South River saves best for last, beats Reservoir, 49-43

Bob Hough
Contact Reporterbhough@capgaznews.com

One of the goals for the basketball games between teams from Anne Arundel and Howard counties is to create matchups that result in competitive games.

The organizers certainly got it right with Wednesday’s girls basketball game between Howard County’s Reservoir and South River of Anne Arundel County.

After trailing for most of the game and by 13 points after three quarters, host South River used a 26-point fourth quarter and rallied for a 49-43 victory.

Harley Herndon scored 13 of her team-high 20 points in the fourth for South River, which scored the game’s first two points then didn’t lead again until the final minutes.

“I wish I had an answer for that so we wouldn’t be in that situation,” South River coach Mike Zivic said. “For some reason, we just couldn’t get in any rhythm, and finally we started making adjustments and being strong with the ball and we were able to get some layups and hit some shots.”

Herndon, who had just seven points through three quarters, put the Seahawks up for good with a layup off a rebound at the 1:50 mark of the fourth. She also went 4 for 4 from the line in the final minute to help hold off the Gators.

“In the first half, our shot selection wasn’t really there and we weren’t moving the ball the way we should have,” said Herndon, who added 14 rebounds and five steals. “Everyone on this team is athletic and we all have the mindset of winning. Going into halftime down 12, our mindset was we need to cut down the lead as little as we could. We knew that when we scored, we couldn’t let them score.”

Herndon’s performance help offset a 23-point performance from Reservoir’s standout forward Emily Dorn. Despite playing through a nagging injury, Dorn scored 11 of her team’s 17 points in the second half to help her inch closer to the 1,000-point mark for her career. She entered Wednesday’s game needing just 50 points to reach the plateau.

The Gators also had to play the final quarter and a half without starting guard Karis Turner, who left with an injury at the 4:14 mark of the third and didn’t return.

“It was a tale of two halves. We were outstanding in the first half and played probably one of the best halves we’ve put together this year,” said Reservoir coach Deb Taylor, who coached previously in the county at Archbishop Spalding. “Losing Karis was a big deal and Emily Dorn battled her butt off despite being injured. Ultimately, we got away from a lot of the stuff we were doing in the first half.”

South River (4-0) trailed 36-23 entering the fourth, but opened the quarter on a 12-0 run to pull within one. After Dorn scored inside to push the lead back to three, Kathleen Sullivan scored off a steal that started a 9-0 run that put the Seahawks up for good.

Sullivan (five rebounds, two steals) scored four of her seven points in the final quarter, while Ashlynn Burrows (10 rebounds) scored six of her 10 points in the fourth. Julia Fitzwater (seven rebounds, three assists) added nine points, including going 3 for 4 from the line in the final 25 seconds.

“Everyone chipped in,” Zivic said. “It was nice to see. We’re a pretty deep team.”

Dorn added 12 rebounds, Kate Abunassar (four rebounds, two assists) and Maddy Davis (two rebounds, two assists) each added six points and Natalie Verna had a team-high six assists for Reservoir (4-2).

“We made a lot of mental mistakes that resulted in a lot of turnovers,” Taylor said. “We let them back in it.”

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