Howard’s girls basketball team closed its first month of the season in style Thursday evening.
In the championship game of its own holiday tournament, the Lions opened up a double-digit lead in the opening five minutes against South River and never looked back en route to a 66-36 victory. Howard (8-0) stayed undefeated with the win, while the Seahawks (7-1) suffered their first loss.
“I think offensively we are moving the ball well and we are also a very good shooting team, so I think those two things are working well together. And today, we needed to do both of those things against a very well coached South River team,” Howard coach Scott Robinson said. “I knew that even when we were up at halftime he was going to make adjustments, which they did, but we also did a good job of continuing to execute in order to maintain the lead.”
Taylor Addison led the way for Howard with a double-double, posting game highs of 18 points and 14 rebounds. Madison Burris was right behind her with 16 points, all coming during a first half that saw the Lions build a 36-13 advantage.
Burris hit four 3-pointers during the first two quarters and her play on the perimeter ended up opening things up on the interior as the game progressed.
“Once I got hot, my mentality was to keep shooting. But then I also wanted to look in to like Taylor because she’s a key player on our team with the rebounds and getting to the basket,” Burris said.
In the loss, freshman Harley Herndon paced South River with 13 points, four assists and three steals, while junior Kathleen Sullivan chipped in with nine points and six rebounds. Seahawks coach Mike Zivic said Howard didn’t do anything his group hadn’t seen before, they simply did it better than anyone they’ve played this winter.
“It wasn’t anything different, it was just that we haven’t faced a team that can do all those things — spread the floor, get to the basket and shoot it — as well as they can. That’s an extremely talented team,”Zivic said. “Now sometimes defensively it’s good to see a team like that because it shows what we need to work on. Yeah, winning is great, but also in order to be ready for playoffs you need to see the things you need to do better at some point.”
South River scored the first points of the game on a foul shot by Sullivan, but Howard followed with a 13-2 run that was punctuated by a lay-up by Courtney Furr (7 points) with 3:17 left in the opening quarter. By the end of the first period it was 19-7 in favor of the Lions.
The lead then ballooned to 23 points by halftime.
The Seahawks did regroup early in the third quarter, getting the ball inside for a string of lay-ups that temporarily cut Howard’s lead to under 20 points. Ashlynn Burrows (8 points) hit a pair of shots during a mini 6-0 run midway through the third quarter.
“I thought the second half, we were a lot more efficient offensively and we did a better job defensively, particularly in the third quarter,” Zivic said.
Just as South River seemed to be building momentum, though, the Lions established dominance once again. Between the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth, Howard put together a 14-0 run capped by a lay-up from Deonna Jones (12 points) to set the stage for what ended up being a running clock on multiple occasions during the final period.
Howard now has almost a week off before another match-up of undefeated teams next Wednesday against Long Reach. Last year the two programs were the top two in the Howard County standings and split their meetings during the regular season.
“It should be fun and we’re looking forward to it,” Robinson said. “But they are a great team and I think they are exceptional. You talk about balance … just watching them, they are as good of a team that we’ve faced in Howard County in my seven years here at Howard.”
Howard 66, South River 36 (Howard Holiday Tournament Final)
Ho (8-0): Addison 18, Burris 16, Jones 12, Furr 7, Russell 4, Eich 4, Malagar 3, Sanchez-Henry 2.
SR (7-1): Herndon 13, Sullivan 9, Burrows 8, Palmer 4, Pollari 2.
Howard 63, Liberty 21
Ho: Addison 14, Burris 10, Russell 9, Sanchez-Henry 6, Jones 6, Malagar 6, Furr 5,
L: Thiem 8, Tignor 5, Goetz 3, Mastos 3, McCain 2.
Centennial 43, Marriotts Ridge 26 (Manchester Valley Holiday Tournament Final)
In a rare match-up between county squads during tournament action, the Eagles pulled away in the second half to improve to 5-3 on the season.
Rasa Welsh, who scored a game-high 16 points in the championship game against the Mustangs, was named tournament MVP. Jordan Dossett, who scored eight points in both tournament games, was named to the all-tournament team as well.
Acadia Noll scored a game-high eight points for Marriotts Ridge, which had defeated host Manchester Valley 43-35 on Wednesday to reach the finals.
C (5-3): Welsh 16, Dossett 8, Anderson 8, Molz 5, Hamshey 4, Worthy 1, Rockefeller 1.
