Damascus girls’ basketball nets key win over Poolesville in Montgomery County 3A/2A

January 6

With seven seniors on the girls’ basketball roster, Damascus Coach Steve Pisarski doesn’t bother with the particulars of his team’s shoes. He lets his players wear whatever makes them comfortable.

Pisarski feels his eighth-ranked team is cohesive regardless of the brand on their feet. It showed in Monday’s 56-34 win at Poolesville.

“I don’t believe in wearing the same shoes,” Pisarski said. “Shoes are pretty personal to me, and I’m not big on forcing a kid into a shoe. What’s comfortable on you isn’t comfortable to me.”

Known for his disciplined coaching style, Pisarski is often open to suggestions from the senior-laden Swarmin’ Hornets.

Lauren Green (15 points) donned silver Nike Lebron Xs, and Jenna Kauffman (16 points) wore green Nike Hyperquicks.

“He’s disciplined, but in some ways we have freedom to do stuff,” Kauffman said.

“He listens to us just like we listen to him,” Green added.

With less than 48 hours to prepare for the Falcons after Saturday’s memorable win over then-No. 3 Paint Branch, the Swarmin’ Hornets (9-2, 3-0) had to bring their intensity again in a critical Montgomery County 3A/2A matchup.

Damascus arrived together at Poolesville (8-1, 3-1) at 5 p.m., just 15 minutes before the scheduled tip time, and didn’t get the normal amount of allotted warmup time. None of that mattered, though, as they opened the game on 9-0 run that ballooned to a 32-13 halftime lead.

Green scored 13 of her 15 points in the first half, including back-to-back threes late in the second quarter.

Kauffman took over the scoring duties in the second half, when she exploded for 12 of her game-high 16 points.

“They’re four-year varsity players, they’re both captains and both will be playing college ball next year,” Pisarski said. “They come every night ready to play.”

Senior Kelli Prange , a George Washington commit, was under the weather and played about 16 minutes. She posted 13 points and blocked three shots.

Whitney Carmack, Poolesville’s leading scorer at 17.8 points per game, finished with a team-high nine points.

Although they wear different shoes on the court, the Swarmin’ Hornets show their unity by donning matching headbands. Monday’s choice was purple, a switch from previous choices of white, yellow and green.

They’ve also become a close family during three runs to the Maryland 3A region final.

“We like to be a team — we’ve gone on two trips together and stayed in a hotel,” Pisarski said. “But I think on a certain level you have to give kids leeway to be their own person.”

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