As the hardwood squeaks, the season goes by quickly. Quince Orchard boys’ basketball knows how quickly a season can change. The first stretch of their season was strong through the holidays with a five-win one-loss start and a five-game winning streak. Since then, the boys hit a bumpy road in their schedule and have lost seven of their last nine games.
After wrapping up the holiday tournament with a blowout win over Owings Mills, things looked promising for the young Quince Orchard squad. They were playing well as a team and playing a terrific transition game with strong defense. But then QO hit the toughest stretch of their schedule. The next six games they played were mostly divisional games among some very talented teams. During this stretch, the boys went on a six-game losing streak.
First QO took on a tough Richard Montgomery squad at home and played a solid game but struggled offensively, shooting only 28 percent from the field and only scoring 42 points for the game. “We just have to move on and look ahead and keep getting better,” Captain Alex Parisotto, a junior, said after the loss. The following Tuesday, QO was soundly defeated by a Blair team; overall it was a rough game and the Cougars couldn’t keep up with the Blazers.
The Cougars knew they had to focus after these two losses, especially since their next game was against their toughest opponent yet. QO was tasked with the ultimate challenge to travel to Clarksburg High School and play on the road against one of the top teams in all of Montgomery County.
The Cougars came into Clarksburg wanting to prove to everyone that they could compete. Quince Orchard played a terrific game featuring standout performances from Alex Parisotto and Cisco Brea, but the Cougars fell short, 69 to 66, after having a three-point lead with two minutes left in the game.
Despite this loss, QO had a lot of positive takeaways. “Having a tough opponent game after game can be frustrating for us at times, but overall it makes us stronger as a team,” said forward Sam Dacy, a junior.
QO then suffered losses to very talented teams: Gaithersburg twice, Northwest twice and Richard Montgomery once again.
As the playoffs near, it is important to remember that this QO team is not like other teams. Extraordinarily young, the team features many first-year varsity players and two underclassmen; there are no seniors. This lack of experience may explain why the team has struggled in the fourth quarter of crucial games. They have been plagued by turnovers and poor free-throw shooting late in the games recently, which have led to multiple teams’ comebacks.
Quince Orchard led by as many as 16 in the second half against Northwest before losing the game in overtime.
Even though the team has struggled and lacks size, Coach Paul Foringer believes they can rebound. Team members are committed to hustling. “It’s hard for us to compete physically at times because we lack size,” said Dacy. “We need to rely on our hustle and being more aggressive throughout the game to help us compete.”
Captain Parisotto was very clear in his thoughts on how the team will rebound from this stretch. “After a great start to the year, we became too overconfident and started to make poor decisions and be more selfish with the ball. We need to go back to playing as one team and not try to do things ourselves and love the ball.”