Old Mill girls basketball coach Rick Smith said his team practices its press defense every day.
The practice reps paid off Wednesday against River Hill, as the Patriots forced 32 turnovers en route to their 52-42 road victory.
“We practice getting after people every day,” Smith said. “We have a deep bench, and we showed that if we can wear down your starters with our press that we will be in good shape. We rely on our press defense, and we expect to create turnovers.”
Forcing a turnover per minute, the Patriots’ deep rotation and physical play style was too much for River Hill, especially in the first half. After a slow first quarter, Old Mill scored a whopping 32 points in the second period to take a 38-18 lead into halftime.
“I think that is the highest I’ve ever seen in a quarter," said Old Mill senior Mikiyah Mallet, who led all scorers with 18 points. “If we have intensity and keep our energy up, we can do that. We had a slow first quarter, but the intensity picked up in the second quarter."
River Hill head coach Teresa Waters said her Hawks’ troubles stemmed from trying to dribble through Old Mill’s press instead of pass out of it. She said a lot of the turnovers were self inflicted due to her players “panicking.”
“The turnovers came from our veteran players,” Waters said. “We didn’t have cool heads. They started arguing with each other and pointing fingers."
The game at River Hill (3-0 Howard County, 4-1 overall) started with the Hawks in full control. Sophomore Anhyia Smith scored five points and dished out two assists in the first quarter. The 11-6 lead and subsequent 14-12 advantage early in the second quarter, though, would be the last leads of the game for River Hill.
The 32-7 run in the second quarter put Old Mill (4-0) up 20 points at halftime, and while the turnovers were the main culprit, strong rebounding — or lack thereof from River Hill — also led to the scoring disparity.
“We seem to get to the glass pretty good,” Smith said. “What more would you want than to have second or third opportunities to finish?"
Mallet led the scoring barrage in the second quarter. She scored 14 points in the quarter and 18 in the game. Also chipping in for Old Mill were Deja Atkinson (11 points), Amaya Douglass (nine points) and Amani Watts (eight points and 11 rebounds).
Mallet, who was Old Mill’s first player off the bench last season, said her goal this offseason was to become a more complete player.
“I’ve definitely improved by being more versatile and shoot and drive and look for my teammates,” Mallet said.
Despite the loss, Waters said she was happy with how her team fought in the second half. The Hawks outscored the Patriots in both the third and fourth quarters. Kennedy Clark, who had been shut out in the first 20 minutes of the game, scored seven points at the end of the third period as the Hawks went on an 11-0 run to trail by 12 points heading into the fourth. The Hawks cut their deficit to eight points in the fourth but couldn’t hit enough shots to close the gap.
“I think we just ran out of steam there at the end,” Waters said. “They dug a hole, but at least they didn’t succumb and just give up.”
Smith said the opportunity to play a competitive non-county team will help both the Pats and the Hawks down the road. Both teams have had recent success in the playoffs, with Old Mill losing in the 4A state title game last season and River Hill winning the 2A championship.
“Playing what is one of the two best teams in Howard County helps us," Smith said. "It’s a big game, and it’s fun.”
Both teams are back in action Friday. River Hill travels to Oakland Mills, while Old Mill plays at Meade.
Old Mill 52, River Hill 42
OM (4-0): M. Mallet 18, D. Atkinson 11, A. Douglas 9, A. Watts 8, J. Dews 4, S. Hymes 2.
RH (3-0 Howard County, 4-1 overall): A. Smith 16, S. Jackson 8, K. Clark 7, A. McCullough 6, E. Devine 3, A. Thompson 2.
Halftime: 38-18, OM
Reservoir 62, Meade 51
After a slow first half, Reservoir picked it up in the second half and scored 44 points to defeated Meade by double digits. Tiffany Hooker, who sat out most of the second quarter due to foul trouble and had four points at halftime, scored 27 in the final 16 minutes to finish the game with 31, which ties her career-high that she set last week against Centennial. She made four 3-pointers and was 11 of 15 from the field and 5 of 5 from the charity stripe. Daniah Moultrie chipped in with nine points (seven of which came from the free-throw line) and 10 rebounds, while Riley Malwitz scired 10 points and grabbed four boards.
Re (2-1, 3-1): T. Hooker 31, R. Malwitz 10, D. Moultrie 9, M. Davis 4, K. Abunassar 3, A. Pressley 3, L. Dudzinski 2.
M: A. Brown 16, J. Bryant-Brown 9, L. Black 7, B. Owens 6, Z. Robinson 6, J. Reid 4, C. Hill 3.
Wilde Lake 45, Southern-AA 40
The Wildecats have won three straight games for the first time in the last six seasons. Rhonda Corkeron’s team has won more games in the last week than in the last two seasons combined. Wilde Lake led 18-11 at the end of the first quarter, but a 13-0 run from the Bulldogs in the second period gave Southern a 33-25 lead at halftime. The Wildecats outscored Southern 20-7 in the second half to come back and win the game. Sophomore Brianna Floyd led the team with 13 points and three made 3-pointers in the second half. Sophomore Mia Swaby-Rowe and senior Kalani Corkeron chipped in with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
WL (2-0, 3-1): B. Floyd 13, M. Swaby-Rowe 13, K. Corkeron 10, C. Zimmerman 4, N. Brown 3, L. Richards 2.
