ROCKVILLE – Quince Orchard let one slip away.
The Cougars held a five-point fourth-quarter lead over Richard Montgomery Friday night, but the Rockets rallied late in the period for a 44-42 home victory over Quince Orchard.
“We have some tough teams,” said Richard Montgomery senior Djordje Orcev. “They all compete, and we can’t overlook any of them.”
Richard Montgomery head coach David Breslaw admitted afterward that his team spent a week preparing for Quince Orchard.
“We were on it,” said Breslaw. “We knew everything they were going to do. They did everything we thought they were going to do, and then they still did it to us.”
Richard Montgomery remained unbeaten (12-0) with the win, and Quince Orchard fell to 6-6.
“Right now we can’t beat a team like Richard Montgomery because we’re not experienced enough in these kinds of situations,” said Quince Orchard head coach Paul Foringer.
The Rockets were led by Miles Gally, who finished with a team-high 15 points, and by Orcev, who contributed nine points.
“It’s huge for us,” said Orcev. “We haven’t beat[en] Quince Orchard in any major sport in the last three years.”
The win was also significant for the Richard Montgomery head coach, who earned his first career victory against the Cougars.
Quince Orchard nearly pulled off an upset against the Rockets and put up a fight until the very end.
“Best-coached team in the county,” explained Breslaw. “That’s what they do. [This is] my first regular season win against them. I’ve only played them three times. This is my third, so I’m one for three, and we knew that was coming. There’s a chance that we might have to see them in the playoffs, too.”
Richard Montgomery held a four-point lead at the end of the first quarter and built a 22-15 advantage at intermission.
At 6-foot-9, Gally has the ability to cause problems for opposing defenders, and Orcev, who stands 6-foot-6, can also be a matchup problem as well.
“We have the size advantage on a lot of teams,” said Orcev.
“It was an interesting game as far as hand checks and how physical it was, and the refs let us play and that’s fine,” said Breslaw. “We have to adjust and learn how to deal with that physicalness.”
Meanwhile, Quince Orchard sophomore Alex Parisotto led the Cougars with 16 points, and senior Cameron Garrett added 11 points.
Garrett’s 3-pointer with 7:43 remaining in the third quarter cut the Richard Montgomery deficit to 22-18 early in the period.
Ryan Cornish’s 3-pointer with 6:23 left in the quarter gave the Rockets a 27-18 advantage, but Quince Orchard rallied behind the heroics of Garrett and Wexler.
Although Foringer criticized his team during his postgame comments, he also praised Garrett, Wexler and Noah Adnan for their performance against Richard Montgomery.
“Every time we play we have to beat QO and the other team so every team is tough,” Foringer said when asked about his remaining schedule. “When we get out of our own way, we’ll be good.”