Quince Orchard boys’ basketball has gotten off to a hot start this 2019-2020 season. After dropping their first game of the season to Walter Johnson, the team’s play has heated up with five wins, including regular season victories against Whitman and Poolesville, with a double-digit win over Tuscarora. The Cougars suffered losses to Richard Montgomery and Clarksburg in early January and were poised to take on Northwest at press time.
During the holidays on Dec. 27 and 28, the Cougars played in the annual David Griffin Memorial Shootout. This shootout featured schools like Quince Orchard, Urbana, Clarksburg, Watkins Mill, Tuscarora and Owings Mills.
Overall, Quince Orchard dominated competition in the two games they played in the shootout, picking up wins over Urbana and Owings Mills. QO’s first game against Urbana featured standout performances from Cole Allemong, Alex Parisotto and Jeremiah Littlejohn. Parisotto, a junior, has been on varsity since his freshman year and has progressed into an elite guard for QO. “Our goal is to keep getting better every game we play so we can be polished for the playoffs,” Parisotto said after his dominating performance over Urbana where he scored 23 points.
In his first year as a varsity player this season, Littlejohn has quickly become a standout by playing phenomenal defense, forcing multiple turnovers a game and scoring the ball efficiently. Littlejohn promised a dunk against Urbana, and he sure brought thunder to the gym when he stole the ball and slammed it down with authority on the fast break. “I think we have grown a lot these past few games. We are playing well as a team and improving each game we play,” Littlejohn said.
Against Urbana, QO broke out to a quick start with many steals and easy scores, achieving a 22-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Parisotto and Allemong combined for 37 points as they showed how effectively they could score the ball. Quince Orchard was able to press Urbana all game and get many steals for fast break points.
The Cougars cruised through the rest of the game, winning by a final score of 73-49 over Urbana. The next day Quince Orchard played Owings Mills High School. QO came ready to play and was able to jump to an early double-digit lead by the end of the first half. Team Captain Teddy Kelly had his best game of the season so far, scoring 18 points and adding along multiple assists for the Cougars. Kelly had a terrific night shooting from behind the arc where he was two of three (66 percent).
Parisotto once again assumed his leadership role and racked up 23 points to lead the team in scoring. Parisotto is proud of the team’s improvement in the shootout. “We have just been building our chemistry, working together and getting better every day. Overall, I played pretty well, but there is room for me to improve to help my team.”
Quince Orchard displayed a strong transition game all weekend, scoring many points on the fast break and jumping out to early leads. They handled Owings Mills, winning by 26 points.
Coach Paul Foringer was satisfied with the way his team played, but he emphasized the keys for success. “I like the way we played. The only thing is that there are times when we don’t find each other.” Foringer added that when the team plays as “five guys, one unit,” they are hard to beat. Foringer said they executed their game plan versus Urbana better than against
Owings Mills, and noted they would continue to work on “finding the open guy.”
Foringer also noted all of the obstacles this team has overcome, including losing two starting players. This, he said, is why he loves coaching them. The team’s youth is “the shocking part” of their success, he said. “These guys are young; we only have one returning starter from last year. They have been working so hard together. They are so fun to coach.”
— Ben Strober