After a disappointing fourth-quarter loss on Monday, Glenelg bounced back Wednesday night at home against an undefeated Centennial team. The Gladiators pulled away in the final two minutes and earned the 50-46 win.
"It was such a great team win," said Glenelg's Jessica Foster. "One of the things that we struggle with is the second half of games. We've kept about even in the third quarter and in the fourth quarter we finally got it together, pushed together as a team and altogether, just a great team win. I couldn't be prouder of the girls."
It was a back-and-forth match between the two teams. The score was knotted up six times during the game and resulted in seven different lead changes.
"I thought we had to come out and play better than Monday," said Gladiators coach Chris Beil after the win. "Centennial is a well-coached team and I believe they were down a player and they came out ready to play. It was a slug fest. It was going back and forth. Key foul shots, and a few shots here, a few shots there, and anyone could have won that game."
With Glenelg leading much of the first half, the Eagles Jasmine McCree tied up the score for the first time since the opening minutes with 1:11 remaining in the second quarter. Neither team could find the bottom of the basket in the final minute, so the score remained 24-24 heading into halftime.
The third quarter saw the Gladiators and the Eagles exchange buckets, but Glenelg's Bethany Arrington had the last say, draining a jumper with 11 seconds to go before heading into the fourth.
The Gladiators took that momentum into the final eight minutes, as they started the quarter with back-to-back three's by Miranda Mattis and Foster. The eight-point lead was the largest advantage for either team in the game.
"That was a big play there," Foster said. "Again, that was the team there, just swinging the ball around, moving our offense, which is what we've been working on and that really gave us a big confidence boost right there and we knew we could do it, right then, right there."
However Centennial clawed its way back. Ashley Molz nailed a shot from behind the three-point arc and then Kelly Simmons followed with a basket on the ensuing possession, which put the Eagles ahead, 44-43 with 2:40 left in the game.
But it was the last lead Centennial saw.
Chelsea Henggeler earned a trip to the foul line on the Gladiators ensuing possession, making one-of-two and tying the game up at 44. Glenelg held the Eagles on their next possession, and then capitalized on the other end. Grace Butera sank a jumper at the top of the key and Foster followed with another basket – extending their cushion to a two-possession game with 48 seconds to play.
Centennial missed on a three-point attempt the following play and after Glenelg won back the ball, the Eagles had no choice but to intentionally foul.
Foster and Butera made three-of-four from the line in the last 22 seconds, icing the game for the Gladiators.
"I think we got better today," said Centennial coach Bobby Macheel. "They pushed us, which was great. Obviously it hurts to lose but we have great potential to get a lot better. We are one step slow in a couple of our defensive help rotations that could have made a big difference. So we got to keep working in practice to fix that. I thought some girls stepped up for us. Ally Driscoll is out of this game with an ankle, and I thought some of the other girls stepped up in a big way, especially defensively."
For the Eagles, Kelly Simmons had a game-high 15 points, followed by Kewa Gray with 12. Centennial was missing one of their best players in Driscoll, but in her place, Ashley Molz and Izzie Chausse stepped up and played well for Macheel's group.
"We encourage our role players to step up and I thought Izzie (did) especially," Macheel explained. "We put her on a really tough matchup with Foster, and I thought she performed admirably. And offensively, she surprised me to be honest, because sometimes she lacks some confidence, but she stepped up today, which is great seeing. Ashley, I knew she could shoot, but I haven't seen her take it to the bucket like she did a couple times, so that was great to see."
Foster had a team-high 13 points, including two made-three's, while Chelsea Henggeler followed with 10 points – seven of which came in the first half. Julia Wolfrey, Katie Twigg and Miranda Mattis all finished with six points each, while Butera ended with five.
"Overall it was a great team effort," Beil added. "I thought Grace Butera played well, I don't think she came out the second half, and Julia with foul trouble came in and made her defensive presence felt in the second half also."
The 50-46 outcome puts Glenelg and Centennial with matching 4-1 records on the season. They will both be back in action Friday, as the Gladiators travel to Oakland Mills, while the Eagles host Reservoir.
Glenelg 50, Centennial 46 (Wednesday, Dec. 16)
G (4-1, 4-1): Foster 13, Henggeler 10, Wolfrey 6, Twigg 6, Mattis 6, Butera 5, Arrington 2, Johnson 1.
C (4-1, 4-1): Simmons 15, Gray 12, Chausse 7, Molz 7, McCree 6.
Mt. Hebron 60, Oakland Mills 41 (Wednesday, Dec. 16)
After two consecutive loses, the Vikings got back on track Wednesday after beating the Scorpions on their home floor.
It was a close game in the first half, with Mt. Hebron taking a one-point lead into halftime. But the Vikings took over in the third quarter, holding Oakland Mills to seven points in the period, while on offense, scoring 20 points in the eight minutes.
Natalie Lybrook, who finished the game with eight points for Mt. Hebron, knocked down two three's in the third, while Erin Demek also nailed a trey to help extend the lead.
