Garrison Forest coach Nick Burns approached his team's game against Beth Tfiloh Thursday with extreme trepidation.
The Grizzlies hadn't played a game for 12 days because of the holiday break.
"I was worried about our conditioning," Burns said. "Instead of fading away in the second half, we pulled away."
Indeed. Visiting Garrison used a 14-2 run in the third quarter to take control en route to a 34-26 victory in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland C Conference game.
Sophomore forward Aliyah Smith totaled 12 points and 11 rebounds to lead the winners. Teammate Luci Shepherd, a junior center, contributed nine points and nine rebounds.
Senior guard Izzi Shapiro paced Beth Tfiloh with 11 points.
The Warriors kept things close in the first half.
After Garrison (5-4 overall, 3-2 league) took a 11-7 lead late in the first quarter, Beth Tfiloh opened the second quarter on a 5-0 spurt to take a 12-11 advantage with 4:31 remaining.
The Grizzlies, however, closed the quarter on a 6-1 run go ahead 17-13 — the halftime score.
Then, Garrison took over the third quarter, going on a 12-0 tear to begin the period. Smith had six points during that stretch.
"We usually have Aliyah playing outside, but we put her under the basket in the second half," Burns said of the small forward. "I think that was the key to the game."
Beth Tfiloh coach Sonya Howell said poor third quarters have doomed her Warriors (3-6, 1-4).
"Third quarters have been very tough for us all year long," Howell said. "We come out and are not aggressive for some reason."
Megan Blibaum (6 points), Allie Gibbons (4) and Jillian Newton (3) also scored for Garrison.
Hannah Mauer (6), Noa Cardin (4), Marisa Kassimir (2), Sara Beth Adler (2), Tail Vogelstein (2) and Lindsay Hurwitz (1) accounted for the rest of Beth Tfiloh's points.