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Clark’s near-perfect night leads River Hill girls basketball to win over Marriotts Ridge

River Hill guard Kennedy Clark, pictured here talking to coach Teresa Waters in a game last season, scored 20 points in the Hawks' 48-26 win over Marriotts Ridge on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019.
River Hill guard Kennedy Clark, pictured here talking to coach Teresa Waters in a game last season, scored 20 points in the Hawks' 48-26 win over Marriotts Ridge on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. (Doug Kapustin / For Baltimore Sun Media)

River Hill’s Kennedy Clark was a few made shots away from a perfect night.

The senior point guard led all scorers with an efficient 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the Hawks’ 48-26 win over host Marriotts Ridge on Friday. The only shot Clark missed from the field was a 3-pointer, while she also missed two of her six free-throw attempts. Aside from those few misses, Clark delivered whenever River Hill needed a boost on offense.

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“I was proud of her. She stepped up big time,” said River Hill head coach Teresa Waters. “That’s what a leader does. She was so composed.”

While River Hill led the entire game, there was some turbulence. Sophomore Anhyia Smith, one of River Hill’s top three scorers, was in foul trouble for most of the game, and the Mustangs made a run in the second quarter to trail by only a few points. During the tough moments, Clark hit several shots to deflate the Mustangs’ hopes to prevent a comeback.

“I felt on tonight,” Clark said. “We had shootaround at our school, and I was making my shots then. Then I made my shots during warm-up too.”

Clark’s only miss from the field was a 3-pointer. She made 2 of 3 shots from behind the arc in the game. Aside from her ability to score from all three levels, Marriotts Ridge head coach Sarah Miller said Clark’s “incredible IQ” makes her a difficult player to defend.

“Kennedy played great tonight,” Miller said. “It’s very difficult to defend her. She’s all over the floor on both ends. She’s a great defender as well as being a great point guard.”

Neither team scored in the first three minutes to start the game at Marriotts Ridge (2-1, 4-1). The Hawks offense picked it up in the last half of the first period to lead 13-6 heading into the second quarter. Led by seven points from Caroline Crawford, Marriotts Ridge went on a 9-2 run to start the second quarter. The Hawks bounced back, though, to enter halftime up 24-17. Smith was on the bench for much of the first half with foul trouble, which Waters said “changes the complexion” of the game.

“The last two games we’ve had to sit Anhyia because of fouls,” Waters said. “We’ll have to adjust, because teams are focusing on her. It changes the dynamic a lot. She has great vision on the court, and she does a lot of things well.”

“We definitely have to adjust,” Clark said about playing without Smith. “We have to pass more and get movement. We struggled with that in the beginning, but we got better with it as the game went on.”

Aside from Clark’s efficiency, River Hill’s defense was key to its victory. Waters switched to a 2-3 zone in the second half, and her defense held the Mustangs to nine points the rest of the game. Marriotts Ridge shot 6 of 41 in the game and made only a few baskets in the entire second half.

“We just didn’t knock down shots,” Miller said. “We got some open shots, but we didn’t shift their zone to get openings. We didn’t play clean offense. When you’re not playing clean, it’s tough to get good shots up.”

With 13 of Clark’s 20 points came in the first half, Saniha Jackson got going in the second half to end her night with 11 points. The two seniors, who helped lead the Hawks to the 2A state title last season, have scored in double digits in every game this season.

Despite the loss, Miller said a game like Friday’s early in the season can be good for a young team to learn. The Mustangs, who entered the game 4-0, were without Emma Morath (11 points per game), who was out with an injury.

“We have been able to overcome some adversity in our first couple of games,” Miller said. “We were able to put some points on the board and battled in some close games. Emma Morath is a big piece of our team, so that was a big miss for us tonight.”

BOX SCORE:

River Hill 48, Marriotts Ridge 26

RH (3-0, 4-0): K. Clark 20, S. Jackson 11, A. Smith 7, A. McCullough 4, C. Duffy 4, E. Devine 2.

