There was more on the line Friday night than just bragging rights when Howard went on the road to face Reservoir. The winner would leave the contest with sole possession of second place in the county.
It was a tight, back-and-forth game for three quarters before the Lions caught fire and were able to pull away in the fourth. Howard held the Gators without a field goal over the final eight minutes to claim a 43-30 victory.
“I thought that we hit some big shots (in the fourth),” Lions coach Scott Robinson said. “Reservoir is a good team. I know yesterday (against Mt. Hebron) they weren’t at full strength and today they were. There is a lot of parity in our league. They were undefeated with that lineup and this was a good win for us. I have a lot of respect for them.”
Sophomore Jayda Gilmore scored a game-high 18 points and junior Sydney Biniak added 10 points and eight rebounds to help Howard improve to 6-1 in the county. Junior Zelor Massaquoi finished with 15 points and eight boards for Reservoir, which dropped its second contest in as many days.
“This was a really big game since we both had one (in county) loss and we really wanted it bad,” Gilmore said. “We prepared really hard as usual and did what we had to win.”
The contest was a seesaw battle entering the fourth with six ties and nine lead changes. Neither team could separate from the other, as the Lions were ahead by a slim two-point margin, 28-26, to start to final quarter.
Howard, however, would find the space it would need to pull ahead over the last eight minutes.
Biniak nailed a jumper to open the frame, then Berit Batterton and Biniak each got behind the defense on successive backdoor cuts for easy layups in a quick 6-0 run.
Junior Keri Rager cut the Gators’ deficit to 34-29 after making two free throws in a double bonus situation with 3:34 remaining. But Reservoir would score just one more point to rest of the way.
Gilmore and Anne Kinsey hit back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead to 11 points and Howard never looked back.
“Those shots really helped to give us a cushion and made us feel a little more secure,” Kinsey said. “We’ve formed a rivalry over the years with Reservoir. Our team played really hard and this was a great win.”
In the fourth quarter, the Gators were held without a field goal and went 4 for 12 from the foul line. Reservoir struggled at the charity stripe all game, finishing with a 12 for 26 mark.
“We didn’t match their intensity,” Gators coach Kyle Sullivan said. “We had some let downs. There would be spurts of two or three good plays in a row, then we would give up two or three easy buckets to them. There were defensive breakdowns here and there, and those little things make a big difference.”
Howard returns to the floor on Monday when it will host River Hill, which is unbeaten in the county with a 7-0 record, for another crucial county game that will impact the standings.
“That is going to be a big game considering we lost to them in the regional finals last year,” Kinsey said. “We’re definitely going to come out ready to play.”
Ho: Biniak 8, Kinsey 6, Batterton 5.
Re: Johnson 9, Massaquoi 8, Bonner 5.
Ho: Hoesman 3, Biniak 2.
Re: 5 tied with 1.
Howard 43, Reservoir 30
Ho (6-1, 9-1): Gilmore 18, Biniak 10, Kinsey 7, Batterton 6, Walls 2.
Re (6-2, 6-2): Massaquoi 15, Rager 9, Johnson 5, Turner 1.
Half: 20-17 Ho.
Centennial 44, Long Reach 43
Alicia Hsieh helped the Eagles snap a five-game losing streak with a layup that beat the buzzer. Anna Mitchell scored 14 points and Sara Downing added 10 for Centennial in the win.
Olivia Callan scored in double figures for the sixth straight game with 16 points. Gillian Engelbrecht and Imani Sanders finished with 12 and 10 points respectively.
LR (2-5, 4-6): Callan 16, Engelbrecht 12, Sanders 10, Joyce 4, Peterson 1.
C (2-5, 3-7): A. Mitchell 14, Downing 10, Hsieh 7, B. Anderson 6, Eads 6, M. Anderson 1.
Half: 18-17 LR.
River Hill 67, Mt. Hebron 45
The Hawks got off to a quick start, outscoring the Vikings, 26-10, in the first quarter. Julia Collins led the way with 17 points, Meg Sterling had 14 and Vicki Rowe added 10 for River Hill, which is the last unbeaten team in the county.
Tianna Wallpher paced Mt. Hebron with nine points and Lyndsey McLamb added eight.
MH (5-3, 6-4): Wallpher 9, McLamb 8, Crump 7, LeConte 6, J. Williams 6, Konig 4, O. Williams 2, Green 2, Alli 1.
RH (7-0, 8-2): Ju. Collins 17, Sterling 14, Rowe 10, Masker 9, Je. Collins 5, Hopkins 4, Buchiane 4, Nichols 3, Triplett 1.
Half: 38-21 RH.
Atholton 53, Marriotts Ridge 44
Sage Mayhew led three Raiders in double figures with 16 points. Chelsea Mitchell and Kalere Caldwell added 12 and 10 points respectively.
Junior Marissa Davey finished with a game-high 20 points for the Mustangs.
A (4-3, 5-3): Mayhew 16, Mitchell 12, Caldwell 10, Taborn 6, Weinberg 4, Tatum 3, Hart 2.
MR (2-5, 2-6): Davey 20, Kerr 6, Stukenberg 6, Sharbaugh 5, LaVeck 1.
Half: 26-17 A.
Glenelg 75, Hammond 16
Senior Sam Heisig scored a game-high 13 points in her first game of the season after returning from injury. Kristin Yuan added 12 for the Gladiators.
Shawntel King had seven points and Jameelah Wallace contributed six for the Golden Bears.
Ha (0-7, 0-7): King 7, Wallace 6, Faass 3.
G (4-3, 6-3): Heisig 13, Yuan 12, Henggeler 8, Zucco 8, Taylor 7, Nowlin 7, Forejt 6, Doerman 6, Tetro 3, Price 3, Wright 2.
Half: 41-10 G.
Oakland Mills 43, Wilde Lake 39
The Wildecats jumped out to an early 11-7 lead after the first quarter but the Scorpions were able to claim a two point lead at halftime. Close down the stretch, Tori Diggs sank four free throws late to help Oakland Mills win.
Lauren Thompson scored 12 points and Diggs had 10 for the Scorpions. Alyssa Bialek and Kourtney Harrison led Wilde Lake with 10 each.
WL (1-6, 2-7): Bialek 10, Harrison 10, Richardson 7, Drury 4, Corbett 4, Babaturk 2, Lazris 2.
OM: (4-3, 6-4): Thompson 12, Diggs 10, Thomas 8, Awkward 6, Lee 4, Peters 2, Kerr 1.
Half: 21-19 OM.