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Big fourth quarter helps Howard girls basketball pull away from John Carroll

Howard senior Taylor Addison talks about the Lions’ 64-51 win over John Carroll on Jan. 20.

Having watched a 20-point first-half lead disappear by the end of the third quarter against John Carroll Saturday evening, Howard found itself needing to find a second wind at the Public vs Private School Challenge at McDonogh.

Sparked by its senior leader Taylor Addison, the Lions ended up getting exactly that.

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Addison scored seven of her game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter and pulled down several key rebounds, setting the tone as the Lions outscored the Patriots 23-8 over the final eight minutes en route to a 64-51 victory.

“To John Carroll’s credit, they made some adjustments and hit some big threes in that third quarter, which forced us to get out of our gimmick defense and go –man-to-man. But the biggest thing was that we stopped taking the quick shots and got back to what we did so well while building our lead early,” Howard coach Scott Robinson said. “This was big for us, because we really haven’t had a game yet where we trailed and then came back.

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“I thought we showed a lot of resiliency and I’m very proud of them for that.”

In addition to Addison, Howard (13-1) also got 12 points from Marissa Sanchez-Henry and 11 from Deonna Jones.

Jordan Wakefield led John Carroll (10-4) with 15 points.

Addison said that while every game right now is important in terms of getting ready for playoffs and securing a top seed in the region, this victory was especially sweet.

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“A lot of times we don’t get chances to play against these private school teams out here, so it was a really great win,” she said.

Howard wasted little time gaining the upper hand, breaking down John Carroll’s zone press to score the first seven points of the game. By the end of the first quarter it was 15-3 in favor of the Lions and following a lay-up by Sanchez-Henry with 5:38 left in the second quarter, the Lions had opened up a 25-5 lead.

A mix of inside lay-ups from Addison and Jones, combined with the outside shooting of Madison Burris (9 points), had the Patriots scrambling.

But John Carroll settled down toward the end of the first half, trimming its deficit to 33-24 at the break behind some timely 3-pointers from Wakefield.

Then the Patriots’ big run came in the third quarter, hitting four threes and outscoring Howard 11-3 in a three-minute stretch to end the period to take the team’s first lead at 43-41.

“John Carroll is a great team … so that’s why they came back. But as a team we kind of regrouped and were like ‘Well, they are making shots, we’ll make shots too. Our time will come and our shots will fall as well,’” Addison said.

Addison was the one who started the decisive fourth-quarter surge for her team with a lay up on the first possession of the final period. After that, everything started going the Lions’ way.

In a span of a little over three minutes to open the fourth quarter, Howard had five different players score as part of a 16-1 run that put it up by double figures once again.

John Carroll never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.

Robinson said it was a big win for the program and the county.

“For us, it was big to get a chance to play a top IAAM Conference team because I think there is always that image out there that being a county school, we can’t compete against them. But we came in expecting to not only compete, but to win,” Robinson said. “I thought we showed a lot tonight.”

Howard 64, John Carroll 51

Ho (13-1): Addison 25, Sanchez-Henry 12, Jones 11, Burris 9, Furr 7.

JC (10-4): Wakefield 15, Cavino 10, Kupchinskas 9, Huggins 8, Williams 5, Simmons 2, Savage 1.

Half: 33-24 Ho.

Other score:

McDonogh 67, Long Reach 32

Less than 24 hours after suffering its second loss of the season at the hands of St. Frances, McDonogh came out Saturday against Long Reach and wasted little time getting back on track.

The Eagles jumped out to a 15-5 lead in the opening minutes and never slowed down the rest of the way en route to a 67-32 victory. Jessica Booth (16 points), Taleah Dixon (13) and Kayla Liles (13) all scored in double figures, as McDonogh (14-2) created a running clock midway through the fourth quarter while increasing its lead to as many as 41 points.

“They played with a confidence tonight that we didn’t see last night and that’s something we talked about. We’ve had some success over the years, so we’ve got to have some swag and show it out there,”McDonogh coach Brad Rees said. “We’ve played a really tough out-of-conference schedule, then No. 1 and No. 4 back-to-back yesterday and today, so we looked at this as a great test for them.

“And I couldn’t be happier to see them pass with flying colors tonight.”

Long Reach (9-1), which suffered its first loss of the season, got a team-high 15 points from Lyric Swann.

Lightning coach Kelli Cofield said her team struggled at the onset and never settled in, but she still was happy her team got a chance to experience playing a team of McDonogh’s caliber in front of a large crowd.

“They excel at getting you out of your comfort zone and that’s exactly what they did. They trapped all over the court and they created turnovers, which took our energy away and it turned into a lay up line on the other end,” Cofield said. “But that’s a great team and playing a team like that certainly prepares us for later in the season and playoffs. Regardless of the outcome, I told the girls this was a great opportunity for them and our program to be part of an event like this.

“We’ll look at the things we need to improve on and I’m confident we’ll be able to use today to make us better.”

M (14-2): Booth 16, Dixon 13, Liles 13, Valdez 9, Nelson 8, Oden 3, Yospa 2, Class 2, Blaze 1.

LR (9-1): L. Swann 15, J. Swann 6, Williams 6, Briggs-Hall 3, Thompson 2.

After trailing 21-9 at the half, Oakland Mills girls basketball holds Centennial to six second-half points on the way to come-from-behind victory on Friday, Jan. 19.

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