By Brandy L. Simms @bls1969
Adrian “Hot Dog” McDaniel is looking to add some more hardware to the trophy case at Gaithersburg High School.
The Trojans’ longtime girls varsity basketball coach has already won two state championships and is eyeing a third state crown this season.
Although Jordan Odom has graduated and moved on to greener pastures at Montgomery College-Rockville, the cupboard is hardly bare.
Kim Dixon, Jada Thornton, Theresa Kumazah and Morgan Brodgen will form the nucleus of the Gaithersburg squad during the 2018-19 campaign.
“This year is going to be an interesting team because I don’t really have any height this year,” said McDaniel, “but we got quickness, we got smarts and we got hustle.”
Poolesville captured a state championship last season but lost Erin Green and Kelliann Lee to graduation. The dynamic duo combined for nearly 30 points per game last season and were named The Sentinel’s Co-Player of the Year.
Trinity Klock, a third team All-Sentinel performer, is expected to make Clarksburg a solid contender. McDaniel said Klock should be among the county’s leading scorers.
“We know Gaithersburg, Clarksburg and QO will be the top three in this area,” said McDaniel. “In the down-county though Whitman always does a good job. B-CC always does a great job so it’s going to be an interesting season.”
Gaithersburg once again has their eyes on the ultimate prize with aspirations for a division, region and state championship in mind.
“These girls work hard,” said McDaniel. “They were committed since the second week of school. We’ve been in the weight room. We’ve been running. We’ve been conditioning and these girls have fun doing what we do and it’s going to be a great season.”
On the private school front, Good Counsel’s longtime head coach Tom Splaine announced his retirement in March so Milton Kimbrough takes over the reign at the Olney private school.
Kimbrough, an Ohio native, aspires to bring the Good Counsel program back to prominence. Good Counsel’s top player, Chloe Chapman, suffered a hip injury and is likely out for the season.
Chapman, a Georgia signee, was expected to provide some leadership on a relatively young team. Chapman was a first team All-Sentinel performer last season.
Rayne Tucker, a James Madison signee who earned third team All-Sentinel honors last season, has transferred to Riverdale Baptist.
Zahra Barnes, a senior, and junior Jessica Tomasetti should carry the load for the Lady Falcons but freshmen Kadidia Toure, Angie Harris and Jada Nadal could provide significant contributions as well.
“In the future we’ll probably be a force to be reckoned with because we have a lot of young talent,” said Kimbrough, who founded the Germantown Lady Panthers AAU program.
Kimbrough’s counterpart at Washington Catholic Athletic Conference rival Holy Cross inherits a solid contender with the arrival of former Magruder standout Laila Grant, a first-team All-Sentinel performer last season and Bria Fuller, who earned third-team All-Sentinel honors during her junior campaign.
“Our school is an academic-focused environment,” said Holy Cross first-year head coach Walter Gray, “so we do focus on academics first is the priority, basketball will then come second.”