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Marriotts Ridge girls basketball earns convincing win over Reservoir

Marriotts Ridge head coach Sarah Miller, pictured here in a game earlier this season, was pleased with how her Mustangs didn't "let up" in the team's 63-39 win over host Reservoir on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.
Marriotts Ridge head coach Sarah Miller, pictured here in a game earlier this season, was pleased with how her Mustangs didn't "let up" in the team's 63-39 win over host Reservoir on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (Bill Ryan / For Baltimore Sun Me/Baltimore Sun Media Group)

When Marriotts Ridge and Reservoir girls basketball met on Jan. 15, the Gators stormed back from an eight-point deficit with three minutes left for an unlikely four-point victory.

In the rematch Thursday night, the Mustangs made sure Reservoir never had that chance — leading wire-to-wire in a 63-39 victory.

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“Tonight our mentality was we were not going to let up,” Marriotts Ridge head coach Sarah Miller said. “That’s been our mentality the last couple games. We keep pushing, keep going and want to make sure we finish it off.”

As has been the case all year, Marriotts Ridge (9-5 Howard County, 14-6 overall) was led by a balanced offense, with three players scoring in double figures. Senior Emma Morath led the way with a game-high 16 points, junior Morgan Lee had 13 and senior Kendall Bryan had 10.

The Mustangs were also strong on defense, especially on Reservoir scoring machine Tiffany Hooker. After sitting out the first four minutes for what head coach Deb Taylor said was a “team issue,” Hooker either had to deal with a box-and-one or double and triple teams all night.

Oakland Mills senior guard Jazmine Washington scored her 1,000th career point in the Scorpions' 48-34 win over Hammond on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.

She scored just seven points, marking the second straight game she scored fewer than 10 after scoring at least 16 in Reservoir’s first 18 games. Prior to this week’s games against Howard and Marriotts Ridge, Hooker was averaging 28.1 points per game.

“She had a tough shooting night,” Taylor said. “Defenses are definitely keying on her and making her shots difficult the second time through the league.”

Marriotts Ridge jumped out to an 8-0 lead with Hooker on the bench, but the Gators (9-5, 13-7) managed to stay within striking distance when she checked into the game. The offense flowed better with Hooker on the floor, and back-to-back threes from Hooker and Kate Abunassar to end the first quarter cut the Mustangs lead to 17-15.

Reservoir’s Kari Holmes tied the game at 19 with a jumper early in the second quarter, but Marriotts Ridge went on the first of its game-clinching runs for the rest of the second quarter. The Mustangs attacked the smaller Gators inside, getting to the foul line 15 times in the quarter. They hit 10 during a 16-4 run that gave them a 35-23 halftime lead.

“We knew that there were a lot of mismatches in the post,” Morath said. “So we tried to get the ball down there and make some moves in the post to get some nice easy points.”

Hooker hit a jumper to start the third quarter, though Reservoir didn’t make another shot from the field for almost seven minutes. Marriotts Ridge went on a 12-0 run during that time and led by as many as 28 points before the final buzzer.

“Marriotts Ridge is a very good team and they continue to get better,” Taylor said. “They score from every position, every kid does their part, they’re tough to defend and they’re so much bigger than us. They really hurt us badly on the pick-and-roll where they would hit the roller and have someone on the boards.”

The Mustangs have now won five of six games since a 51-38 loss to Atholton on Jan. 17.

“We had a really tough loss to Atholton, and we regrouped on that," Miller said. "We sat down as a team and said what is our goal for the rest of the season. For them it’s looking to try to lock down the No. 1 seed for our part of the section, so that’s been our goal.”

BOX SCORE:

Marriotts Ridge 63, Reservoir 39

MR (9-5, 14-6): E. Morath 16, M. Lee 13, K. Bryan 10, E. Miller 9, A. Windsor 5, N. Held 4, C. Crawford 4, K. Lee 2.

Re (9-5, 13-7): K. Abunassar 9, T. Hooker 7, L. Dudzinski 7, K. Holmes 6, L. Hardie 6, R. Malwitz 2, A. Pennington 2.

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Halftime: 35-23, MR

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