Damascus roughs up Atholton, 66-29 Girls basketball

December 16, 1992|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Atholton coach Paul Eckert knew there would be nights like this.

With only one starter returning from last year's 9-15 girls team, the Raiders figured to struggle at times. Last night was one of those times, as visiting Damascus overwhelmed Atholton, 66-29.

Damascus, which returned every starter from the team that went to last year's 2A semifinals, quickly exposed the Raiders' youth and lack of size.

The Hornets set the tone by hitting their first four shots and take an 11-1 lead in the game's first three minutes. Meanwhile, the Raiders missed their first four attempts to set a different kind of tone. Atholton made only 10 of 58 shots (17 percent).

Damascus hit 25 of 70 shots (36 percent), dominated the boards by grabbing 43 rebounds to Atholton's 28, forced 15 turnovers and generally toyed with the more inexperienced Raiders.

"What can we bring out of this that's positive? The effort was there until the very end," said Eckert, Atholton's first-year coach who saw the Raiders drop their third straight since winning their season opener.

"We're so young. It's going to be a slow process. Thank goodness we didn't schedule the two teams that they [Damascus] lost to."

Damascus (1-2), which shot 25 percent in its first two games, won its first game with a trio of outstanding performances. Guard Theresa Arnett led all scorers with 14 points -- including two three-pointers.

Guard Christine Trunnell had eight points, eight rebounds and three assists. And 6-foot-1 forward Kristi Geary controlled the inside with 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, including seven at the offensive end.

"We're immature, but we're improving. They're [Damascus] a good team, and they knew how to mark me," said Allison Valentino, the lone returning starter and arguably the most frustrated of all the Raiders.

Valentino, a 5-7 senior who played point guard for her first three varsity seasons, has been moved to small forward, since the Raiders lack so much size up front. After scoring her first basket midway through the first quarter, she confronted constant double-teaming and ended up with a season-low six points on 2-for-13 shooting. She chipped in five rebounds and four steals.

Junior Robin McGraw, easily Atholton's tallest player at 5-10, scored seven points, grabbed a team-high rebounds and blocked five shots. Nicole Blankenship flashed an encouraging sign by scoring all seven of her points in the fourth period.

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