Meg Sterling entered Monday’s contest against visiting Atholton averaging 23 points per game for River Hill.
But the Hawks have proven that the senior guard isn’t their only scoring option.
Through five games this season, River Hill has had nine or more players find their way into the box score in every contest. Against the Raiders, ten different players scored for the Hawks in a 58-39 victory.
“We have so many girls and we’ve been working so hard in practice to get everybody repetitions,” Sterling said. “Tonight, everyone gave a good effort and we got solid play off the bench.”
Sterling again led her team in scoring with a game-high 12 points but shot just 4 of 23 from the field. So she made sure that her impact was felt in other facets of the game – finishing with seven steals, five rebounds and four assists.
“I don’t want everything to revolve around one player,” Hawks coach Teresa Waters said. “Megan struggled today offensively, so I told her ‘let your defense create your offense,’ and she continued to play on both ends of the court.
“We know that we’re going to have those games and that’s why it’s called team, and not I. Everyone understands that we all have a role.”
Senior Andrea Nichols came off the bench to score nine points; Vicki Rowe added seven points and six rebounds, while Jenna Collins, Julia Collins and Jess Hopkins chipped in six points apiece.
Sophomore Kalere Caldwell had a team-high 11 points, while classmate Chelsea Mitchell had 10 points and grabbed seven boards for the Raiders – who struggled with River Hill’s full-court press.
The Hawks forced 12 first-quarter turnovers and had a 15-7 advantage after eight minutes. A layup by freshman Sydney Poindexter, a drive by Julia Collins and jumper by Sterling stretched the lead to 31-19 at halftime.
Becca Weinberg to open the third quarter with 1 3-pointer, cutting the Raiders’ deficit to nine points but they never got any closer. Sterling drained two 3-pointers to open up a 44-28 lead entering the final quarter.
Atholton has arguably the youngest starting five in the county and at times, the lack of poise showed.
Hannah Keating is the lone senior in a starting lineup for the Raiders that includes sophomores Amanda Petersen, Sage Mayhew (eight rebounds, five assists) and Caldwell. Junior Margaret Tatum rounds out the group.
Coach Julia Reynold believes that tough games like this one will help her young team grow as the season goes on.
“We had a lot of turnovers in the first half and we put ourselves in a hole that we had to claw to get back out of,” Reynold said. “We’ve had some tough matchups and that’s great because it lets us know what we need to work on and where we stand.
“We don’t necessarily have the experience at the varsity level at this point but as long as we keep improving and stick together as a team, I think we have a lot to look forward to.”
River Hill 58, Atholton 39
A (2-3, 2-3): Caldwell 11, Mitchell 10, Taborn 5, Mayhew 5, Weinberg 3, Petersen 2, Hart 2, Powell 1.
RH: (5-0, 5-0): Sterling 12, Nicholas 9, Rowe 7, Je. Collins 6, Ju. Collins 6, Hopkins 6, Masker 4, Clark 4, Poindexter 2, Gilbert 2.