With nine different lead changes throughout game, Howard and Glenelg battled down to the final seconds, but it was the Lions who continued their unbeaten season Friday night and pulled out the, 39-37 win.
“We were down by five with two and a half minutes left, so it was a great comeback,” said Howard coach Scott Robinson. “We hit some clutch shots – so there’s a lot of things we can do better, but give credit to Glenelg. They’re a great team; they were well prepared for us.”
With 2.2 seconds left on the clock, the Gladiators had the ball underneath Howard’s basket down by two points. They inbounded to their best shooter in sophomore guard Jessica Foster, who ran the ball near the three-point arc and heaved Glenelg’s final attempt. But her shot was just off the mark, careening off the side of the rim and out of play, solidifying the Lions win.
“We actually (practiced) that play before the game started in the auxiliary gym and that was our second option,” said Gladiators coach Chris Beil. “Our first option was to go deep, but they took that away. But it’s just kind of funny how we rep things before the game and then you end up using it.”
Glenelg did a great job defensively on Howard, which scored a season low 39-points. They limited open looks from the perimeter, especially for junior Sam Lewis who was averaging about 14 points per game, but finished with nine points, while also keeping sophomore Taylor Addison and junior Emileigh Scott from doing too much damage in the paint and on the glass.
“I thought defensively we played excellent,” Beil said. “They found something with Sam Lewis early by face cutting our girls and lobbing it into her, so we made a change on that. They didn’t go back to that in the second half. But defensively we did what we normally do and the girls understood the game plan. We were well aware of their outside shooters and we made sure we always had a body on (Scott). I couldn’t be happier about the defensive effort, but then again we need to get after some of the loose balls. In the fourth quarter, 50-50 balls they came up with and offensively we watched a little bit too much.”
The score was knotted up four times through the first two quarters, which included an 18-18 split at halftime.
The Lions came out of the break and went on a 7-0 run, which gave them the largest lead for either team, up 25-18 with 4:39 to play in the third quarter. But the Gladiators Kellie Johnson and Chelsea Henggeler broke up the run, putting together four consecutive buckets and got their team within one. On the following play, Johnson made a steal that led to teammate Miranda Mattis’ basket to tie the game at 28, which stood until the end of the quarter.
“I think they’re a good team and they really, really hurt us on the boards,” Robinson said. “In the third quarter, they out rebounded us by nine rebounds, which we have to go back to the film and evaluate exactly what happened there.”
To open up the final eight minutes Mattis drained a three that gave Glenelg back the lead, which aided their mini-run to go up by five with just over five minutes to play. But the Lions wouldn’t go away. They made another run starting with a Scott basket at the 3:45 mark to charge back and get ahead again.
Addison did the honors, converting on what would end up being Howard’s go-ahead basket, giving them a 36-35 advantage with 2:42 remaining.
“I was really confident, we were in these situations before,” said the Lions Jenny Kinsey. “Last year we played here and we won by one in the final seconds. It’s always a tight match and we know what to expect when we play them, they’re a great team. I think we’re both just so competitive with each other. Size matches up, speed, everything, I think we’re both great teams and we both just have that will to win.”
With less than a minute left, Mattis was left open for another three, but Kinsey, who had a remarkable defensive performance all game long, hustled out and got her finger tips on the shot, blocking the attempt. The turnover forced the Gladiators to intentionally foul in order to stop the clock.
“Jenny has certainly been our unsung hero all year,” Robinson said. “She gets on the floor, she’s just gritty, just a really tough competitor.”
Addison confidently stepped up to the free throw line, and sank both attempts on the one-and-one.
On Glenelg’s ensuing possession, Henggeler raced down and put in a quick bucket, cutting the deficit to one. But the following play, the Gladiators were called for the foul on the Lions inbound.
Addison once again stepped up and drained a free throw, extending the advantage 39-37. On her second attempt she was called for a violation, which got Glenelg one final opportunity.
“She was going into the game I knew she was 22-for-22 (from the foul line) for the year, so we wanted to get the ball in her hands or Sam Lewis’s (hands),” explained Robinson. “She is a clutch foul shooter, and actually missing the second shot was a good thing because it was going to take time off the clock, but unfortunately she went over the line, but still.”
