The Hammond girls basketball team started sluggish against Long Reach on Friday night.
The Golden Bears were winning by two points midway through the first quarter when the team’s press defense became more focused. Led by senior Keisean Brown, the Golden Bears went on a 20-2 run over the next eight minutes en route to a 58-32 win.
“It was great to get a lead and not slow down,” said Brown. “We had a couple turnovers in the first quarter, but we just stuck together. We kept the press defense going, and it worked.”
Playing against a young Long Reach team, Brown and the rest of the Golden Bears forced several turnovers in the second period during a 16-0 run.
“Our press was really to our advantage tonight, and that builds to our offensive game,” said Hammond head coach Alexis Briscoe. “We had turnovers that turned into fast-break layups.”
Brown scored a team-high 13 points from the point guard position and defended Tamir Whittle, Long Reach’s best player. Brown also chipped in with six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
“Not only is she a leader on the court, but she’s playing solid defense, too,” Briscoe said. “She’s a true senior.”
Despite trailing 29-9 midway through the second quarter at Long Reach High School, the Lightning ended the first half on a 10-3 run of their own to trail by only 13 at halftime. Leading Hammond in the second quarter was freshman Maya Woodson, who scored two baskets in the period and ended the game with eight points. The tall forward, who missed two games in the middle of the season with a concussion, joins junior Jocelyn Fogle, who leads the team with 11.6 points per game, as a formidable duo in the frontcourt. Fogle also scored 11 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the win.
“I’m super excited for how much she’s going to grow,” Briscoe said. “Our height is really great, and we can use that to our advantage. We have quick height, too. They can shoot outside shots and they’re very versatile.”
Hammond (2-3 Howard County, 3-5) followed up the second-quarter run by outscoring Long Reach (0-4, 0-7) 8-3 and 18-10 in the third and fourth quarters, respectively. While in previous games Fogle and Brown have contributed for a significant portion of Hammond’s points, that wasn’t the case on Friday, as five Golden Bears scored six-plus points.
“We love when everybody scores,” Brown said. “We never want it to be just me or Jocelyn. We want everyone to shine.”
“I like them working as a team,” Briscoe said. “It’s really nice when everyone gets an opportunity to score.”
Despite the loss, Long Reach head coach Keith Williams was pleased with his team’s scoring output. The 32-point performance was the most the Lightning have scored in a game this season and double its previous high against a county opponent.
“We did a lot of shooting drills over the break, and those definitely translated into our game today,” Williams said. “The girls are so young, because we’re developing them and they’re also playing games. But we did a good job of pushing the tempo tonight.”
After back-to-back county championship seasons, Long Reach has struggled so far this season with a young roster. The Lightning have only one senior, and nine of their 10 players are underclassmen. Williams said his top two players — senior Ashleigh Nagle (15 points) and freshman Tamir Whittle (eight points) — showed improvement on Friday night.
“Ashleigh Nagle did a good job of shooting the ball,” Williams said. “She’s been awesome for us. She’s a hard worker and is a positive kid. ... Tamir did a good job of creating for others. She really is a critical piece to our program, and she’s developing.”
Hammond 58, Long Reach 32
Ha (2-3, 3-5): K. Brown 13, J. Fogle 11, D. Britt 8, M. Woodson 8, M. Newby 6, H. Chambers 4, K. Beahm 4, R. Smooth 4.
LR (0-4, 0-7): A. Nagle 15, T. Whittle 8, S. Sims 4, R. Baldwin 2, J. Putman 2, A. Rodriguez 1.
Halftime: 32-19, Ha
Reservoir 62, Oakland Mills 60
Reservoir’s Laiya Hardie scored the game-winning basket with only a few seconds remaining. The layup from the freshman guard capped a big comeback for the Gators, who trailed 49-30 with about three minutes remaining in the third period.
