High School Sports Notebook: Bullis Boys Lacrosse Breaks into Nation’s Top 10

High School Sports Notebook: Bullis Boys Lacrosse Breaks into Nation’s Top 10

Whitman baseball stays undefeated; plus games to watch this week

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Bullis lacrosse player Steven Shollenberger scored two goals Friday and his team was ranked No. 9 in the latest national high school lacrosse rankings

Via Glynis Kazanjian

An 8-7, overtime win over No. 4 McDonogh has lifted the Bullis School boys lacrosse team to No. 9 in the most recent Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse Top 25 High School Power Rankings, released Wednesday. The Bulldogs, who began the season ranked No. 19, followed up the impressive March 23 win with a 16-10 victory over another Baltimore power, No. 12 Boys’ Latin on Friday at the PNC Lacrosse Invitational hosted by Loyola University.

Led by Alex Trippi, who tallied five goals against Boys’ Latin, six different players scored for Bullis (8-2) against the Lakers. Other scorers were Nicky Petkevich (three goals), Steven Shollenberger (two), Max Menkes (two), John Markovs (one) and Chris Hsu (one).

The Bulldogs’ midfield and defense accounted for nearly 40 percent of the team’s scoring Friday, which coach Jeff Bellistri said should be a major help to the offense moving forward.

“Our attack is the main focus for teams when we play them,” Bellistri said. “[For our midfield and defense] to score six of our goals is a great boost. It takes pressure off the attack and will create space for them. And when [they] operate with space, [they’re] very dangerous.”

The Bulldogs’ ultimate goal, Bellistri said, is to win the Interstate Athletic Conference. But that means getting through national powers Landon and Georgetown Prep—Bullis is currently ranked higher than both in the UA/IL power rankings. Bullis begins league play Friday against Episcopal.

“People can say that Bullis is talented… but the bottom line is, when league play starts, how do we perform?” Bellistri said. “We’ve had talented players before but it seems this year all the pieces are falling into place. We’ve got great leadership, a great group of seniors who have been together for a few years and knows what it means and what it takes to be good.”

Whitman baseball remains unbeaten

Whitman pitcher Sean Cook struck out eight batters in a Saturday win against Bethesda rival Walter Johnson. Via Whitman Baseball

The Walt Whitman High School baseball team improved to 4-0 with wins over Montgomery 4A East Division foes Montgomery Blair (2-1), the team that ended the Vikings’ season a year ago, and Walter Johnson (6-1) on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Both Whitman pitchers recorded complete game victories over the weekend. Senior hurler Max Palermo struck out four batters against Blair and Sean Cook allowed only three hits and struck out eight in the win over Walter Johnson.

Vikings coach Joe Cassidy said both pitchers got stronger as the games progressed—all four of Palermo’s strikeouts came in the final two innings—an unusual trend he was quite pleased with. 

Two relatively unknowns entering the season, junior designated hitter/outfielder Noah Clement (.500 batting average) and senior first baseman Noah Abramowitz (.455), have anchored the heart of Whitman’s batting order. But Cassidy said production from his seventh, eighth and ninth batters have been vital to the Vikings’ success early in 2016.

Whitman will play Walter Johnson again Thursday, followed by division rival Bethesda-Chevy Chase Saturday.

“It doesn’t matter what their records are, these are two rival schools,” Cassidy said. “But if we can come out on top, that’s six games. We would have a good three-game lead in our division. If we drop them, everyone is right back to the middle of the pack.”

Walter Johnson baseball off to strong start

In five games, the Walter Johnson baseball team (4-1) has already almost reached its win total from a year ago. Saturday’s loss to Montgomery 4A East Division rival Whitman was its first of the season after wins over crosstown rival Wootton (2-1), Wilson (D.C., 7-6) and Bethesda-Chevy Chase (2-1). The Wildcats had not beaten the Barons in recent history, coach Steve Sutherland said.

Depth and consistency on the mound, led by Leo Bucello (pictured left), Noah Meyers and Riley Kemp, has been integral for Walter Johnson, Sutherland added. Take away a five-run fourth inning in Saturday’s loss to Whitman and the Wildcats have held county opponents to two runs or less per game.

Walter Johnson is still waiting for its bats to fully come around but timely hits from several players, including Kemp, Per Carlin, Meyers and Andrew Horick, helped propel the Wildcats to a 2-1 win over the weekend; Bucello tallied eight hits in the Wildcats’ first three games.

“The past few years the kids went into that [Whitman] game thinking they were going to be overmatched, but I don’t think they carried themselves in that way this year,” Sutherland said. “Going forward, I think they have confidence they can beat the teams they don’t normally beat.”