Glenelg got a good final look, but just couldn’t put it down and ultimately suffered its second loss of the season after an exciting, down to the grind game.
“We didn’t want to give Foster a good look, (but) she got a good look,” said Robinson. “I thought they were going to go long to their big girls, so we decided to put Teylah Saunders, she’s our tallest player, on the ball to try and deflect the pass. But they drew up a good play.”
Kinsey, who finished with four points on the night, limited Foster to a season low, six points.
“My responsibility was to faceguard Foster. She’s a great player. I just tried as hard as I could to shut her down and did what I could to help our team,” Kinsey said. “But we really had a great defensive effort and that really contributed to the win.”
Johnson finished with eight points off the bench, and played a big role on the boards, putting back numerous second and third chance opportunities for the Gladiators.
“Kellie is a game changer,” Beil said. “Kind of like the women’s soccer team, they don’t have bench players, they have game changers and Kellie Johnson is one of those players when she comes in.”
Henggeler also recorded eight points on the night, while Mattis ended with seven.
For the Lions, Scott scored a game-high 14 points, while Addison ended up with six.
The win keeps Howard at a perfect 10-0 on the year, including 7-0 in county play. Its next task is on Wednesday, Jan. 13 when they take on Long Reach.
“Our coach always says we just got to focus on the game ahead of us,” Kinsey added. “We always just prepare for the team, scout them, watch film, do whatever we can, because we don’t want to look back on the game and have regrets on what we could have done.”
For the Gladiators, they are handed their second loss of the season, putting them 7-2 in county play and 9-2 overall. They have a shorter week and head to Liberty to take on the Lions in a non-league matchup.
“Howard is a very well-coached team, they have talented players and I enjoy going up against coach Robinson and his staff,” Beil added. “I look forward in seeing them again and we’re going to have another great game I hope. They’re just going to better us for the playoffs. And like I told you earlier, losing just shows us what we’re weak in and it just readies us for the playoffs.”
Howard 39, Glenelg 37 (Friday, Jan. 8)
Ho (7-0, 10-0): Johnson 8, Henggeler 8, Mattis 7, Foster 6, Wolfrey 6, Butera 2.
G (7-2, 9-2): Scott 14, Lewis 9, Addison 6, Furr 4, Kinsey 4, Jones 2.
Reservoir 40, River Hill 38 (Friday, Jan. 8)
After playing on the road for the past five games, the Gators were back home and hosted the Hawks, who were riding a four-game winning streak entering the matchup.
Reservoir came out strong to start, holding a 14-7 lead after the first quarter. Its momentum continued into the second half of play, opening up with an 11-point advantage, but River Hill slowly climbed back down the stretch.
After being held to five points in the first 16 minutes of action, the Hawks Sydney Poindexter netted nine of her final 16 points in the fourth quarter.
River Hill got within one with nine seconds left, but Gators senior Mary Dudzinski hit 1-of-2 from the foul line, extending Reservoir’s lead to two.
With 0.5 seconds remaining on the clock, Poindexter put up one final attempt for the win, but it missed the mark and it allowed the Gators to claim their fourth county win of the year.
Kayla Wilson led Reservoir offensively, registering 15 points, eight rebounds and two assists, while hitting 6-of-8 from the free throw line – which all came in the second half of play. Dudzinski followed with seven points, while also recording six rebounds, seven steals and two blocks. Emily Dorn and Haley Tiller each recorded eight points each, respectively, while Dorn also added eight boards to her stat sheet.
For River Hill, Mona King and Julia Grasso followed Poindexter offensively, finishing with six points each, respectively, on the night.
Both the Hawks and Gators hit the road for their next game on Wednesday, Jan. 13, with River Hill facing Hammond and Reservoir taking on Atholton.
Re (4-5, 6-5): Wilson 15, Dudzinski 7, Tiller 8, Dorn 8, Gray 1, Powell 1.
RH (3-5, 5-5): Poindexter 16, King 6, Gross 6, Howell 4, Dannelly 2.
Atholton 48, Centennial 29 (Friday, Jan. 8)
The Raiders continued their perfect season by defeating the visiting Eagles Friday night.
