By Will Birks @will_birks
GAITHERSBURG — On Monday the visiting Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets girls varsity basketball team took on the Gaithersburg Trojans and after a back-and-forth battle, came out on top with the final score 60-55.
For most of the game, the teams were neck and neck, with Gaithersburg jumping out to an early lead. Led by junior guard Jada Thornton, the Trojans managed to run their offense and make easy shots from within the paint. Gaithersburg also received help from another junior guard Theresa Kumazah who was able to maneuver her way through the tall Damascus defenders to score points.
However, Damascus fought back, thanks in part to three-pointers from senior guard Makenzie Crigger. Switching to a zone defense just before the half did not seem to help in stopping the Damascus offense who just continued to get point after point thanks to senior forward Taylor Jensen getting transition baskets by finishing her layups while the Trojans sprinted after her down the floor.
Finally, in the third quarter, after some halftime adjustments the Hornets defense began to step up and make plays allowing them to build up a nice lead, Bit by bit, with the added factors of forward Julia Tomlinson making shots at the free-throw line, getting steals on defense, slowly left the Trojans in the dust.
“We dug down and realized that we are better than the way we were playing…we were able to double their best player which frazzled her…when the ball is out of her hand you’re just in a better position to win,” said Damascus head coach Scott Marko.
Still, the Trojans wouldn’t give up the lead that easily as they managed to even the score once again, led by Thornton and making huge baskets, but the Trojans run did not last long as the Hornets regained the lead and stayed ahead for the rest of the game.
After the game, Marko said, “We need to work on finishing with our left hand and build our confidence” going into the rest of the season.
With the win the Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets improve to an even 2-2 on their season and look to Urbana in their next game on Thursday. The Gaithersburg Trojans drop to 3-2 on the season and will play the Blair Blazers at home on Sunday.