MR (4-4): Noll 8, H. Morath 7, Conroy 4, E. Morath 2, Kohler 2, Forman 2, Bryan 1.
Half: 26-19 C.
Centennial 44, Patterson 14
C: Welsh 9, Dossett 8, Lambert 8, Molz 7, Reese 7, Hamshey 4, Worthy 1.
P: Troung 6, Santoriello 4, Beaty 2, Madsen 2.
Marriotts Ridge 43, Manchester Valley 35
Glenelg 58, Winters Mill 31 (Winters Mill Holiday Tournament)
The Gladiators took home the tournament championship in runaway fashion, getting a game-high 27 points from Jess Foster. The senior guard went 9-11 from the foul line and added a pair of threes on her way to her fourth game this winter with at least 20 points.
Katie LaPort, Olivia LePage and Kellie Johnson all added seven points apiece.
Glenelg had defeated Northern by 22 points to reach the finals and established a double-digit lead by halftime against the Falcons.
G (6-1): Foster 27, Johnson 7, LePage 7, LaPort 7, Prezelski 4, Anderson 2, Gillespie 2, Salafia 2.
WM: Snyder 6, Wells 6, Brown 5, Berry 4, Alusucka 4, Hill 3, Thompson 3.
Half: 23-10 G.
Glenelg 62, Northern Calvert 40
G: Foster 25, Anderson 10, Johnson 9, LePage 6, Gillespie 6, LaPort 3, Hirsch 3.
NC: Hall 10, Pruitt 7, Stansburg 6, Adams 5, Johnson 4, DeToto 3, Colbert 3, Jones 2.
Westminster 39, Oakland Mills 32 (Oakland Mills Tournament Final)
W (6-0): Sarah O’Donnell 8, Jillian Pumputis 4, Emily Hynson 2, McKenzie Zepp 1, Sydney Popielski 3, Sophia Diehl 14, Zoe Costley 7.
OM (6-2) Lilly Eldridge 2, Marley Grenway 14, Jazmine Washington 6, Ty’Asia McDuffie 2, Aislynn Riggs 6, Micah Brown 2.
Halftime: Tied, 14-14.
Oakland Mills 64, Western Tech 63
OM: Grenway 23, Riggs 21, Washington 8, Eldridge 6, McDuffie 4, Lightfoot 2.
WT: Manning 21, Stokes 19, Jenkins 9, DeShields 7, Billy 6, Onuigbo 1.
Dunbar 51, Reservoir 39
Despite playing shorthanded, the Gators gave host Dunbar all it could handle in the finals of its holiday tournament. Nia Powell (18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 steals) and Kate Abunassar (14 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists) each stepped up with Emily Dorn sitting out due to an injury.
Adter trailing 34-13 at the half, Reservoir battled back to get as close as five points in the fourth quarter before falling short. Four Gators players fouled out in the game.
Reservoir 54, Notre Dame Prep 41
The Gators used a big third quarter, winning the period 22-9, to pull away for their first win of the season.
Tiffany Hooker (20 points, 5 steals, 4 rebounds and 3 assists) and Nia Powell (13 points and 15 rebounds) led the way. Emily Dorn had 12 points and 8 rebounds in limited minutes.
River Hill 35, Notre Dame Prep 31 (Notre Dame Prep Tournament)
Kennedy Clark (11 points) and Saniha Jackson (10) each scored in double figures to lead the way for a Hawks team that earned its second win at the Notre Dame Prep tournament. Overall, River Hill is now 8-1 on the season.
RH (8-1): Clark 11, S. Jackson 10, Masker 6, E. Jackson 3, Dawitt 2, Wesche 2, King 1.
NDP: Swam 10, Robinson 8, Meyer 4, Guterres 4, Rudolph 2, Varnado 2, Fischer 1.
River Hill 37, South Carroll 34
RH: King 13, E. Jackson 6, S. Jackson 5, Clark 4, Dawitt 4, Masker 3, McCormick 2.
SC: Evans 11, Fowler 9, Zepp 5, Reardon 3, Carroll 2, Cooper 2, Turner 2.
Half: 17-14 SC.
Mt. Hebron 49, Bowie 40
Mt. Hebron 52, Milford Mill 18 (Wednesday)
Central 48, Wilde Lake 36
Northwestern 30, Wilde Lake 28 (Wednesday)
Reach Brent Kennedy at email@example.com or follow him on twitter @BKBSunSports