LaKeisha Eaddy posted one of her best games of the season last night, and the River Hill girls basketball team needed every moment of it.
The sophomore scored a game-high 18 points -- 10 in a pivotal second quarter -- to lift the No. 13 Hawks to a come-from-behind 57-48 victory over host Glenelg last night.
Junior center Brittany Gordon chipped in with 15 points, 16 rebounds and two blocks as River Hill improved to 10-1 overall and 8-1 in Howard County.
The main story line centered on Eaddy, a lightning-quick guard who scored a season-high 20 points against Oakland Mills on Dec. 19.
Eaddy, who also had 10 rebounds and three steals, asserted herself when senior MarchM-h Westray was saddled with foul trouble and senior forward Ashley Thomas could not find her shooting touch.
"Since Ashley and MarchM-h's offense wasn't working, I had to step up and be a leader on the floor," Eaddy said. "It felt good."
It felt even better to the Hawks, who dug themselves into a 14-5 hole after the first quarter.
The No. 17 Gladiators (8-3, 7-2) scored the game's first nine points. River Hill didn't score until Eaddy rolled in a layup with 4:17 left in the quarter.
But the Hawks rediscovered their rhythm in the second quarter due, in large part, to Eaddy and Gordon. The duo scored 17 of the team's 19 points in that frame, giving River Hill a 24-21 halftime lead.
"We picked up our intensity," Gordon said of the difference in the first two quarters. "Once somebody scored, we got pumped up. That helped us catch the lead."
Coach Teresa Waters also changed the team's defense, calling off a press and limiting Glenelg's baskets in the paint.
"We had to make them score from the outside," said Waters, whose squad allowed the Gladiators to convert just one put-back after giving up five layups and put-backs in the first quarter. "We knew that was their weakness."
But Eaddy collected her fourth foul with 3:54 left in the third quarter, forcing Waters to bench her until 3:55 remained.
Even though Glenelg took advantage and eventually reassumed the lead at 31-30 with 2:52 left in the third quarter, the Hawks got a boost from junior forward Suzi Herlihy, sophomore guard Cari Haas and freshman guard Allison Geoghan, who combined to score 11 points during a 13-1 run that helped the team retain the lead.
The Gladiators shaved the advantage to five points on junior guard Mindy Sartori's jumper with about two minutes left to play, but River Hill scored the final four points to clinch the win.
Senior guard Chela Hamilton led Glenelg with 17 points. Sartori recorded 10 points and six rebounds, and sophomore forward Alex Mundy collected eight points, 10 rebounds and three assists.
While Gladiators coach Ciaran Lesikar chafed over his team's 12-for-31 free-throw shooting, he noted Eaddy's ability to weave through Glenelg's defense.
"The girls were set up to take the charge," said Lesikar, who said he told his players to be aware of Eaddy particularly during fast breaks. "She was just too quick. She just snuck around them."