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Howard girls basketball pulls away in second half to defeat Long Reach

Howard at Long Reach girls basketball game on Wednesday, January 4 in Columbia.

Howard (9-0) pulled away in the second half against Long Reach (7-2) Wednesday night and picked up the, 49-35, road win over its cross-town rival.

"We expected it to be a really tough game," said Lions senior captain Jenny Kinsey. "They are a very well coached, tough team, so we just went hard every day in practice and we came in knowing it was going to be tough like it was."

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The Lightning contained Howard's prolific offense — which entered the contest averaging about 72 points per game — to a season-low 49 points, including only 18 in the first half, while causing 12 total turnovers.

"They are tough defensively," said Lions coach Scott Robinson. "They are very athletic, very, very fast across the board. I thought the second half was better — scored 31 in the second half, so it just took us a while for us to get going and do the things that we wanted to do out there offensively, but they are a really good defensive team."

Taylor Addison slowly helped Howard build a 5-0 advantage, but Long Reach answered with a 6-0 run after causing three consecutive Lion turnovers midway through the first quarter. The Lightning took the lead after Kiana Williams came up with the steal and finish, putting her team up 6-5 with 1:38 to go in the period.

The game went back-and-forth for the remainder of the half, with six different lead changes before the Lions ended the second quarter on a 5-0 run to go ahead, 18-16.

"I thought we played good defense in the first half and in the beginning of the third quarter, but in the fourth we kind of collapsed defensively," said Lightning coach Kelli Cofield. "I think we let them take us out of our game emotionally, which kind of hurt us, but I don't think we played a good full game of defense. They kind of stayed in their assignments and we broke down on a couple of plays defensively, which I think opened up the game a lot on their end."

Howard started working the ball inside in the second half, with Addison and Emileigh Scott leading the charge. The two combined for 12 of their team's 17 third-quarter points, which all came in the paint.

Williams answered offensively for Long Reach, scoring all nine of her team's points in the third. She hit a huge 3-pointer about midway through the period that cut the score 22-25, but the Lions began pulling away from then on.

"I think the biggest difference was really getting the ball inside," Kinsey said. "I think that was one thing that we really had over them was our height, and so once we started getting it inside with Emileigh and Taylor things really started working out for us."

Howard ended the quarter on a 10-4 run, and then continued piling on in the final eight minutes.

Scott gave the Lions a 15-point cushion midway through the fourth quarter, and then capped off Howard's largest lead of the game (16) with two minutes remaining.

Scott finished with a season-high 19 points, while Addison followed with 14 points and seven rebounds.

"Like I've said we have so many girls who can step up in key moments and [Scott] did today," Robinson said. "We actually felt in the first half we were taking the shots that they wanted us to take and not necessarily the shots that we wanted to take. I thought the girls did a great job of being patient and getting the shots that we wanted to take in the second half."

Howard kept the Lightning to a season-low 35 points, with Williams finishing with a team-high 17, followed by Emily Joyce with nine.

"I think it's not really preparing for what they do, but being disciplined and execute both offensively and defensively," Cofield said. "I do concern myself with what the other team is doing, but I'm more keen on what we're doing. We have to do every assignment, offensively and defensively, and I don't think we did that for the entire game."

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Sam Lewis and Camille Malagar added seven and six points, respectively for the Lions. Kinsey was a key contributor defensively, while also adding four assists and four rebounds on the night.

"Just huge contributions from a lot of people," Robinson added. "The girls who got the ball to Emileigh, but honestly I thought Jenny Kinsey did a great job defensively. She did a lot of little things too that don't show up in the score book."

Long Reach is back on its home floor Friday, hosting Atholton at 7 p.m., while the Lions have a big matchup on Saturday morning against John Carroll in the public vs. private challenge at McDonogh School.

"I told them we'll enjoy this for 24 hours and we'll talk about John Carroll tomorrow," Robinson said. "I'm excited to see how we react, because they are a really good team. I'm excited to see how we practice tomorrow and how we play Saturday."

Howard 49, Long Reach 35

Ho (9-0): Scott 19, Addison 14, Lewis 7, Malagar 6, Jones 3.

LR (7-2): K. Williams 17, Joyce 9, Thompson 2, L. Swann 3, J. Swann 2, Briggs-Hall 2.

Half: 18-16, Ho.

Around the league:

Glenelg 69, Wilde Lake 18

It was a dominating effort by the Gladiators Wednesday against the visiting Wildecats, as they picked up their seventh consecutive win on the year after the, 69-18 triumph.

Glenelg spread the ball around offensively, registering 10 different scorers in the game. Sophomore Alex Anderson had one of her best games, finishing with seven points, but it was veterans Jess Foster and Julia Wolfrey who led the way for the Gladiators.

Foster ended with a game-high 17 points and added several highlight assists in the outing, while Wolfrey (11 points) followed with a productive scoring night. Senior Bethany Arrington chipped in with nine points and had an overall solid game.

