Resilient Raptors


Pius Kitengie

The Montgomery College women’s basketball team played their 19th game of the season on Wednesday evening (February 8, 2023) against Howard Community College. Having lost their previous game, the Raptors would bounce back winning a nail-bitter of a game, 78-75.

At the end of the second quarter the Raptors found themselves ahead by 3 points However, Howard’s hot shootinghad them at 63% from the field and still in striking distance. I asked Montgomery College Raptors head coach Tarlouh Gasque how she would address the issue in the second half and the strategy moving forward and she simply said “Play defense!”

That message was well received from the players. Although they were out rebounded 30 to 48, the Raptors had; 7 more assists (23-15); showing active hands with 12 more steals (21-9); the most significant stat of all was causing Howard to turnover the ball 31 times. The turnover stat often says a lot about team defense. Double teaming, pressuring the ball handler from deep in their own half and active hands in the face are all traits of a great team “playing defense”.

Sean Kobrin a MCTV commentator described Coach Tarlouh’s team as “One of her best teams in yearsIt would be difficult to counter that statement and here’s why: The Raptors have an overall record of 16 wins and 5 loses; they’re 8-0 in the conference and have never looked better.

A testament to the potential that this team has is felt through coach Tarlouh. At the start of the third quarter her bench had put up more points than her starters. I asked how she would address it moving forward and she explained “Every single one of my players can start.” From those final two quarters it was evident to see that coach Tarlouh was absolutely correct in her assessment of her team. The starters would finish with 47 points and her bench outscoring Howard’s bench 37-0.

The raptors played their next home game on February 18th against CCBC Essex in the PE gym at the Rockville campus.