Girls basketball: Emotional ceremony spurs Friends past Chaplegate

Understandably, Friends starting center Molly Green was too distraught to talk to a reporter after the Quakers earned a 38-33 decision over Chapelgate Christian Academy on Wednesday night.

After all, a pregame ritual honoring her late father, Robert Green, started what turned out to be an emotional — and fulfilling — evening for the junior from Roland Park.

Robert "Bob" Green died from a heart attack while driving home on Oct. 20, leaving a grieving family and Quaker team that had become accustomed to his support at every game.

His daughter's four points and five blocked shots were part of a total team effort that overwhelmed the visitors from Howard County.

The pregame ceremony "really pumped them up. From the end of that ceremony, they were ready to go," said Chapelgate coach Kortnie Smith.

Actually, it took the Quakers (5-5, 4-3 league) a little longer than that to take the lead, although once they did make a move after the intermission of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland C Conference game, it was a very decisive one.

Shooting guard Emma Sissman and senior runningmate Ella Cooper saw to that by combining for 32 points, playing tight defense on Yellowjacket point guard Jen Yahiro and ensuring the offense ran crisply.

"Molly's dad was really always there for us," said Sissman, who, like Cooper, is a standout lacrosse midfielder. "His passing was really hard for us as a team. We had to come out and play as hard as we could for Molly and her family."

Sissman, who led all scorers with 22 points, certainly did so in a sensational way, bombing three-pointers and making terrific cuts to the basket.

She knocked down a trey to start the second half and then finished a nifty fastbreak look from Cooper for an old-fashioned three-point play a couple of minutes later for a 28-21 advantage midway through the third quarter.

That lead ballooned to 32-22 at the end of the period when Cooper's dribble-drive penetration resulted in an assist to Green underneath the basket.

After the Yellowjackets (5-6, 4-4) rallied to within four late in the game on three free throws and a put-back by freshman forward Casey Johnson, Cooper's soft jumper from the paint helped to restore order.

Friends coach Mike Wall said that he was concerned that the effects of the emotional night might be too much for Green to handle.

"We told her to raise her hand any time she wanted to come out of the game," he said. "But she was fine. She played really well."

Scoring summary:

Chaplegate (33)-Jen Yahiro, 11; Christina Von Wrogden, 2; Kathy Green, 4; Casey Johnson, 11; Camille Keys, 5

Friends (38)-Ella Cooper, 10; Molly Green, 4; Nurisha Rodriguez, 2; Emma Sissman, 22

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