The Baltimore Sun

BOYS BASKETBALL Atholton@No. 15 Long Reach

Today, 5:30 p.m.

Outlook: As expected going into the season, it is a tightly contested county race, with Long Reach, Atholton, Marriotts Ridge and Howard tied for first place with 8-1 league marks. The host Lightning (10-1) tries to rebound from its first loss of the season, a one-point setback at Howard on Jan. 11. With fine all-around play from senior F Obi Ukwuoma, the addition of senior PG Deon Queen (Chesapeake-AA transfer) and a deep and athletic roster, the Lightning will look to make it 31 straight home victories dating to the 2005-06 state championship season. Hoping to change that tonight are the Raiders, who quickly came together after losing three prominent starters to graduation from last season's 22-win team. The Raiders (9-3) know how to win. But Long Reach's experience and home crowd should give the Lightning an edge. THE SUN'S PICK: Long Reach

GIRLS BASKETBALL No. 5 Mount Hebron @ River Hill

Friday, 7 p.m.

Outlook: The visiting Vikings (13-0) have overwhelmed the competition with smothering defense and a balanced offense, winning by an average of 28 points. One of those wins came against the Hawks (10-3) in the season's opening week - a 59-27 home victory in which the Vikings forced 36 turnovers. How far have the Hawks come? Senior G Meg Sims is the floor leader, and Alicia Seelaus and Vanessa Collier provide much of the offense. Mount Hebron can look to a number of players to score - F Deanna Dydynski and G Brittany Bowen the primary sources - and is rarely out of position on defense. The Hawks will do better this time but will still find the points tough to come by against the Vikings' defense. THE SUN'S PICK: Mount Hebron

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