The Baltimore County West All-Star team proved last night that a little height can go a long way.
The West squad used its height advantage to dominate inside and on the boards and score a 60-38 victory in the annual Girls All-Star Game played at Dundalk Community College.
The West out-rebounded the East by a 34-21 margin. Sixteen West rebounds were on the offensive end, as the team put up numerous second shots.
"All the forwards were tall," said Courtney Bucka, a 5-foot-10 forward from Franklin who led the team with eight rebounds and added eight points. "We were pretty tall inside. We fought for position. I think that was what made the difference."
The West trotted out four players who were at least 5-10. The East had only two that tall.
The first quarter helped make the difference, however. Owings Mills' Kari Stockslager and Bucka sparked a 16-0 run that gave the team an 18-6 lead.
"The first four minutes of the game kind of set the tone," said Stockslager, who finished with seven points. "We couldn't let up, though."
The West coaches had instructed their players to go all out for four minutes at the start, and then they'd come out. The players listened, and streaked to a 16-2 lead.
Overall, in the first quarter, the West out-rebounded the East, 12-4. Nine of those 12 rebounds were on the offensive end.
The East, meanwhile, struggled, committing nine turnovers in the first quarter. The East never drew closer than 11 after that.
"They were bigger than I was expecting," said Lori Ryan of Parkville, who coached the East with Colette Nichols of Overlea. "They were getting a lot of rebounds, and we weren't getting [many]."
Another big plus for the West was the play of its guards. Erin Graham (Woodlawn), Richele Penn (Milford Mill), Jill Altshuler (Catonsville) and Brandi Standridge (Towson) all helped pound the ball inside.
"They helped set the offense," said Ken Witts of Milford Mill, who coached the West with Catonsville's Dennis Quinby. "I think we had some real strong play from our guards."