This should be an interesting week in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, as the three top teams — Paul VI (Va.), St. John’s College and Our Lady of Good Counsel — square off with the battle for the top seed in the upcoming league tournament.
Frontrunner Paul VI (23-0, 13-0 WCAC through the weekend) was to play St. John’s (20-1, 10-1) in a make-up game Monday and then top-ranked Good Counsel (19-3, 11-2) Friday in Olney. The Panthers and Cadets are set to meet again Feb. 15.
“There’s alot to play for,” said Falcons coach Tom Splaine, whose team was to play a tough Elizabeth Seton squad Tuesday. “Obviously, if we’re able to win out, we have a chance for the top seed.”
Good Counsel has garnered a split with St. John’s this winter and it fell to Paul VI, 57-55, Jan. 8 on a last-second shot. The Falcons won two league games last week despite the absence of leading scorer Amanda Fioravanti (20.3 ppg), who was sidelined by injury. Splaine hoped to have her back in the lineup for Tuesday’s match up with Seton.
The Gaithersburg and Paint Branch girls basketball teams played in a thrilling overtime affair Friday that was captured by the Trojans. Both teams, however, entered the weekend as winners having captured division crowns earlier in the week. Gaithersburg (11-4) overcame a slow start to the season to cruise to the 4A West Division title with a 7-1 mark to edge runner-up Northwest (12-4, 5-2), closing out the championship with a 68-57 win against Clarksburg (7-9, 2-5) and a 46-44 victory against Quince Orchard (8-8, 3-4) last week.
The Panthers (14-3) wrapped up the 4A East Division crown with wins of 67-40 against John F. Kennedy (11-6. 6-3) and 69-57 against Springbrook (6-11, 4-5) last week to finish divisional play with a 9-0 record.
Walt Whitman (14-3, 7-2) entered Monday’s game with Bethesda-Chevy Chase (5-11, 2-7), one win shy of wrapping up the 4A West Division. The Vikings held a one-game lead against Thomas S. Wootton (13-4, 6-3) and Walter Johnson (12-5, 6-3).
“It certainly would be quite an accomplishment,” said Vikings coach Pete Kenah on Sunday night. “There’s not really a night off [in the division]. This would be the first one we’ve won since the 2009-10 season. We break up our season into mini seasons and it’s been a goal of ours for this mini season.”
Lastly, the 3A-2A Division will be decided Friday when Poolesville (13-3, 10-1) travels to play division leader Damascus (15-2, 8-0). The Swarming Hornets, who have not lost to a team in the state of Maryland, won the first meeting, 71-37, Dec. 17.
“In my mind, they’re the best team that we’ve played this year,” Falcons coach Fred Swick said. “They’re the best team I’ve seen in Montgomery County [among] public school teams. It will be quite a challenge for us. I didn’t think we played very well the first time and I thought Damascus did play very well, but they are a very talented and very well-coached team. It’s a great challenge for us.”
Paul VI at Our Lady of Good Counsel
Friday, Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m.
Falcons could take huge step to first place in WCAC.
Bullis at Georgetown Visitation
Monday, Feb. 11, 5:45 p.m.
Remake between the two best teams in the ISL AA Division.
Poolesville at Damascus
Friday, Feb. 8, 5:15 p.m.
Swarming Hornets win 3A-2A Division with victory.