Girls’ basketball: Sheri Addison’s return bolsters Wootton; Paint Branch’s Kiara Colston reaches milestone

Junior guard Sheri Addison scored 21 points to lift Wootton to a 60-44 win over Rockville last Friday night, and the performance not only marked a five-game winning streak for the Patriots, but also capped a long, difficult month for Addison.

She was sidelined for three games to begin the season with an ankle injury suffered in practice, and she was forced to watch her team drop four of its first six games. Wootton, playing in a newly remodeled Montgomery County 4A West division, lost three of those games by five points or fewer.

With Addison back in the lineup, the Patriots have rarely been in those type of contests, though, as Wootton has barely been tested in the last three weeks. The Patriots (7-4) now sit atop the 4A West standings with a a perfect 4-0 mark, and Addison’s game is blossoming. She’s averaging 18.4 points per game, which is no surprise. Where the most development in her game has come, she said, is in understanding and playing multiple positions on the floor. She’s naturally a shooting guard, but her unique style, and the absence of a true post at Wootton, sometimes forces her to play on the block on both ends of the floor.

“We’re mostly all the same height,” Addison said. “It depends on whatever my coach tells me to do. If she wants me to guard a post, I’ll guard a post. Or if she wants me to be like, a four or five, I’ll do it.”

Wootton’s offense has been bolstered by twins Ellie Kobylski and Cece Kobylski, who are combining for an average of 25 points per game. The sisters have hit 38 three-pointers between them, while Addison has already hit 17 on her own. The Patriots, who are averaging 61 points per game in their last three wins, will meet Gaithersburg (6-4, 3-1) on Friday in their only game this week.

The top plays from the week of basketball in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. (Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

“I’m actually seeing it in our team this year,” Addison said. “I’m really proud of our team right now.”

Panthers’ Colston reaches milestone

Paint Branch guard Kiara Colston got a steal and converted it into a layup in the first four minutes of last week’s game against Springbrook, which prompted Panthers Coach Rochelle Coleman to call a timeout. Colston thought she had done something wrong, but when she reached the huddle, Coleman simply wanted to congratulate her on scoring her 1,000th career point.

“It was a total surprise. I didn’t know,” Colston said. “I was pretty excited to score it, because I honestly didn’t know when I was going to hit it. I had no idea. So it’s pretty great.”

It was a milestone that Colston thought would come sooner or later, considering her scoring production over the last two seasons. Her senior campaign has been no different - she’s averaging nearly 17 points per game and still has a tendency to have outbursts. Colston finished with 30 points in the 79-29 win over Springbrook.

It was the third consecutive win for the ninth-ranked Panthers, who lost Jan. 4 to Damascus and narrowly escaped an upset bid against Kennedy two nights later. Colston finished with 17 points in that game for Paint Branch, which trailed by five at halftime and came up with 30 points in the final two quarters to secure the win.

That two-game set humbled Paint Branch, Colston said, especially the loss to Damascus. She has always grasped the idea of improving her own individual game — she didn’t score a lot as a reserve at Springbrook her freshman season before transferring — and hitting 1,000 points would’ve been impossible had she not refined her game. Paint Branch must do the same to thrive late this season, she said. The Panthers will meet Montgomery County 4A South division leader Whitman (10-2) this week.

“It sure brought us down a little while. It showed that we still have to improve,” Colston said of the loss to Damascus. “And we’re not going to be undefeated anymore, we still have to work to be the best team.”

Roman Stubbs covers the University of Maryland athletics for The Washington Post.
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