Long Reach’s Lyric Swann talks about the Lightning earning a 68-58 road victory over Glenelg on Jan. 26.
On the court again for the first time since suffering its first defeat of the season at the hands of McDonogh, Long Reach found itself with another gut check moment on the road against Glenelg Friday night.
The Lightning, which had previously led by double digits on multiple occasions over the course of the evening, suddenly found themselves trailing the Gladiators by one, 50-49, with six minutes left in regulation.
However this time, unlike against the Eagles six days earlier, Long Reach rallied in the face of adversity. The Lightning put together a game-clinching 19-4 run over the span of five minutes, turning the deficit into a 14-point lead that proved to be the difference in a 68-58 victory that keeps the team undefeated in county play.
“When someone punches you in the mouth as hard as McDonogh did to us, I think you naturally want to get back out there and see how the team is going to respond. And we knew we were in for a battle tonight, it always is when you come over against Glenleg, but I thought our resiliency was tremendous tonight,” said Long Reach coach Kelli Cofield, whose team had lost by 35 points against McDonogh. “They made their runs, hit lots of big shots, but we never got rattled. I think our experience really carried us.”
Jaelyn Swann, who hit five 3-pointers, and Arianna Briggs-Hall finished with team highs of 17 points apiece for Long Reach (9-0, 10-1). Kiana Williams (16 points) and Lyric Swann (14) also finished in double figures scoring for a Lightning team that maintains a one-game lead on Howard (8-1, 14-1) in the league standings.
Defensively, Long Reach also held the county’s leading scorer — Glenelg’s Jess Foster (21.7 ppg) — to a season-low nine points. But thanks to the Gladiators supporting cast, which included 16 points apiece from Kellie Johnson and Olivia LePage, the game was back-and-forth all the way until the final minutes.
“These last couple games, as teams have been focusing all their attention on taking away Jess, all our other girls have been really stepping up. Tonight, Kellie was huge, Olivia was huge, Katie LaPort knocked down big shots and I thought we took a big step forward even in a loss,”Beil said. “If this team shows up and plays like they did tonight for the rest of the season, I’m liking our chances against whoever we play.
“We still need to find a way to win one of these close games, but the effort was outstanding.”
Glenelg (6-4, 11-4) has now lost three of its last four county games, all by 10 points or less.
Long Reach was in control early on, with Jaelyn Swann knocking down three 3-pointers in the opening 10 minutes to help stake her team to a 23-13 advantage. But the Gladiators answered with their own push just before halftime, closing the second quarter on a 9-2 run that included baskets from four different players to make it a two-point game, 30-28.
Glenelg kept coming in the third quarter, tying the game at 36-36 following a three-point play from Johnson with 3:09 left in the period.
But Long Reach countered with three straight 3-point shots to go along with a lay up from Williams, to go back ahead by 11 late in the quarter. Then it was Glenelg’s turn, putting together a 14-2 run to take the team’s first lead since the opening minute following a lay up by Foster with six minutes to go.
“Since basketball is a game of runs, whenever we went on a run we tried to keep that momentum and keep the energy up … bring it to our defense and transition it to offense,” Lyric Swann said. “But whenever Glenelg was making runs, we made sure not to hang our heads, we made sure to keep communicating and keep each other positive.”
As it turned out, it was a jumper from Lyric Swann with 5:45 left in regulation that sparked the decisive push down the stretch. After her basket, Long Reach scored four more points over the next 30 seconds and would never trail again.
Included in the overall 19-4 run that increased Long Reach’s lead to 68-54 in the final minute, the Lightning had one stretch of 13 consecutive points.
The Lions roared out of the gates to a 23-4 lead by the end of the first quarter and never slowed down on the way to the team’s 14th win of the season. Maddison Burris (12 points), Marissa Sanchez-Henry (12) and Courtney Furr (11) all scored in double digits for a Howard team that ended up having seven players score six or more points.
Ho (8-1, 14-1): Burris 12, Sanchez-Henry 12, Furr 11, Russell 9, Malagar 8, Addison 8, Durkee 6, Jones 4.
MR (3-6, 7-8): Conroy 6, H. Morath 6, Colburn 2, Bryan 2, Kohler 2, Noll 2, E. Morath 2.
The Gators found themselves trailing 17-9 by the end of the first quarter before regrouping to outscore the Scorpions 17-2 in the second period to take a lead the team never lost the rest of the way.
Nia Powell scored a season-high 19 points and pulled down 17 rebounds to lead the charge, while Emily Dorn (14 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals) and Tiffany Hooker (8 points, 5 rebounds) also had big nights.
Hooker also stood out defensively, helping hold Oakland Mills’ leading scorer on the season — Marley Grenway — to just three points.
OM (6-4, 9-6): Riggs 14, Washington 13, McDuffie 6, Eldridge 5, Grenway 3.
Half: 26-19 Re.
River Hill 51, Mt. Hebron 46
The Hawks had four players score eight or more points, including a team-high 10 from Kennedy Clark, on the way to the team’s second win in three games. Sarah Dawitt and Emily Masker each scored nine points.
Tori Valentine finished with a game-high 18 points in the loss for Mt. Hebron.
RH (4-6, 10-6): Clark 10, Masker 9, Dawitt 9, King 8, S. Jackson 6, McCormick 4, Altman 3, O’Keefe 2.
MH (3-7, 7-9): Valentine 18, Rodriguez 11, Williams 9, Chase 3, Madden 3, Oliver 1, Rogers 1.
Half: 25-23 RH.
Centennial 48, Hammond 38
The Eagles picked up their second win of the week, getting double-digit scoring efforts from Brook Anderson (13 points) and Rasa Welsh (11).
C (6-4, 9-6): Anderson 13, Welsh 11, Reese 9, Dossett 8, Lambert 4, Molz 2, Smith 1.
Ha (2-7, 5-7): McInerney 14, Reid 9, Burns 6, Allen 5, Clark 2, Lindsey 2.
Half: 26-18 C.
Atholton 55, Wilde Lake 19
The Raiders won for the third time in the last four games, getting 10 points apiece from Kayla Beckwith, Zhuri Cannon and Kelly Simons.