Oakland Mills, led by Jazmine Washington (22 points) and Jaidyn Harris (16 points), opened the game on a 15-0 run. Both teams were hitting deep 3-pointers throughout the game. Washington and Harris made five and three threes, respectively, while Reservoir’s Tiffany Hooker and Maddy Davis made four and two, respectively.
Hooker, who led all scorers with a career-high 37 points, led the Gators back from their deep deficit. She scored 16 of Reservoir’s 26 points in the fourth quarter. Daniah Moultrie tied the game at 60, and Hardie stole an inbounds pass and scored an uncontested layup to win the game.
Re (3-1, 6-1): T. Hooker 37, M. Davis 11, L. Hardie 7, D. Moultrie 3, R. Malwitz 2, K. Abunassar 2.
OM (1-2, 5-4): J. Washington 22, J. Harris 16, R. Fairbanks 10, K. Browne 10, T. McDuffie 2.
Halftime: 35-25, OM
Centennial 51, Atholton 47
Despite trailing by 11 points in the fourth quarter, Atholton made a fierce comeback to trail by only two points with less than 10 seconds remaining. Centennial’s Lauren Pellegrini sealed the victory with six seconds remaining when she nailed two free throws. Centennial’s Brook Anderson led all scorers with 13 points, while Tori Pearson chipped in with 11.
C (2-2, 3-5): B. Anderson 13, T. Pearson 11, O. Reese 9, L. Pellegrini 8, A. Urquiaga 5, O. Jackson 4, S. Sopchick 1.
A (0-4, 1-6): T. Kidd 12, M. Hargrett 11, N. Blair 9, E. Morton 8, L. Cowsette 7.
Halftime: 30-19, C
Howard 51, Marriotts Ridge 36
After trailing 18-17 at halftime, Howard outscored Marriotts Ridge 20-6 in the third quarter. Anii Harris led the Lions with 27 points, 16 of which came in the second half. Camille Malagar chipped in with 13 points, nine of which came from behind the arc.
Ho (4-0, 9-0): A. Harris 27, C. Malagar 13, M. Sanchez-Henry 7, G. Scott 2, E. Durkee 2.
MR (2-2, 7-3): E. Miller 17, M. Lee 6, E. Morath 4, C. Crawford 4, K. Bryan 3, C. Meininger 2.
Halftime: 18-17, MR
River Hill 47, Glenelg 26
Saniha Jackson led the Hawks with 21 points in the win over Glenelg. After a slow first half, the Hawks scored 19 points in the third period, 11 of which Jackson scored. Anhyia Smith chipped in with eight points, while Caroline Duffy and Kennedy Clark both scored seven points.
RH (5-0, 7-2): S. Jackson 21, A. Smith 8, K. Clark 7, C. Duffy 7, A. Thompson 2, A. McCullough 2.
G (1-4, 3-5): K. Cook 9, G. Tolbert 5, A. Cook 4, M. Sloan 3, J. Hirsch 2, L. LaPointe 2, L. Davis 1.
Halftime: 17-10, RH
Mt. Hebron 51, Wilde Lake 31
Audrey Harrington led the Vikings with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Tori Valentine chipped in with 14 points for the Vikings, and Wilde Lake’s Brianna Floyd led the Wildecats with 10 points.
MH (3-1, 5-3): A. Harrington 16, T. Valentine 14, E. Dixon 7, R. Vidal 6, K. Milano 4, K. Millen 2, A. Unkenholz 2.
WL (2-1, 3-3): B. Floyd 10, K. Corkeron 6, M. Swaby-Rowe 6, L. Richards 6, C. Zimmerman 3,
Halftime: 28-10, WL
Westminster 54, Glenelg 45
The Gladiators lost the non-county contest that was rescheduled after it was postponed on Dec. 16. Gabbie Tolbert led the team with 10 points.
G (1-3, 3-5): G. Tolbert 10, J. Hirsch 8, M. Sloan 7, L. LaPointe 6, L. Davis 6, A. Cook 5, L. Hesen 3.