Gaithersburg endures a rut after 53-game win streak ends

Host B.J. Koubaroulis runs through the top plays from high school basketball games in D.C. Maryland and Virginia. (Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

The Gaithersburg girls’ basketball program had its most humbling three-day stretch in four seasons last week. Riding a 53-game winning streak, the Trojans were shocked by Poolesville, 32-30, followed by a seven-point loss to Churchill. At 2-2, the slate doesn’t get any easier this week for the defending 4A champs, who will meet undefeated Wootton (4-0) Monday, travel to undefeated Walter Johnson (4-0) and Wednesday and close the week with a quality test against Kendra Meredith and Northwest (3-1) Friday.

“It’s been pretty rough,” junior forward Janessa Fauntroy said. “Any time anyone was talking about the team, everyone wanted to bring up the streak. . . . we need to make our own streak. We will be known for what we did, instead of what [previous teams] did for us.”

In its two losses, Gaithersburg committed 30 and 31 turnovers respectively, and Coach Adrian McDaniel believes that is a product of inexperienced point guard play. The Trojans are playing without senior point guard Deja Rollins, who injured her knee in the preseason and isn’t expected to be back until later this week. McDaniel said that his team also missed 10 layups and 10 free throws in the loss to Churchill.

“We have some girls who played on the team last year, but really don’t have the basketball experience. But with Deja back. . . . I think we’ll be all right from here on out,” McDaniel said. “She has that experience, and she knows what it takes.”

Fauntroy has scored in double figures in each game this season and leads the team in scoring (13.5), while Danielle Rojas is posting 10.8 points per game, but those are the only two players who have contributed consistent scoring production. Only four players scored against Poolesville.

Tre Campbell's 26 points helped St. John’s outlast Roddy Peters and Suitland in one of Peters' final high school games. (James Sherrill for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC/ The Washington Post/The Washington Post)

McDaniel, now in his sixth season at the helm, said some of his graduated players, including East Carolina guard Colleen Marshall, sent text messages and e-mails out to his young team last week, encouraging them and pointing out that the pressure is now off.

“Even though we lost the Churchill and the Poolesville game, we still all realize that we still are the defending champ,” Fauntroy said. “We still have something to defend, in the end.”

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Sophomore point guard Amari Carter scored nine straight points down the stretch to lead the Cadets to victory. (Abigail Fazio for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post/The Washington Post)

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

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