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MR (2-1, 4-1): M. Lee 7, C. Crawford 7, E. Miller 4, C. Meininger 3, K. Bryan 2, N. Held 1, K. Lee 1, A. Windsor 1.

OTHER SCORES:

Centennial 66, Reservoir 60

The Eagles won their first county game of the season in exciting fashion. After ending regulation tied at 57, Centennial held Reservoir to three points in overtime to win. Seven of Centennial’s nine points in overtime came from the free-throw line. Lauren Pellegrini led the Eagles with 16 points, while Brook Anderson, Tori Pearson and Olivia Reese chipped in with 14, 13 and 12 points, respectively. Pellegrini made five free throws in overtime to seal the victory. Tiffany Hooker led Reservoir with 31 points, while Maddy Davis tallied 17 points in the loss.

Box score:

C (1-2, 2-2): L. Pellegrini 16, B. Anderson 14, T. Pearson 13, O. Reese 12, A. Urquiaga 5, O. Jackson 2, C. LasCasas 2, S. Sopchick 2.

Re (2-1, 2-1): T. Hooker 31, M. Davis 17, L. Dudzinski 4, R. Malwitz 4, K. Abunassar 2, A. Pressley 2.

Halftime: 27-27

Regulation: 57-57

Wilde Lake 45, Hammond 34

Two days after Wilde Lake earned its first county win since the 2016-17 season, Kalani Corkeron and Mia Swaby-Rowe led the Wildecats to their second straight win of the season. Corkeron scored 22 points, while Swaby-Rowe filled up the box score with 12 points, eight rebounds, five blocks and five steals. The Wildecats outscored the Golden Bears 25-14 in the second half after the game was tied, 20-20, at halftime.

Box score:

WL (2-0, 2-1): K. Corkeron 22, M. Swaby-Rowe 12, N. Brown 6, B. Floyd 5.

Ha (0-3, 0-3): K. Brown 9, J. Fogle 8, M. Woodson 6, K. Beahm 6, D. Britt 3, R. Smoot 2

Halftime: 20-20

Oakland Mills 54, Atholton 40

Jaidyn Harris, who missed the 2018-19 season with an injury, broke out today in the Scorpions’ first county win of the season. Harris, a senior, scored 23 points and made six 3-pointers. Joining Harris in the win was Jazmine Washington, who chipped in with 20 points. Atholton, who was led by Natalie Blair’s 11 points, led at halftime, but the Scorpions scored 16 and 18 points in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.

Box score:

OM (1-1, 2-1): J. Harris 23, J. Washington 20, K. Browne 6, D. Chisholm 2.

A (0-3, 0-4): N. Blair 11, A. Barker 9, L. Cowsette 6, M. Hargrett 6, S. Mims 4, E. Morton 3, G. Jackson 1.

Halftime: 23-20, A

Mt. Hebron 56, Long Reach 14

Erin Dixon led the Vikings to a blowout win over Long Reach. The sophomore guard scored 14 points and made two 3-pointers in the triumph. Tori Valentine chipped in with 12 points, while Danielle Bodziak, Raelis Vidal and Kate Milano scored six points apiece.

Box score:

MH (2-1, 3-1): E. Dixon 14, T. Valentine 12, D. Bodziak 6, R. Vidal 6, K. Milano 6, C. Smith 4, K. Millen 3, R. Wheatley 2, E. Hollis 2, I. Broccolino 1,

LR (0-3, 0-4): T. Whittle 8, J. Putman 4, O. Aofolaju 1, R. McDaniel 1.

Halftime: 32-7, MH

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Howard 68, Westminster 32

Howard continues to dominant opposing teams, as the Lions open their season with a fourth straight win by 28-plus points. Anii Harris, a senior, led the Lions with a career-high 28 points. Her previous career high was 21 points last season against Atholton. Marisa Sanchez-Henry and Gabby Scott chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Box score:

Ho (3-0, 4-0): A. Harris 28, M. Sanchez-Henry 11, G. Scott 10, E. Durkee 6, S. Nasir 5, C. Malagar 4, K. Sabatini 2, K. McDuffie 2.

Halftime: 30-13, Ho

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