Athleticism carrying Holy Cross to early success

The Academy of the Holy Cross lacrosse team typically struggles in its first games against Washington Catholic Athletic Conference powers Bishop Ireton and Our Lady of Good Counsel, only to challenge the two later in the season. Just before spring break, however, the Tartans (4-1 against D.C. area competition) made a statement in a close, one-goal loss to Ireton.

“We were tied at halftime,” Holy Cross coach Kristen Coleman said. “They’re a great team, very well coached. We had a good run ourselves and almost had it but came up short. But that was kind of a big deal for us, it shows us we can compete and hang with the top-caliber teams.”

Senior and Boston College recruit Kate Taylor leads the Tartans with 27 goals and first-year starting junior Grace McCreary has netted 25 goals. Sophomore Mary Muldoon (Penn State recruit) has been dominant in the midfield, Coleman said.

Strong bats propel Wootton softball

Sophia Hu (.714 batting average) and Bryn Fanger (.625) lead a Wootton softball lineup that is batting .393 as a team through two games. After dropping a one-run decision to defending Class 4A West Region finalist Col. Zadok Magruder in its first game of the season, the Patriots headed into the spring break hiatus with an 8-1 win over crosstown rival Winston Churchill.

Pitching against the Bulldogs was much stronger and more indicative of the consistency longtime Wootton coach Al Lightsey said he expects in the circle this season. Sophomore Meredith White pitched a complete game against Churchill, with five strikeouts. 

Churchill, Whitman boys lacrosse win at Scoop Kelly Memorial Tournament

The Winston Churchill boys lacrosse team picked up two wins—10-5 over Baltimore’s Franklin High and 13-6 against Bel Air (Harford County)—at the Second Annual Scoop Kelly Memorial Tournament hosted by Bel Air on Saturday.

Eight players scored for the Bulldogs over the weekend. Reed Moshyedi led the way with eight goals and three assists. Chris Higgins scored six goals, three in each game, and Brady Altobello added four goals and four assists. Other scorers included Blake Weltmann (two goals), Ethan Gibson (one), Ryan Sorkin (one), Christian Edwards (one) and Ryan Leonard (one). Moshyedi has scored a team-high 13 goals through three games; Higgins has tallied eight and Altobello six.

Whitman went 1-1 in Bel Air, falling 4-3 to Franklin after a 7-5 victory over Dorchester County’s Cambridge-South Dorchester. Coach Tommy Rothert said he couldn’t ask for more from his backline, which is led by goalie Jackson Parker and defenders Danny Fraser and Chris Greenberg.

The Vikings offense, Rothert said, is still gelling as a unit. Sergei Galego led the team with four goals Saturday. Jack Bickford and Doug Bruchalski scored twice and Alex Hilsenrath and Owen Roegge scored a goal apiece.

Georgetown Prep track and field shines at Potomac Invitational

The Little Hoyas finished second at the Potomac Invitational held Saturday at Potomac School in McLean. Max Edwards won the 100-meter dash and teammates Justin Friday (tied for second), Theo Chambers, Justin Wells and Nick Jackson finished second through sixth.

Wells, Zack Richards, Odera Nweke and Chambers joined forces to edge St. Stephens/St. Agnes for first in the 400-meter relay by 0.62 seconds.

Georgetown Prep’s time in the relay (44.82 seconds) ranks second to Northwest in Montgomery County. Edwards (fourth), Chambers (seventh) and Wells (ninth) all rank in the county’s top 10 for the 100-meter dash.

Miles Oliver finished second in the 800-meter run and third in the 400-meter dash Saturday and is now ranked eighth among county competition in the 400-meter dash. 

Games to watch this week

Baseball

Whitman at Walter Johnson, 3:45 p.m. Thursday: These rivals played Saturday and, save for a five-run fourth inning for Whitman, this was a one-run game.

Softball

Whitman at B-CC, 3:45 p.m. Tuesday: B-CC is a completely different team this spring and after a win over Walter Johnson, this contest will be an excellent gauge of the team’s abilities.

Boys lacrosse

Walter Johnson at Wootton, 2:30 p.m. Saturday: This game should be a microcosm of the parity in the Montgomery Central Division.

Sherwood at Whitman, 7:15 p.m. Monday: This will be an interesting out-of-division matchup between two perennial county powers.

Gilman School at Georgetown Prep, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday: Prep is looking to bounce back from consecutive losses.

Girls lacrosse  

Whitman at St. Andrew’s, 7 p.m Thursday: An intriguing matchup between one of Montgomery County’s best and a Lions squad coming off an historic win over Bullis.

Wootton at Walter Johnson, 7:15 p.m. Friday: Every division game is playoff caliber and this will be a good early test for both teams.

Georgetown Visitation at Stone Ridge, 4:15 p.m. Thursday: This a big-time ISL matchup as Gators take on nation’s No. 25 team per Nike/Lacrosse Magazine rankings. 

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