Freshman Kalani Corkeron recorded a team-high nine points for the Wilde Lake, while Kiarra Lewis-Turnbo and Jazmia Perry followed with six and three points, respectively.

The Wildecats are back on the road Friday, taking on Hammond, while the Gladiators visit River Hill. Both games are set for 7 p.m.

G (7-1): Foster 17, Wolfrey 11, Arrington 9, Renehan 7, Anderson 7, Butera 6, Johnson 4, Laport 4, LePage 3, Quisenberry 1.

WL (3-6): Corkeron 9, Lewis-Turnbo 6, Perry 3.

Half: 38-6, G.

Reservoir 37, Centennial 34

The Gators have battled through some tight games all season long, but on Wednesday they finally came out on top and clinched the one-point victory over the hosting Eagles.

Reservoir held a 10-point halftime lead, but Centennial inched its way back in the second half and nearly completed the rally.

"We made it interesting down the stretch, as seems to be our way this season, but the close games we lost in December gave us confidence that we could execute down the stretch," said Gators coach Deb Taylor. "Learning from those games in December make those losses worthwhile, if it helps us adjust and improve now that we enter the bulk of league play."

Reservoir had a terrific defensive team performance against the Eagles, as it not only limited first-team all-county forward Kelly Simmons to just two points — a season low — and just three offensive rebounds, but also came up with a huge stop in the final seconds to secure the win.

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Centennial had cut the score to within one, but the Gators held their ground and did not give up the lead. On the ensuing inbound play, Natalie Verna found Nia Powell down the floor. Powell secured the pass and converted on the other end to seal the, 37-34, outcome.

"Outstanding defensive and rebounding effort," Taylor said. "Team effort in our zone to play so well against Kelly — she's a terrific player and hard to keep off the offensive boards. I'm really proud of the girls for executing that part of our game plan."

Freshman Brook Anderson had another spectacular game for Centennial, as she led her team's fourth quarter rally and ultimately finished with a game-high 19 points — eclipsing her season-high 17 points that she recorded in her previous game against Winters Mill. Freshman Rasa Welsh and senior Jasmine McCree followed with four points each, respectively.

Senior Kayla Wilson led the Gators with 16 points, four rebounds and one steal. Sophomore Emily Dorn followed with eight points, eight boards, five steals and two blocks. Senior Haley Tiller chipped in with five points, while Powell, along with her game-clinching bucket, recorded seven rebounds and two blocks on the night.

"[Wilson] did a great job of staying patient and letting the game come to her," Taylor added. "Emily Dorn had her usual solid overall game and really battled inside and controlled the rebounds. [I was] very happy to have Haley Tiller back from an ankle injury, as her defensive pressure and leadership dictates what we can do."

Verna meanwhile had one of her best career games, as the sophomore point guard controlled the floor on offense and added six assists and took two crucial charges down the stretch.

Reservoir will try and pick up its second-straight win Friday, as it hosts Mt. Hebron for a 7 p.m. game. The Eagles aren't back on the floor until Jan. 11, when they host Marriotts Ridge.

Re (2-7): Wilson 16, Dorn 8, Tiller 5, Schuster 2, Verna 2, Powell 2.

C (5-5): Anderson 19, Welsh 4, McCree 4, Molz 3, Simmons 2, Worthy 2.

Half: 22-12, Re.

Marriotts Ridge 61, Hammond 34

The Mustangs nearly matched their season-high point total in the win against the visiting Golden Bears, while also picking up their fifth straight victory in county play.

Senior Caroline Blalock led the way for Marriotts Ridge, as she finished with a season-high 20 points and added five rebounds, five assists and eight steals on the night.

Overall the Mustangs were very active defensively, totaling 28 steals in the game, while also keeping Hammond to a season-low 34 points.

Sarah Blalock followed with 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting, four rebounds and six steals, while Mallory Conroy and Casey Sullivan chipped in with nine and seven points, respectively. Conroy also added five steals and two assists, while Hope Morath (two points) recorded a team-high eight boards and three blocks, along with five steals.

Marriotts Ridge will try and extend its winning streak to three games and stay perfect in county action on the road Friday against Oakland Mills. Hammond is back on its home floor Friday, hosting Wilde Lake with both games set for 7p.m.

MR (9-1): C. Blalock 20, S. Blalock 12, Conroy 9, Sullivan 7, Bryan 6, E. Morath 3, H. Morath 2, Ohnmacht 2.

Ha (2-7)

Atholton 61, Mt. Hebron 34

A (5-1)

MH (3-5)

Oakland Mills 35, River Hill 34

OM (6-3)

RH (3-6)

Glenelg Country 42, St. Mary's 35

GCS (4-1 IAAM B, 5-2)

SM (2-3 IAAM B, 4-5)

Chapelgate 54, Friends 43

C (3-3 IAAM C, 5-4)

F (1-4 IAAM C, 2-4)

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