But it was senior captain Peyton LeConte who was the catalyst for the Vikings. She finished with a team-high 15 points and got to the foul line on five separate occasions, hitting on 5-of-10 from the charity stripe. Shane Devine followed offensively, finishing with 10 points on the night.
Theda Jackson led the Scorpions with her game-high 18 points. The senior guard did most of her damage on the foul line, connecting on 13-for-24 from the line. Kyrah Pocheco followed with 10 points.
Oakland Mills head back home Friday to face Glenelg, while Mt. Hebron will stay on the road to take on undefeated Atholton.
MH (3-2, 3-2): LeConte 15, S. Devine 10, Lybrook 8, Demek 5, M. Devine 4, Chase 4, Williams 4, Oliver 2, Toth 2, Lamparella 2, Schoof 2, Krell 2.
OM (1-3, 1-3): Jackson 18, Pocheco 10, Lockwood 8, Weiss 5.
Half: 25-24 MH.
Howard 61, Marriotts Ridge 35 (Wednesday, Dec. 16)
The Lions extended their winning streak to four after defeating the Mustangs Wednesday.
Howard took a 12-8 lead after the first quarter, then extended its cushion 33-22 at halftime. Marriotts Ridge trailed by just 12 after the third, but could not hang around in the final eight minutes with the Lions.
Taylor Addison had another productive day for Howard, as the sophomore registered another double-double on the season, finishing with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Emileigh Scott also recorded 16 points, while Sam Lewis added 15 points on the night. Jenny Kinsey pulled down seven rebounds to go with her four points.
Casey Sullivan drained five three-pointers for the Mustangs and finished with a game-high 17 points. Sarah Blalock and Hope Morath followed with five points apiece.
Marriotts Ridge heads to Hammond on Friday, while the Lions stay at home to face Wilde Lake.
Ho (4-0, 4-0): Addison 16, Scott 16, Lewis 15, Furr 6, Sam Sagi 4, Kinsey 4.
MR (0-4, 0-4): Sullivan 17, S. Blalock 5, Morath 5, Conroy 4, C. Blalock 2, Hockensmith 2.
Half: 33-22 Ho.
Hammond 53, Reservoir 40 (Wednesday, Dec. 16)
The Golden Bears, led by Imani Reid's 21 points, ended the Gators two-game winning streak Wednesday.
Hammond allowed just one made basket in the first half, as it took a 19-9 lead into halftime.
Reservoir struggled shooting the ball, finishing just 20 percent from the floor (16-for-68) and 27 percent from the free throw line (6-for-22).
"A definite lid on the basket," said Gators coach Deb Taylor. "As point blank shots and offensive rebounds wouldn't go down and it was contagious."
Reservoir did pull in 25 offensive boards, but couldn't get enough to go. Nia Powell and Ashley Gray played well off the bench for Taylor's group, providing a spark that helped the Gators record 23 points in the fourth quarter.
Emily Dorn led Reservoir with 13 points and 16 rebounds, followed by Haley Tiller who finished with nine points and Kayla Wilson who ended with seven points and four assists.
For Hammond, it registered its second win of the season and had great production from freshman guard Reid. The Gators couldn't stop her penetration to the basket, as she knocked down 11-of-16 from the foul line in the game and 8-of-10 in the fourth quarter. Shawnice King also chipped in with 12 points on the night.
Hammond and Reservoir are both back on the court Friday, with the Golden Bears hosting Marriotts Ridge and the Gators head to Centennial.
Ha (1-3, 2-3): Reid 21, King 12, Grenway 8, G. Abel 4, Ligouri 4, Mesol 4.
R (2-3, 2-3): Dorn 13, Tiller 9, Wilson 7, Gray 5, Dudzinski 2, Schuster 2, Verna 2, Powell 2.
Atholton 53, Long Reach 29 (Wednesday, Dec. 16)
The Raiders kept their undefeated season alive by defeating the Lightning Wednesday, pushing their record to a perfect 4-0.
It was a close game in the first half, as Atholton was up by six at the end of the half. But the last two quarters the Raiders stifling defense allowed just 13 points in the second half, including none in the fourth quarter.
A big reason in that was Atholton's ability to limit Long Reach sophomore guard Kiana Williams, who broke out on Monday for 21 points. She finished with three points, as her made three-pointer in the first quarter was the only basket she hit on the night.
In her place, junior forward Emily Joyce stepped up offensively for the Lightning, as she finished with a team-high 10 points.
As for the Raiders, they had their offense spread around as nine players recorded points in the outing. But it was Ryan Jones, Francesca Vanegas and Megan Hart that were the offensive catalysts. Jones finished with a game-high 15 points, while Vanegas and Hart ended with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Atholton will try and make it five in a row when it heads home to face Mt. Hebron Friday, while Long Reach travel to River Hill who are in search of its first win of the season.
A (4-0, 4-0): Jones 15, Vanegas 11, Hart 10, Quinn 5, Owens 4, Simons 2, Flynn 2, Hinson 2, Burmester 2.
LR (3-2, 3-2): Joyce 10, Thompson 4, D. Williams 4, Ezimako 4, K. Williams 3, Malone 2, Briggs- Hall 2.