The girls basketball teams at Oakland Mills and Hammond don't have winning records. But they do have two-game winning streaks entering the state playoffs.
"We're playing the best we have all year, and that's the whole idea," said Hammond coach Joe Russo. "You want to peak at the playoffs."
The most recent Golden Bears wins came against teams they had lost to earlier in the season. Hammond defeated Wilde Lake, 64-45, behind 20 points from senior Kelly Workman and 18 from her freshman sister, Melissa. Tara Zammichieli added 14 points.
The Golden Bears got 20 points from Zammichieli Tuesday night and defeated River Hill, 55-44, reversing an 18-point loss earlier in the season. Melissa and Kelly Workman had 14 and nine points, respectively.
"I thought we just outhustled them," Russo said.
The recent turnaround was triggered, Russo said, by the team's pressure defense and solid contributions from players off the bench (Erin Travis, Chanee Qualls, Julie Bixler, Alexis Oetting and Rachel Foley).
"Everyone is playing well and doing something to help us win," Russo said.
The Golden Bears start their only two seniors -- Kelly Workman and Lauren Traber -- sophomore Laura Erdman and two freshmen, Melissa Workman and Zammichieli).
Melissa Workman is the team's leading scorer (12.4 points) and rebounder (7.8 ), and also averages four steals. Zammichieli, the team's point guard, is averaging 11.9 points, 4.8 assists and leads the team with 29 three-point baskets. Kelly Workman is averaging 8.6 points.
Hammond (7-13 overall, 6-12 league) begins the Class 1A South playoffs Monday at home against Poolesville, the Montgomery County team that eliminated the Golden Bears last year.
"I'm disappointed we couldn't play Friday or Saturday, because when you're on a roll, you like to keep playing," Russo said.
Oakland Mills (10-12, 9-9) closed out the regular season by winning five of its last six games, including a 47-40 decision Tuesday against Mount Hebron. Sophomore center Rayna DuBose scored 27 points against Mount Hebron, which earlier in the season had defeated the Scorpions by 49 points.
"The girls played as a team," said first-year Oakland Mills coach Kim Rosado. "Our defense was much better, and we shut them down. All season I've been emphasizing defense, and finally the kids have bought into it."
DuBose is averaging 16.4 points and 11.7 rebounds, both team highs. Junior forward Heather Romich is averaging 10.5 points and 6.1 rebounds and senior guard Jessica Oster, who missed the first eight games recovering from an injury, has a team-high 16 three-point baskets.
Rosado said senior point guard Tasha Brooks' improved play has helped the Scorpions turn things around.
"She just looked excellent [against Mount Hebron]," Rosado said. "She made a lot of very good decisions."
Oakland Mills will play the Catoctin-Brunswick winner Thursday in the Class 1A South region semifinals. The Scorpions drew Victor Cullen School for their first game, but Cullen doesn't have a girls team.
Bair's season over
Caitlin Bair's season at Yale ended Feb. 12 when she tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee. An All-County performer last season at River Hill, Bair had started the last seven games and was playing her best basketball of the season when the injury occurred against Princeton.
Yale started the season 4-0, but then dropped 10 in a row. Bair, playing more of a point guard position, got her first start of the season in the 15th game and helped the Bulldogs end the losing streak with a 56-52 win over Central Connecticut.
Bair averaged four points and 2.8 rebounds and had 35 assists, 35 steals and six blocks in 21 games. Yale is 10-14 overall and 5-7 in the Ivy League.
Hines getting more time
Rene Hines, Howard County's Player of the Year in the 1996-97 season, is getting more minutes at Georgia State.
Hines, red-shirted last year following ACL surgery, is one of the first two players off the bench for Georgia State. In nine minutes against Samford (Ala.) University recently, Hines had four points, three rebounds and two assists.
Georgia State returned all five starters from last winter's team, and three of them now are seniors. Hines has played in 15 of 23 games and is averaging 2.3 points and 1.7 rebounds.
The girls pole vault in the Class 1A-2A state indoor track championship ended well after the other events Tuesday night at the 5th Regiment Armory.
Lori Tvarkunas (10-6) and Lauren Koutrelakos (9-0) finished first and third, respectively, for Glenelg, which defeated second-place Middletown, 69-43. Tvarkunas also was fourth in the 55 high hurdles.
Hockey all-star game
The Howard Conference all-star game will be played at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel. The East squad will be made up of players from Oakland Mills, Howard, Mount Hebron and Centennial, and the West team from Atholton, River Hill, Glenelg and Wilde Lake. Each team is expected to send five players.
Pub Date: 2/26/99