The Washington Post

Girls’ basketball: Gaithersburg beats Wise for second straight Maryland 4A title

Shortly after Colleen Marshall’s sophomore basketball season at Gaithersburg ended with a loss in the 2010 Maryland 4A final, the guard found her Amateur Athletic Union teammate Jackie Jackson in UMBC’s RAC Arena.

Jackson, who had played her first two high school seasons at Holy Cross, had watched both of the team’s state tournament games from the bleachers, and now Marshall reminded Jackson that if she joined her neighborhood school, they’d make sure their next trip to the tournament ended differently.

Two years later, the promise looks more prophetic than ever. The third-ranked Trojans haven’t lost since Jackson joined the squad, completing one of the state’s most dominant runs in recent memory. Behind Jackson’s career-high 28 points and 15 rebounds, Gaithersburg pushed its winning streak to 52 on Saturday, taking its second straight state title with a 60-43 victory over No. 6 Wise.

“I told her that we needed her,” Marshall said after closing her career with a second title celebration. “Before we were kind of a one-dimensional team with guards, and now we have post [players] that can dominate.”

In a rematch of last season’s final, Jackson — a Temple-bound senior forward — led an effort on the glass that Wise Coach Walter Clark called “overwhelming.”

Wise (25-2) jumped out to a 20-14 lead in the second quarter but faded quickly under a flurry of second-chance baskets. Gaithersburg — which has won all 52 games by at least eight points — responded with a 9-0 run and never trailed again.

The Trojans (27-0) outrebounded Wise, 49-27, with a 25-6 edge on the offensive boards. Sophomore Janessa Fauntroy added to that rugged effort with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

“They’re always aggressive,” said senior Eliqua Brooks, who led the Pumas with 16 points. ”We just didn’t match it.”

Gaithersburg became the fourth Montgomery County school to win back-to-back girls’ basketball state titles and second to do it at the state’s largest classification, joining Churchill (2002-2003). For Jackson and Marshall, a four-year starter who will play at East Carolina next season, it was the only acceptable ending.

“It just feels complete,” Marshall said. “I can leave this school and this program happily and feel like I accomplished what I wanted to do.”

Complete state tournament coverage at AllMetSports.com

Playoff brackets

Maryland 4A boys | Maryland 4A girls

Maryland 3A boys | Maryland 3A girls

Maryland 2A boys | Maryland 2A girls

Virginia A Division 2 boys | Virginia A Division 2 girls

Virginia AAA girls

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