Courtesy of WCHS Athletics.
Down by one against rival division champs Blake High School, the ball is inbounded by senior Ryan Flax. The crowd is cheering, and Flax inbounds the ball. After a shot by the Bulldogs falls short, senior Jake Berlin rises, grabbing the offensive rebound and scoring the game winning putback. The WCHS bench erupts as BHS calls timeout. This last second comeback win is a statement win, that typifies the never die attitude the team has played by this season.
“Since the beginning of the season, I would say we came in with a chip on our shoulders,” senior Jomo Goings said. “We wanted to make it known that we can compete with any team and be named one of the top teams in the area.”
The boys varsity basketball team has exploded onto the Montgomery County high school basketball scene this season. Even with the loss of several key seniors and starters last season, the team has managed to put together an impressive season so far. Currently leading their division at 14-6, the Bulldogs have been winning games and are currently ranked 17th in the Maryland Class 4A rankings.
The team has had several impressive wins such as their win over BHS but several that standout come against Moco rivals Whitman and Wootton. The Bulldogs have dominated Wootton in both their matchups, with one win being a 20 point blowout, and the other a tough comeback win. The Bulldogs split their season series with Whitman but still grinded out an impressive overtime win over the Vikings.
“The best moment in the season was the Wootton away game. We were trailing by more than 10 points and found a way to come back,” Goings said. “At the start of the 4th quarter, we huddled up to let each other know that we have each others’ backs and we believe in each other.”
The team’s success is due to a mix of amazing upperclassmen play and several key underclassmen. Goings has been a force to reckon with on the court this season, averaging around 25 points. Goings’ standout season has been recognized through an MVP award, All-County, and All-Met. Goings is not the only player excelling, seniors Ryan Flax and Ethan Ridner have been steady presences on the court as well. Underclassmen like Kaden Richardson and Bryce Wilson have also stepped into large roles on the team. These players have filled the gaps that the seniors from last season left.
“The team has improved tremendously from last year,” Goings said. “I feel like we are more connected this year. Our team chemistry from last year took a huge climb.”
Off the court, the team has bonded through team dinners and other events. The team has also come together as a unit through the many practices and games they play.
“Overall our team is super tight and comfortable together, and we’ve seen dramatic progress from the beginning of the year,” junior Andy Jiang said.
The team started out slow but have heated up and are winning games left and right. They have big plans for the postseason and hope that the momentum from the season carries over. Many on the team think that a deep playoff run and perhaps even a state title are in sight.
“The team goals headed into the playoffs is to focus on the task at hand,” Goings said. “We have already accomplished one goal which made us division champs. Now we are trying to make it far enough to go to Xfinity Center.”