A split decision at Rockville following boys victory and girls defeat in basketball


Andy Kostka

It was a split decision from Jim Conner Coliseum at Rockville High School for the cross-town rivalry game between the Rockets and the Rams. Richard Montgomery boys varsity basketball had a dominant victory over the Rams, 66-48, but girls varsity basketball dropped a tough game, 44-36.

The boys have won their third straight game, and the momentum is building into the break. With senior Julian Watson out for the second-straight game, senior Julian Stover again stepped up and was lead scorer for the Rockets with 18 points.

“I just want to thank my teammates for putting me in the right positions to succeed, and I want to show this county what I can do,” Stover said. “We’ve been working hard at practice and I feel that this is the beginning.”

The Rockets are now 4-2 on the season, and the feeling of momentum began after their victory over Washington Post preseason ranked top-20 school St. Andrew’s Episcopal.

“Our confidence really came from St. Andrew’s,” Stover said. “We feel like we got punched in the mouth by the Washington Post not being included or anything. So we just wanted to show why we should be included and why we should be a top-20 team in the Post, and this is a statement from here on.”

Photo by Tide photographer Kevin Pan
Photo by Tide photographer Kevin Pan

After the 57-48 victory over St. Andrew’s, the Rockets followed with a 63-59 win over Northwest, and now the victory over Rockville is a sweet way to begin the season for the Rockets boys basketball team. “You can feel it as soon as you walk into the building, the tension is there, the fans are there and they’re all in your ear,” Stover said, “It’s a lot of pressure but if you have the right mindset you can handle it, and that’s what we did.”

RM never allowed the Rams within ten points after the 10-0 run to begin the game. Junior Zaire Mitchell not only quieted the last of the Rockville support, but rose all of the travelling RM fans to their feet in the fourth quarter with a put-back dunk after Daniel Alexander’s layup came hard off the glass.

Photo by Tide photographer Kevin Pan
Photo by Tide photographer Kevin Pan

The Rockets will take part in the Brad Pinchback Basketball Holiday Invitational Tournament over the winter break. The boys will play Covenant Life School first, and with another victory, would go on to play the winner between Einstein and Sherwood.

“We just had three good wins and we want to keep building off of what we’re doing, but we have a lot to work on still, we didn’t play perfect games,” senior Seth Nosanchuk said. “We still need to cut down turnovers and play faster.

“We only have one day off – Christmas – and every other day we’re going to be in working, trying to get faster, more disciplined, and be ready for Covenant Life, who’s a good team. Hopefully we’ll take this tournament for the second year in a row,” Nosanchuk said.

After a strong win over Northwest, the girls varsity basketball team were plagued with turnovers during their defeat to Rockville, 44-36. “We’re never as good as our best win, and you’re never as bad as your worst loss,” Coach Oakes said.

Photo by Tide photographer Kevin Pan


Emotions ran high during the defeat, as can be expected during a game against Rockville. “You understand that records go out the window when you play each other, regardless of what sport it is,” Coach Oakes said. “It really comes down to the emotion of the game and who can best manage the emotion, and remain aggressive and fired up about it, but also composed when you need to be.”

Sophomore Melanie Osborne led the team in scoring with 13 points, and senior Linda Qiu had a big night off the bench, scoring 12. “It’s a big asset to me as a coach to know that if things aren’t going right in the beginning of the game, that I certainly have an outstanding player that we can go to,” Coach Oakes said.

Photo by Tide photographer Kevin Pan

The girls will have another shot at Rockville on February 3, when the Rams come to RM. Along with all of the goals ahead of the team, a chance to even the series against Rockville will be a key focus, especially for RM’s seniors.

Despite the loss, and now a 3-3 record, the girls look to turn around their performance and still have time during the long 22 game season.