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Emily Russo and Sam Heisig, rising seniors at Glenelg High School, helped the Maryland Grizzlies U-16 AAU girls basketball team win their bracket at the recent U-17 United States Junior Nationals in Washington, D.C.
The Grizzlies defeated the Rochester (N.Y.) Revolution, 52-46, for the Silver Division championship. The Grizzlies were 4-1 in pool play before sweeping the division.
The team has had strong finishes at four elite Division I college showcase tournaments this year.
In addition to winning their bracket at the Junior Nationals, the Grizzlies took second place at the Boo Williams Invitational in Virginia, third at the USA Invitational in York, Penn. and finished in the top 10 at the Battle of the Boro in Tennessee. They went 23-4 in those four tournaments.
Russo has been on the team, with the same coaches, for seven years. Heisig has been on the team for five years. Other players on the team from Howard and Carroll counties include Sydney Tommins (Notre Dame Prep), Makeba Ndifang (South Carroll) and Mackenzie Patton (Century).
The Junior National tournament was the teams last tournament together.
Eight girls from Howard County helped the Olney Cougars 14-U Black team place fifth out of 45 teams at the USSSA Fastpitch World Series in Salisbury. Danielle Delbow, Amanda Petersen and Emily Purnell (all from Atholton High School), Sophia Sommerkamp (Reservoir), Sara Mascone (River Hill), Gabriella Mistichelli (Glenelg) and Katie Tiongson (Good Counsel) were integral parts of the Cougars team that finished 7-2 in the tournament. The Cougars lost their final game, 2-1.
Members of the team: Gabriella Mistichelli, Sara Mascone, Ashley Lakey, McKenzie Bina, Marissa Mancini, Emily Purnell, Danielle Delbow, Sophia Sommerkamp, Monica Lamm, Katie Tiongson, Amanda Petersen, Katelyn Dean and Kelly Bouma.
Track and field
Team Accelerate Maryland
This year's Junior Olympic Nationals were held at Morgan State University. Team Accelerate Maryland, led by Nicolas Eggleston, had a strong showing.
Eggleston won a gold in the 400 meters (55.56), silver in the 200 (24.68) and with teammates Barry Curtis, Brandon Houston and Tyler Levons, a bronze in the 4x400 relay (4:03.14).
The team's intermediate girls 4x100 relay (Lakin Hatcher, Jasmine Robinson, Kyla Lewis and Lauryn Pepall) finished seventh overall with a time of 47.68.
Howard countian Blake James is a member of the 13-U Arena Starz team that just got back from the Triple Crown National tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Starz finished as runners-up in the 64-team tournament. James, a rising freshman at Atholton High School, pitched a complete game against the Dirtbags, of North Carolina, in the semifinals