Late in the second quarter of yesterday's Independent School League AA Division game at Sidwell Friends, No. 15 Bullis found itself in a tight contest. And then the connection between Bullis junior twins Sofi and Nofi Mojidi suddenly clicked.
Sofi Mojidi twice corralled rebounds and passed to Nofi for easy layups, capping an 8-0 Bullis run for a nine-point halftime lead. Nofi and Sofi Mojidi would go on to score 17 and 19 points, respectively, in the Bulldogs' 79-51 victory over previously unbeaten Sidwell Friends.
"It's like I give her [Sofi] the eye and she knows to throw the pass to me," said Nofi Mojidi, who finished with 10 rebounds. "She knows I'll run the floor and she can get the assist."
The duo has been waiting a year to get that offensive spark going again. Nofi, the older of the twins by five minutes, sat out last season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee. She has spent the past 12 months painstakingly rehabilitating in anticipation of getting back on court again, especially with Sofi.
"Last year was still fun," said Sofi Mojidi, who had four rebounds. "But I can tell with our play that we're going to have a lot more fun this season. [Nofi] has made tremendous strides. She's pretty much near 100 percent. But when she gets there, it's going to be amazing."
With the victory, three-time defending ISL champion Bullis improved to 4-2, with its losses coming against No. 1 McNamara, 61-58, on Dec. 2, and second-ranked St. John's, 61-51, seven days later.
With Nofi returning to the lineup, the Bullis back court has gained speed, which the team exploits with intense defensive pressure. The Bulldogs forced Sidwell Friends (6-1) into 24 turnovers for the game due in large part to a combined seven steals by the Mojidis.
Bullis held Sidwell Friends to three field goals in the third quarter and capped the period with a 17-4 run for a 55-34 lead.
Sidwell senior center Nana Merriwether finished with a game-high 28 points and 10 rebounds.
Habel Rallies Vikings
Jerome Habel had 20 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocked shots and made two free throws with 20 seconds left as Whitman's boys' basketball team rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit and defeated Paint Branch, 54-51, in Bethesda.
Paint Branch (4-1, 3-1) led the matchup between Montgomery County 4A/3A League unbeatens 31-18 at the half, but Whitman (5-0, 2-0) cut the lead with zone defense pressure and Habel's solid play on offense.
"We looked out of sync, there was no flow" in the first half, Whitman second-year coach Orlando Larracuente said. "Jerome dropped really nice jump hooks in there, [and] offensively we played the game down the stretch the way we had discussed during the timeouts."
Junior guard Seth McGee finished with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 5 steals for Whitman.