After holding a 10-point lead at halftime, Atholton kept Centennial to just 10 points in the second half, which allowed them to come away with the 19-point victory.
The Raiders Caitlyn Burmester led all scorers with 12 points, while teammate Ryan Jones followed with 11 points on the night.
Atholton limited the Eagles Kelly Simmons to a season-low 10 points on the night. The sophomore forward had been averaging about 17.5 points per game entering Friday night. Kewa Gray followed Simmons with nine points, while Jasmine McCree ended with four.
Centennial has stumbled through the past few weeks, losing five of its last seven games after starting the season 4-0. The Eagles are looking to start up a winning streak next week when their back on the floor Wednesday, Jan. 13 against Wilde Lake.
As for the Raiders, they will try for 10 in a row when they host Reservoir Wednesday.
A (7-0, 9-0): Burmester 12, Jones 11, Hart 7, Flynn 7, Quinn 5, Simons 4, Cannon 2.
C (4-4, 6-5): Simmons 10, Gray 9, McCree 4, Chausse 2, Molz 2, Hampshey 2.
Half: 28-18 A.
Mt. Hebron 51, Hammond 34 (Friday, Jan. 8)
The Vikings are quietly building momentum, as they’ve won two in a row to start the new year and collected their third win in the last four games after defeating the Golden Bears Friday night.
Mt. Hebron owned just a seven-point lead going into halftime, but in the second half limited Hammond to seven baskets and only two made shots from the floor in the fourth quarter.
The Golden Bears had their chances at the free throw line, but only connected on 3-of-8 in the second half, despite shooting a productive 7-of-9 in the first half.
The Vikings’ Shane Devine led all scorers with 14 points, while Hammond’s Shawnice King wasn’t far behind, recording 13 on the night.
Maura Devine followed Shane offensively for Mt. Hebron, recording nine points, while teammates Erin Demek and Natalie Lybrook each tallied seven points, respectively. As a team, Mt. Hebron went to the foul line 16 times, hitting eight.
Imani Reid and Taylor Liguori followed King’s 13, with seven and six points, respectively.
The Golden Bears head home for their next game on Wednesday, Jan. 8 as they host River Hill. Meanwhile, the Vikings have a full week off before they’re back on the floor Friday, Jan. 15 when they travel to Centennial.
MH (5-4, 6-5): S. Devine 14, M. Devine 9, Demek 7, Lybrook 7, LeConte 6, Williams 4, Rodriguez 2, Oliver 2.
Ha (3-5, 4-5): S. King 13, Reid 7, Liguori 6, D. Abel 4, Grenway 4.
Half: 22-15 MH.
Marriotts Ridge 53, Wilde Lake 27 (Friday, Jan. 8)
The Mustangs claimed their first win of the season Friday, after a 26-point victory at home over the Wildecats.
Caroline Blalock totaled a game-high and a season-high of 17 points in the game, while Brianna Held and Sarah Blalock followed with eight points each, respectively. Teammate Hope Morath tallied one point, but added 10 rebounds. As a team, Marriotts Ridge went 9-of-13 from the foul line, and sank four shots from behind the three-point arc.
Rachel Lazris led Wilde Lake offensively, finishing with 14 points – nearly half of the team’s point total, while hitting 4-of-5 from the free throw line. As a team, the Wildecats knocked down 6-of-13 from the charity stripe.
Both teams are back in action Wednesday, Jan. 8, as the Mustangs take on Oakland Mills, while the Wildecats face off against Centennial.
MR (1-7, 1-8): C. Blalock 17, Held 8, S. Blalock 8, Sullivan 7, Fredrick 6, Hockensmith 2, Conroy 2, Morath 1, Stepke 1.
WL (0-8, 0-10): Lazris 14, Macklin 4, Lee 3, Teachman 3, Kostelec 3.
Half: 29-18 MR.
Long Reach 59, Oakland Mills 43 (Friday, Jan. 8)
LR (7-2, 7-2): K. Williams 29, D. Williams 9, Thompson 8, L. Swann 7, Briggs-Hall 4, Joyce 2.
OM (1-7, 2-8): Jackson 17, Lockwood 15, Weiss 8, Pacheco 3, Fowler 2.
Half: 28-17 LR.