With the playoffs looming, a lot was riding on Glenelg Country School's game against Friends School of Baltimore.
A victory over Friends would create a two-way tie between the teams for third place in the conference. A coin toss would decide which team got the third spot.
Friends made sure it didn't get that far.
With Emma Sissman scoring all of her game-high 15 points in the second half, the Quakers rallied from a slow start to win, 43-33.
"We were in the flow of our offense in the first half," Sissman said. "In the second half, we knew we had to pick it up. We got our offense moving quicker and we put in a more aggressive defense."
Friends' 1-3-1 zone combined with its half-court trapping press changed the complexion of the game.
"Their 1-3-1 hurt us a little bit and we had trouble making adjustments with that," said Glenelg Country School coach Dominique D'Amico. "I think we didn't come out as aggressive the second half."
The Dragons led, 21-14, at intermission.
"It took us a little while to get going," said Friends coach John Wall. The Friends bus took a wrong turn and the team arrived after the scheduled game time.
"We knew it was an important game and it took us a little while to get ourselves together and to start making shots."
Molly Green added 12 points to the Friends' cause and Rachel Kehoe chipped in seven. In addition, Green (10), Nurisha Rodriguez (eight) and Sissman (seven) helped the Quakers control the boards.
"The timing of our momentum hurt us," D'Amico said. "We had the momentum at the beginning and they had it at the end."
Freshman Sabrina Deleonibus led Glenelg Country with seven points.
The Dragons, seeded fourth, host Baltimore Lutheran at 5:30 tomorrow in a first-round IAAM C Conference playoff game.
F - Sissman 15, Green 12, Kehoe 7, Cooper 5, Stanley 3, Rodriguez 1. FT: 10-19.
GCS - Deleonibus 7, Ogechi 6, Harbold 6, Isaacs 4, Hursey 4, Foxwell 4, Renko 2. FT: 4-7.
Halftime: Glenelg Country, 21-14.
Atholton 55, Long Reach 44
Bright white smiles helped light up the Atholton gym after the Raiders upset Long Reach.
Atholton entered the game with two county victories; Long Reach had 10 plus the knowledge it had beaten Atholton by 15 points earlier in the season.
"The difference was foul shots," said Atholton's Amy Weinberg. "That's what killed us the first time we played them. This time it was vice versa. We really stepped it up tonight."
Atholton made good on 16 of its 22 free throw attempts; Long Reach made 15 of its 27.
"The little things are starting to come together," said Atholton coach Julia Reynold. "They are starting to play to their potential."
Audie Vitagliano came up big under the basket at each end of the floor, pulling in important rebounds.
"Chelsea Mitchell played great defense and provided a spark off the bench," Reynold said.
Olivia Callan (16 points) and Imani Sanders (15) paced Long Reach.
"Long Reach is athletic and they kept coming back. We couldn't take a breath until the final buzzer. That last quarter lasted forever," Reynold said.
A - Weinberg 10, Palmer 8, Caldwell 7, Mayhew 7, Mitchell 5, Tatum 5, Pattillo 5, Vitagliano 4, Keating 4. FT: 16-22.
LR - Callan 16, Sanders 15, Briscoe 7, Peterson 4, Engelbrecht 2. FT: 15-27.
Halftime: Long Reach, 25-23.
Mt. Hebron 48, Oakland Mills 38
The giant killers were at it again. After dealing Glenelg its first loss of the season a few weeks back, Mt. Hebron upset Oakland Mills.
"It was a great game. We came to play. It was awesome," said Mt. Hebron coach Tony Bell. "My girls stepped up and played tough."
The Vikings hit five 3-pointrs in the first quarter to lead 18-8 at the break, but Oakland Mills fought back to tie the score, 24-all at the half.
Mt. Hebron was up by nearly 10 points in the fourth quarter when the game tipped more in the Vikings' favor.
According to Bell, two players tussled to create a jump ball. The Mt. Hebron player was called for a foul, but the Oakland Mills player threw an elbow, and received a technical foul. An Oakland Mills teammate then slammed the ball to the floor, and also received a technical foul.
Mt. Hebron's Kelly Jones hit three of the four technical free throws to put the Vikings up by 13.
Mt. Hebron's Knowlej Thomas scored nine of her 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Jasmine Hill led Oakland Mills with 17 points, but only five came in the second half.
"It was a great defensive game," Bell said. Offensively, "we didn't want to get in a running game, we felt in our half-court set we had an advantage."
MH - Jones 16, Thomas 11, Tavai 10, Wallpher 6, Doherty 5. FT: 8-15.
OM - Hill 17, Jones 7, Hight 4, Twardowicz 4, Diggs 3. FT: 6-7.
Halftime: tied, 24-24.
River Hill 59, Centennial 42
RH - Jackson 18, Arensmeier 9, Julia Collins 8, Sterling 8, Jenna Collins 6, Masker 6, Rowe 2, McKenna 1. FT. 14-29.
C - Downing 11, Mitchell 8, B. Anderson 6, Benzing 5, M. Anderson 4, Pino 4, Cowan 2, Rockefeller 2. FT: 16-30.
Howard 49, Hammond 18
With leading scorers Brittany Butler and April Kuhn sitting out the game in order to give other players an opportunity to play, Howard jumped out to a 22-2 first quarter lead. Julianna Natoli scored 11 points to lead the Lions.
Keyuana Griffin led Hammond with 10 points.
Ho - Natoli 11, Randazzo 9, Kinsey 7, Harriston 6, Biniak 5, Delcoco 4, Rayner 3, O'Malley 2, Bruzdzinski 2.
Ha - Griffin 10, Hewitt 4, Dank 2, Faass 2. FT: 0-2.
Halftime: Howard, 38-6.
Glenelg 53, Marriotts Ridge 35
G - Russo 22, Heisig 18, Burris 9, Kittleman 2, Taylor 2. FT: 7-10.
MR - Bergquist 10, Miller 6, Stukenberg 6, Sharbaugh 5, Grote 4, Fleming 2, Kerr 2. FT: 6-8.
Halftime: Glenelg, 33-19.
Reservoir 56, Wilde Lake 21
Re – Pickens 17, Fowler 10, Thompson 10, Massaquoi 9, Rager 6, Harrington 2, Johnson 2. FT: 6-13.
WL – Corbett 7, Harrison 6, Babturk 3, Fisher 2, O'Rourke 2, Dowling 1. FT: 5-20.
St. Timothy's 54, Chapelgate 31
Standings (as of Feb. 8)
Glenelg, 16-1, 19-1
River Hill, 15-2, 17-3
Oakland Mills, 13-4, 16-4
Howard, 12-5, 14-6
Long Reach, 11-6, 12-8
Reservoir, 10-6, 11-6
Mt. Hebron, 10-7, 12-8
Centennial, 6-11, 7-13
Marriotts Ridge, 5-12, 5-15
Atholton, 3-14; 4-14
Hammond, 1-16, 1-17
Wilde Lake, 0-16, 0-19
Glenelg Country, 6-8 IAAM C, 10-9
Chapelgate, 6-9 IAAM C, 8-13
This story has been updated, and corrected.