Athletes of the week

ATHLETES OF THE WEEK

March 07, 2007

Boys

Josh Asper

Hereford, wrestling

The junior won a battle of Class 2A-1A state champions, 6-2, over Southern of Garrett County's Justin Ratliff at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House on Saturday night to become the Bulls' first three-time state titlist.

The 160-pounder earned his 24th pin of the season in his first of four tournament bouts, and won his next three matches by a combined 18-3 to raise his record to 39-0 this season and 114-7 for his career.

Asper has won 50 consecutive bouts since an 8-7 loss to Hammond's three-time state champ, Vince Taweel, in February 2006.

Asper remained on pace to join Aberdeen's Matt Slutzky (1992) and Owings Mills' Steve Kessler (1997) as Maryland's only four-time state wrestling champions.

Others considered -- Ethan Brown, Old Mill, wrestling; Stuart Clark, New Town, basketball; Byron Westmoreland, Mervo, basketball.

Girls

Julie Taylor

Atholton, basketball

The senior guard led the No. 9 Raiders (23-3) to their second straight Class 2A South region title last week with consistently fine play in three wins. In the team's 74-62 region final victory over Potomac, Taylor scored a game-high 28 points and added five rebounds, two steals and two assists.

She opened the week with 20 points, 10 steals and seven assists in a 64-34 win over Calvert, then had 17 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals in a 64-53 victory over Howard County rival Glenelg.

In her fourth season of varsity play, Taylor surpassed 1990 grad Sherri Orlosky as the program's all-time scoring leader and has 1,436 points going into tomorrow's state semifinal game against Walkersville. Taylor, who is undecided on a college, averages 17.6 points and 5.7 assists this season.

Others considered --Ashley Jones, Old Mill, basketball; Akeema Richards, Western, basketball; Brittany Wiseman, Southern, basketball.

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