Something was missing from the Severna Park girls basketball team last night besides point guard Tami Riley.
"Losing Tami hurts, but I don't think the difference should be that," said Falcons coach Kevin McGrath, pointing to the scoreboard that showed his team had lost, 53-31, to host Broadneck in a 4A League Bay Division game.
Not that Riley's absence, due to a knee injury suffered Monday, wasn't afactor in yesterday's dismal performance. It just wasn't a convenient excuse for McGrath.
FOR THE RECORD - A Broadneck girls basketball player was misidentified in a photo caption in Wednesday's edition. The player who wore jersey No. 31 was junior forward Jen Chapman.
The Anne Arundel County Sun regrets the error.
"Since we came back from Christmas, we really haven't played well since," he said. "When you're playing the weaker competition you get by with it, but when you're playing a stronger club it's tough."
Riley, who scored 19 points in a 51-41 win over Broadneck on Dec. 11, had her left knee X-rayed for the second time yesterday and should learn the results this weekend. She was hit from behind by a Westminster player while attempting a layup and had to becarried off the floor.
Perhaps the senior, averaging just over 12points a game, wouldn't have made that much difference yesterday.
The Bruins (8-4 overall, 5-1 in the Bay Division) are a more cohesive unit than when the two teams met last month. In that game, Broadneck shot just 26 percent and committed 31 turnovers.
The rematch proved a stark contrast, with the Bruins going 21-for-51 (41.1 percent) from the floor and making 15 turnovers.
"The chemistry is improving," said Bruins coach Bruce Springer of the two-time defending 4A state champions. "They're learning how to play together, and the more you play together, the better you get."
Broadneck's guard play also has improved since the first month of the season, the primary reason behind the lower turnover count. The Bruins were without starter Crystal Adams, who has the flu, but Ava Tasker (eight points, eight rebounds), Michelle Meyer (three points, two rebounds) and April Quigley (two points, one rebound) more than filled the void.
"They were a lot more under control," Springer said. "They shot the ball better andthey're passing the ball better. They're recognizing defenses."
They spotted a listless Severna Park team, which was playing its thirdstraight game. The Falcons make it four in a row today against Annapolis.
"I don't like the way we were executing, and the problem is there's no time to practice," McGrath said. "They're fatigued, and they got hammered on Monday. Westminster really did a job on us."
The Owls won that game, 46-35, and the loss to Broadneck lowers SevernaPark's record to 8-4 overall (5-1 in the Bay Division).
After being out-rebounded, 50-41, in the first encounter, Broadneck adjusted to Severna Park's 1-3-1 defense yesterday and enjoyed a 34-25 edge.
"We played something that they weren't expecting last time," McGrathsaid of the zone defense. "They also did a good job finding the openman and hitting shots, and when the shots are hit, there's no need for rebounds."
Broadneck senior Andrea Macey finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Jen Chapman added 10 points and eight rebounds, and junior Theresa Cornish had eight points and three rebounds.
Macey was most effective in the first quarter, when she netted 10 of Broadneck's 11 points and wiped out an early 4-0 Severna Park lead. The Falcons didn't score again after baskets from Tina Riley (sevenpoints, eight rebounds) and Amy Carnaggio until Jill Natwick opened the second quarter with a short jumper.
Severna Park sophomore Kate Marks had seven points and eight rebounds.