The last four games for the Lady Cougars resulted in two wins and two losses, leaving the Quince Orchard girls’ basketball team at a record of 8-9 heading into the last two weeks of the regular season. With just four games remaining before the playoffs, the Cougars have made great strides and hope this momentum can carry them to the postseason.
The most recent game at Gaithersburg High School on Jan. 27 ended in a loss for QO, but it was a true testament to their character and spirit. The Cougars went down early in the first half but battled back against a talented Trojan team to push the deficit to single digits. QO lost that game by seven points, but senior Alexa Sanmartin and junior Yekta Kamali put in impressive performances. Just two days earlier, QO lost in a similar fashion to another skilled Damascus High School team. Again, Sanmartin and Kamali led the way with 13 points each, but the Cougars fell to the Hornets 45-34.
On Jan. 23, the Cougars came up with a huge win over the Watkins Mill Wolverines, ending with a 68-28 victory. Kamali had an impressive offensive game scoring 21 points, and sophomore Destini Kelley added 11, while seven other QO players scored. Their team defense was stellar, holding the Wolverines to under 10 field goals made. The Lady Cougars notched another huge win at Seneca Valley on Jan. 19. QO came out with a 57-32 win as Sanmartin was the high scorer with 15 points.
Sanmartin has seen a much-needed improvement to the team’s energy over the last four games. She believes they have “definitely been progressing both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.” The scoring has thus far been pretty evenly spaced out. Sanmartin leads the team at 13.4 points a game, followed closely by Kamali at 9.4 and Giulia Sanmartin at 8.4. Five players average close to five points, giving them a balanced lift off the bench. Another highlight is that four players average over 70 percent from the free throw line, including seniors Amanda Bishop and Maggie Regan at 81 percent, which can be crucial down the stretch in close games.
The remaining four games feature rematches against rival Northwest High School and a tough Poolesville High School team. Bishop is looking forward to these games. She believes her team has reached new heights in the past couple of weeks and is “ready to take on these challenging opponents and just continue to improve to achieve our goals.”