So: Kronk 15, Wooster 8, Thames 6, Pinkney 4, Chaney 4, Gulden 3.
Halftime: 33-25, So
Marriotts Ridge 60, Northeast 32
The Mustangs were led by junior Morgan Lee, who scored 13 points and grabbed four rebounds in the win. Senior Emma Morath chipped in with nine points. The win snaps the Mustangs’ two game losing skid after their four-game streak to start the season.
MR (2-1, 5-2): M. Lee 13, E. Morath 9, K. Lee 8, K. Bryan 8, E. Miller 7, C. Meininger 5, C. Del Monte 4, A. Windsor 3, O. Mahon 2, C. Crawford 1.
Ne: A. Wills 15, J. Savoy 10, M. Cobarn 4, C. Makarovich 2, A. Borgert 1.
Halftime: 35-14, MR
Howard 39, Severna Park 31
In a defensive-minded game, the Lions built a 17-point lead in the second half and hung on to win the non-county contest. Howard’s defense held Severna Park to only seven points in the first half. Gabby Scott led the Lions with 13 points, while Camille Malagar chipped in with eight points. Malagar made two 3-pointers in the win.
Ho (3-0, 6-0): G. Scott 13, C. Malagar 8, M. Sanchez-Henry 8, A. Harris 6, S. Nasir 4.
SP: Albert 8, McLaughlin 7, Bragg 4, Betch 4, Nwuli 3, Stasulli 2, Chew 2, Verreault 1.
Halftime: 20-7, Ho
Oakland Mills 55, Chesapeake-AA 45
The Scorpions’ two-headed attack of Jaidyn Harris and Jazmine Washington led Oakland Mills to a non-county victory. Harris and Washington combined for 40 of Oakland Mills’ 55 points. Harris tallied 22 points and three baskets from behind the arc, while Washington scored 18 and made four 3s.
OM (1-1, 3-2): J. Harris 22, J. Washington 18, K. Browne 10, T. McDuffie 4, D. Chisholm 1.
Glenelg 45, Annapolis 35
Jenna Hirsch led the Gladiators to the non-county victory. The senior scored 20 points, including four 3-pointers in the first half to build a 21-14 halftime lead. Sophia Salafia chipped in with 11 points and hit three 3s in the fourth period to seal the victory.
A: I. Papaleont 11, C. Gilman 8, A. Green 5, D. Jones 5, A. King 4, T. Henderson 2.
G (1-2, 2-2): J. Hirsch 20, S. Salafia 11, M. Sloan 5, L. LaPoint 4, G. Tolbert 3, A. Gillespie 2.
Halftime: 21-14, G
Broadneck 47, Long Reach 18
The young Lightning have lost their fifth straight game to start the season. Frehsman Tamir Whittle led the team with seven points.
Br: McCue 12, Nick 9, Gownley 6, Kelley 5, Smargissi 4, Dowell 2, Allgaieu 2, Green 2, Reagle 2, Yeomans 2, Harrison 1.
LR (0-3, 0-5): T. Whittle 7, A. Nagle 4, O. Aofalaju 4, S. Sims 2, R. McDaniel 1.
Halftime: 24-10, Br
South River 60, Centennial 49
The Eagles fell to 2-3 with the loss to the Seahawks from Anne Arundel County. Brook Anderson led all scorers with 25 points and five 3-pointers. Lauren Pellegrini followed the way with 10 points.
SR: Fitzwater 22, Dorrows 19, McClenahan 6, Herndon 4, Bresnahan 4, McGuirk 4, Smith 1.
C (1-2, 2-3): B. Anderson 25, L. Pellegrini 10, T. Pearson 7, O. Jackson 3, O. Reese 2, C. LasCasas 2.
Halftime: 29-19, SR
Arundel 52, Mt. Hebron 26
With Tori Valentine and Erin Dixon out for the game, the Vikings lost their second game of the season. Danielle Bodziak led the Vikes with nine points.
A: B. Middleton 11, A. Harman 8, A. Matthews 8, A. Garlarzd 6, A. Bontempo 5, R. Yearwood 4, S. Gotshall 3, T. Queen 3, H. Laniyonu 3, H. Middleton 1.
MH (2-1, 3-2): D. Bodziak 9, K. Milano 5, C. Smith 4, A. Harrington 4, R. Wheatley 2, A. Unkenholz 2.
Halftime: 21-14, A
North County 45, Atholton 42
The Raiders fall to 0-5 with the non-county loss. Laila Cowsette led all players with 21 points, including two 3-pointers.
NC: A. Holland 13, M. Youngbar 12, N. Quarles 10, J. Baynard 7, S. Kaplan 3.
A (0-2, 0-4): L. Cowsette 21, M. Hargrett 9, N. Blair 6, M. McCabe 4, K. Munro 2.
Glen Burnie 63, Hammond 26
The Golden Bears fall to 0-4 with the loss. Jocelyn Fogle led the team with eight points and 13 rebounds.
GB: A. Porter 17, M. Hinton 12, N. Wallace 9, J. Brown 9, D. Austin 5, A. Offer 5, J. Dozier 4, S. Calhoun 2.
Ha (0-3, 0-4): J. Fogle 8, D. Britt 4, M. Newby 4, K. Brown 3, H. Chambers 3, R. Smoot 2, K. Beahm 2.
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Halftime: 35-15, GB