Yale, 62-38

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CHARLOTTESVILLE — Yale center Sam Downey thought he was about to end the drought. With his team’s deficit ballooning into double digits, Downey rose for a routine layup that would have registered the Bulldogs’ first points in a five-minute span against No. 8 Virginia on Sunday afternoon.

He didn’t see Mamadi Diakite flying across the baseline. Virginia’s spring-loaded freshman soared above the rim to pin Downey’s attempt against the glass and keep Yale’s scoreless misery going for another three minutes midway through the second half.

“The team needed me to step up and block more shots,” said Diakite, who finished with four blocks and five points. “That is what I did.”

The Cavaliers’ eight-minute defensive stand propelled them to a 62-38 victory before 14,242 at John Paul Jones Arena. Eight players filled the scoring column for Virginia (3-0), but it was Diakite’s defensive prowess that brought the crowd to its feet. Continue reading Freshman Mamadi Diakite, No. 8 Virginia take care of Yale, 62-38

Maryland men’s soccer keeps unbeaten streak alive in Big Ten tournament debut

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Rejuvenated from injuries and illnesses, rested from a much-needed week off, the top-ranked Maryland men’s soccer team hoped Sunday’s game against Michigan in the Big Ten quarterfinals would play out much differently than last week’s last-gasp struggle against the Wolverines.

It ended up being a near-replica.

Reserve midfielder George Campbell scored just under three minutes into the second sudden-death overtime period to lift Maryland to a 3-2 victory at Ludwig Field. The result extended the top-seeded Terrapins’ winning streak to 13 games and vaulted them into Friday’s semifinal against Michigan State. Continue reading Maryland men’s soccer keeps unbeaten streak alive in Big Ten tournament debut

South Lakes golfer Kurtis Grant stays crisp to capture the Virginia 6A North region crown

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Kurtis Grant surveyed the 18th fairway stretching below him Wednesday afternoon, his right leg crossed casually around his left as he sipped a 23-ounce can of Arizona-brand Arnold Palmer Lite Half & Half Iced Tea.

The South Lakes junior typically takes about 30 seconds to guzzle the drink before his round. But in homage to “The King” — and to stay better hydrated — Grant cracked open his favorite beverage at the turn of Wednesday’s Virginia 6A North region golf championship and nursed it throughout the back nine.

“I usually don’t finish very well,” Grant said. “That was different today.”

Grant carded four birdies and zero bogeys on Hidden Creek Country Club’s second half en route to a 4-under-par 67. That followed a 68 on Tuesday, giving him individual medalist honors by eight shots on the testy Reston course.

Grant’s refreshment may have helped, but the real driving force behind his seamless navigation of the narrow layout was something even more drawn out: preparation. Continue reading South Lakes golfer Kurtis Grant stays crisp to capture the Virginia 6A North region crown

Varsity field hockey has arrived in Loudoun County, but there’s still work to be done

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The novelty of the scene at Briar Woods was evident only in the players’ faces.

On one side of the field, 25 members of the Heritage field hockey team decked in candy red uniforms giggled through their warm-up shooting routine. On the other, two of Stone Bridge’s 21 white-and-navy clad stick wielders stopped to laugh at a whiff that sent dirt flying over a stationary ball.

Just about anywhere else in the Washington area, this is a totally normal Tuesday evening in September. In Loudoun County, this is unprecedented. Continue reading Varsity field hockey has arrived in Loudoun County, but there’s still work to be done

Friendship Collegiate stifles H.D. Woodson to claim Ward 7 supremacy

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At first it seemed like a risky decision. On fourth and six, with his team nursing a narrow fourth-quarter lead, Friendship Collegiate quarterback Chris Ferguson was staring down a wide receiver streaking into the end zone.

The junior signal caller wasn’t aiming for the first down. He was aiming for the kill shot.

“I saw that the corners was pressed,” Ferguson said. “Coach [Mike] Hunter always told me, ‘On that play, when the corners press, we have to attack the corners on the corner route.’ ”

Ferguson lofted a pretty spiral to the corner of the end zone, and senior wide receiver Nykeim Johnson secured the touchdown to essentially put the game out of reach for H.D. Woodson. The score propelled Friendship Collegiate to a 19-14 victory in a rare meeting between the two District powers in Northeast Washington on Friday. Continue reading Friendship Collegiate stifles H.D. Woodson to claim Ward 7 supremacy

Virginia native Ginny Thrasher, 19, shoots her way to first U.S. gold medal in Rio

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Three years ago, then-West Springfield High junior Ginny Thrasher was the 45th-best junior air rifle shooter in the U.S. On Saturday morning, the 19-year-old NCAA national champion stepped into the first medal event of the Rio Games — the women’s 10-meter air rifle finals — and did this: Continue reading Virginia native Ginny Thrasher, 19, shoots her way to first U.S. gold medal in Rio

Camp Countdown: Westfield is hungry to defend its state title

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2015 record: 14-1, beat Oscar Smith in the Va. 6A state championship

Returning starters: 6 offense / 5 defense

Style of play: Pro-style offense / 4-3 defense

Key returning players: QB Rehman Johnson, Sr. (380 passing yards, six touchdowns, zero interceptions); WR Sean Eckert, Sr. (23 catches, 439 yards, four touchdowns); OL Christian Karl, Sr.; LB Kevin Petrillo, Sr. (107 tackles, three sacks, six interceptions); DL Zach Jewell, Sr. (49 tackles, seven sacks, two forced fumbles)

Toughest matchups:

Sept. 9 at South County: A reloaded South County squad will be itching for revenge on its home turf after last year’s 40-8 embarrassment in the 6A North region final. The Stallions won this Week 2 meeting a year ago, dealing the Bulldogs their lone defeat.

Oct. 14 vs. Robinson: Rams quarterback Alex Miller and tailback Roman Lowry — both three-year starters — will lead Robinson’s experienced ground attack into a bruising Concorde matchup that rarely disappoints.

The Skinny:

It will be a long time before the shine wears off Westfield’s glittering 2015 football season. Finally, after four straight years of coming up short in the region final, the Bulldogs annihilated South County in the 6A North region championship, then overcame Oscar Smith in an unforgettable, triple-overtime thriller for their first state crown since 2007.

The Bulldogs are not eager to deem their past accomplishments ancient history. They are, however, ready to take a different approach to the 2016 campaign. Continue reading Camp Countdown: Westfield is hungry to defend its state title