The Hammond girls basketball team led by 18 points heading into the fourth quarter against Glenelg on Friday.
The game should’ve been over.
But the Golden Bears, in search of their first win of the season, started to crack as the Gladiators fought back within three points thanks to an 18-3 run. Hammond senior Keisean Brown was then fouled with 15 seconds remaining and knocked down a crucial free throw to seal the Golden Bears’ first victory of the season — a 36-32 win over the visiting Gladiators.
Hammond girls basketball players Keisean Brown and Jocelyn Fogle talk Golden Bears basketball after the team's 36-32 win over Glenelg on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019.
“She’s our only senior, so she’s a big leader on and off the court,” said Hammond head coach Alexis Briscoe. “She made a big free-throw there, and she stepped up for us. I’m proud of her.”
“I was trying to stay calm and tune out the crowd,” Brown said. “I just kept my head and looked at the rim and trust myself.”
“This means a lot to get that first win for coach," Brown said. “At the beginning, it took some time for us to gel as a team, because we have a new set of players and a new coach. But tonight we pulled it together and managed to win.”
“I’m so excited for them," Briscoe said. "They’re working so hard. We’re a brand-new team, and I’m a brand-new coach. My team is young, but we’re working and we’re getting a little bit better every day.”
The defensive-minded game at Hammond started slowly for Glenelg. The Gladiators made their first and last 3-point attempts of the first half but missed each of the 17 3-pointers in between. The third quarter wasn’t any better, either, with Glenelg scoring only four points to trail 32-14 with eight minutes remaining. While the team had some turnovers and Glenelg’s shot selection wasn’t perfect, Glenelg head coach David Ebbe chalked up the poor shooting night (12 of 69) to a lack of confidence.
“I think it was in our head that we weren’t shooting well,” he said. “They started thinking, and no one was shooting well the first three quarters.”
Brown and Fogle led the Golden Bears throughout the game, scoring 24 of the team’s 36 points. Ebbe said Fogle, who has the size of a post player but the speed and instincts of a guard, is “versatile.”
“The thing about Jocelyn is that she isn’t just a post player,” Ebbe said. “She can shoot 3s, and she can shoot off the dribble.”
Kayonna Cook sparked Glenelg’s comeback. The junior came off the bench in the fourth quarter and immediately knocked down a 3-pointer, stole a pass and made a layup to start Glenelg’s fourth-quarter comeback.
“I was really proud with how we fought at the end,” Ebbe said.
Aside from Brown’s late free throw, the only other points the Golden Bears scored in the final period were off a 3-pointer from junior Ra’Naiya Smoot. Briscoe said the triumph was a true “team win” and added that freshman Hannah Chambers (four points and 12 rebounds) played her best game of the season.
“Hannah did such an amazing job stepping up today,” Briscoe said.
Hammond 36, Glenelg 32
Ha (1-3 Howard County, 1-4): J. Fogle 13, K. Brown 11, H. Chambers 4, R. Smoot 4, K. Beahm 2, D. Britt 2.
G (1-2, 2-3): J. Hirsch 9, K. Cook 9, S. Salafia 6, A. Cook 3, J. Torres-Kruger 2, A. Gillespie 2, M. Sloan 1.
Halftime: 18-10, Ha
Saturday, Dec. 21:
Reservoir 53, Catonsville 49
Tiffany Hooker keeps finding new heights. After scoring a career-high 31 points in back-to-back games and scoring 24 on Friday (in three quarters), the senior guard put up 35 to lead the Gators to a win over Catonsville in the Comets’ home Holiday Tournament championship. Twenty eight of her 35 points came in the second half, and she scored all 17 of Reservoir’s points in the third quarter. She sealed the victory with two late free throws to put the Gators up four points with less than 20 seconds remaining. Hooker is now averaging 29 points per game.
Re (2-1, 5-1): T. Hooker 35, M. Davis 6, K. Abunassar 5, R. Malwitz 3, L. Hardie 2, D. Moultrie 2.
The Gators won their first game of the Catonsville Holiday Tournament. Tiffany Hooker, who was coming off back-to-back 31-point games, scored 24 points before resting in the fourth quarter. The guard, who made four 3-pointers in the win, also had five assists and seven steals in the win. Maddy Davis and Kate Abunassar chipped in with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Davis also had three rebounds, three assists and five steals. Reservoir started the game hot, scoring 26 points in the first period — including all four of Hooker’s 3-pointers. The Gators play Catonsville in the championship on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Re (2-1, 4-1): T. Hooker 24, M. Davis 12, K. Abunassar 11, L. Hardie 7, K. Holmes 6, A. Jenne 4, L. Dudzinski 4, R. Malwitz 4.
Saniha Jackson had a monster night to lead the Hawks to a county victory. Jackson scored 30 points, grabbed 21 rebounds, dished out four assists and had three steals. The senior forward made 12 shots from the field and six free throws in the win. Senior point guard Kennedy Clark chipped in with six points, eight assists and five boards. Anhyia Smith scored 18, and Caroline Duffy scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds. The game was close at halftime, but River Hill gained a double-digit lead in the third quarter and expanded it with a 28-point fourth period. Jackson and Smith combined to score 22 of the Hawks’ 28 points in the quarter.
RH (4-0, 5-1): S. Jackson 30, A. Smith 18, C. Duffy 9, K. Clark 6, A. McCullough 4, E. Devine 2.
OM (1-2, 3-3): J. Washington 23, J. Harris 18, I. McDuffie 5, T. McDuffie 1.
Halftime: 25-17, RH
Wise 56, Long Reach 15
LR (0-3, 0-6): T. Whittle 4, O. Aofolaju 4, A. Nagle 3, J. Putman 2, S. Sims 2.
Atholton 45, Century 44
Despite trailing by 14 points in the second half, the Raiders fought back for their first triumph of the season. Laila Cowsette (18 points) tied the game on a layup with nine seconds left, and Mia Hargrett drew a foul as time expired and made the game-winning free throw.
A (0-3, 1-5): L. Cowsette 18, M. Hargrett 17, M. McCabe 5, T. Kidd 3, A. Barker 2.