xml:space="preserve">
River Hill head coach Teresa Waters talks to her girls basketball team during the Hawks' 50-30 win over Arundel on Jan. 13, 2020.
River Hill head coach Teresa Waters talks to her girls basketball team during the Hawks' 50-30 win over Arundel on Jan. 13, 2020. (Jacob Calvin Meyer)

Saniha Jackson may not have to practice her free-throw shooting on Tuesday.

The River Hill senior forward attempted enough free throws Monday against Arundel that she may not need the extra reps. Jackson made nine of her 12 free throws to score 17 points and lead the Hawks to a 50-30 win over the visiting Wildcats.

Advertisement

“You want to get those free easy shots,” Jackson said. “I have to practice my free throws a lot. My first few years of high school were rough, so I practiced my free throws a lot this past summer.”

Jackson, who helped lead the Hawks to the Class 2A state championship last season, is leading River Hill this season with 15 points per game. Aiding her scoring pace is her ability to grab tough rebounds, score down low in several different ways and get to the free-throw line. Eight of her points from the charity stripe came in the second and third quarters as the Hawks extended and maintained their double-digit lead.

“That’s a big part of her game,” said River Hill head coach Teresa Waters. “That’s an area we’ve been focusing on. We want her to concentrate and finish on free throws. She’s being double- and triple-teamed in the paint, and we want her to get to the free-throw line as often as possible.”

The Hawks also employed a combination of a fast press defense and an aggressive half-court defense that forced 20 turnovers.

“It’s about what we do after we get the turnovers,” Waters said. “I’m proud of the fact that the girls are learning that it takes a team in order for us to be successful on both sides of the court.”

Anhyia Smith led River Hill (10-3) in the first half. The sophomore guard scored five points in the first quarter and seven in the second. The Hawks led 14-3 early in the first period, but Arundel (8-3) finished the quarter on a 7-0 run. River Hill then turned up the intensity on defense in the second quarter to outscore the Wildcats 12-5 in the period.

River Hill passed the ball well throughout the game. Most of the Hawks’ points came in the half court by making crisp passes to pierce through Arundel’s zone defense and create open shots.

“We have to pass to move the defense,” Jackson said. “If we keep passing well, someone on the defense will slip up, and we’ll be able to get an open shot.”

“We’re trying to be patient on the offensive end,” Waters said. “We need to be able to transition, but we also need to be patient.”

River Hill senior Kennedy Clark then hit two 3-pointers in the third quarter as the Hawks took a 16-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

While some teams in Howard County have one or two players scoring the majority of their points, the Hawks have a three-headed attack with Jackson, Smith (14 points per game) and Kennedy Clark (11.1 ppg). No other River Hill player has led the team in scoring, and Waters’ squad is the only team in the county with three players averaging in double figures.

“We have a great chemistry,” Jackson said. “Everything is gluing together as the season has gone on.”

The Wildcats offense was paced by Heather Middleton and Brandy Middleton, who scored 10 and seven points, respectively.

Arundel is back in action Tuesday at home against North County, while River Hill hosts Centennial on Wednesday.

Advertisement

BOX SCORE:

River Hill 50, Arundel 30

RH (7-3 Howard County, 10-3): S. Jackson 17, A. Smith 16, K. Clark 10, A. Thompson 4, C. Duffy 3.

A (8-3): H. Middleton 10, B. Middleton 7, T. Queen 5, A. Harmon 4, A. Galarza 2, R. Yearwood 2.

OTHER SCORES:

Hammond 49, Patapsco 46

The Golden Bears dominated the boards en route to a close victory over Patapsco. Jocelyn Fogle (16 points and 19 rebounds) and Maya Woodson (13 points, 16 rebounds and 6 blocks) led Hammond to the win. The Golden Bears led 23-20 at halftime and 35-31 entering the fourth quarter. Junior guard Ra’Naiya Smoot hit a clutch 3-pointer and added two more buckets in the final quarter to go along with a huge and-one by Fogle to clinch the win. Fogle’s double-double is her fifth of the season.

Box score:

Ha (2-5, 4-8): J. Fogle 16, M. Woodson 13, R. Smoot 9, K. Brown 7, K. Beahm 2, M. Newby 2.

P: L. Jacobs 20, M. Dennis 10, J. Kaur 6, K. Santiago 6, M. Diallo 4.

Halftime: 23-20, Ha

South Carroll 50, Long Reach 23

SC: L. Habighorst 8, P. Abbott 8, S. Vaught 8, S. Tavish 7, R. Tackett 5, S. Carroll 4, K. Evans 4, G. Oetken 3, C. Brickey 2, S. Hill 1.

LR (0-6, 0-10): R. Baldwin 10, T. Whittle 8, J. Putman 2, S. Sims 2, A. Nagle 1.

Century 46, Glenelg 44 (OT)

Gabbie Tolbert scored a career-high 19 points in the loss. She made five 3-pointers, three of which came in the second period.

Ce: A. Brandit 10, C. Little 9, S. Seledee 8, T. Hospert 6, S. Diorio 6, D. Hael 5, E. Melendicle 2.

G (1-6, 3-8): G. Tolbert 19, L. LaPointe 14, M. Sloan 5, S. Salafia 4, A. Cook 2.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement