To say that Maria Masciantonio was the main weapon for Notre Dame of the Western Howard County 8-9 Girls Basketball League would be an understatement.
Masciantonio scored a game-high 30 points, including 15 in the third quarter, to lead the Irish to a 34-8 win over Syracuse in a battle for first place in the league.
Ashley Aronson led the way on the boards for Notre Dame, while teammate Jacqueline Crumrine ran the offense at point guard.
Beth Loveland led Syracuse with strong rebounding and defense, while Lori Wasilewski, Rosanna Drake and Kristen Goetz scored the Orangemen's points.
In a lower scoring affair, Amy Larrimore scored a game-high five points to lead North Carolina to a 9-4 win over Duke, giving the Tar Heels their first win of the season.
Jennifer Emrich and Kristi Johnson played strong defense for Carolina, while Erin Edell and Stephanie Simpson scored for the Blue Devils.
* Columbia Basketball Association: In a battle of unbeatens, the Ninja Terrapins defeated the Dream Team, 42-13, Saturday in 8-9 play.
Sarah Costa and Rashida Walcott led the Terps with 14 points each, Fana Walcott added seven, Julie Loppato, four and Kieran Poland, three.
Tanae Jenifer led the Dream Team with six points, and Karen McCormack added four.
* 10-11 Girls: The Burgundy Bombers and Green Gators continued to roll in the third week of play.
The Bombers improved to 3-0 with a 33-14 win over the Blue Devils. The Bombers have now outscored their opposition, 93-48.
Meanwhile, the Green Gators also improved to 3-0 with a 26-11 win over the Orange Hot Tamales. The Gators have outscored their opponents, 86-35.
The Navy Blue Worms fell a game behind the front-runners with a 16-14 loss to previously winless Light Blue.
* Howard County Youth Program: The Miami Hurricanes notched their sixth win of the season last week by defeating Boston College, 14-6. Erin Jaschik led all scorers with six points.
Maile Proctor's four points and superb ball-handling also sparked Miami, while Alice Parsons and Amanda Rendell scored two points each.
Jenny Knauer led Boston College with four points.
In other games, UCLA defeated N.C. State, 33-18; Georgia Tech edged Notre Dame, 16-12; and Maryland beat Duke, 11-4.
* Minor girls: The defensive pressure of Kristin Lucido and Paige Heller helped Villanova hold off Maryland, 20-14.
Danielle Martin, Leigh Tillman and Gina Principata led the scoring.
In other games, Miami defeated LSU, 27-22, and Notre Dame, 26-17; Boston College edged N.C. State, 26-25; Georgia Tech beat LSU, 17-10; Duke nipped UCLA, 21-20; and Notre Dame got by Georgia Tech, 26-14.
* Major girls: After trailing the entire game, UCLA scored a basket with under a minute left to get past Notre Dame, 18-17.
Laura Nelson led the victors with eight points, and Valerie Law and Liz Skorny had four each. Good ball-handling by Laura Kiefer and solid defense by Jessica Kiracoffe, Emily Straw and Neela Ratwani enabled UCLA to stay close.
Shelly Crotts and Amy Rohrbacher led the Irish with six points apiece.
In other action, Duke won a pair of games, defeating LSU, 18-17, and dominating Villanova, 32-8.
Against Villanova, Betty Bosley led the Blue Devils with 20 points, while Cheryl Bosley and Caitlin Ryland chipped in two each and helped clear the boards.
In other games, N.C. State topped Maryland, 32-13; Villanova edged Georgia Tech, 26-21; Boston College routed Miami 26-12; and UCLA edged Notre Dame, 18-17.
Alyson Riccardi of Columbia Gymnastics placed in all four events and the all-around to lead her team's list of strong performances at last weekend's Evergreen Invitational at Rebounders in Timonium.
Riccardi, competing in the Level 6, 9-11-year-old class, placed first in the balance beam, (9.2) and the floor exercise (8.75) and took fifth in the vault (8.35) and uneven bars (7.8) to capture second place in the all-around with a 34.1.
Her performance earned her the highest marks on her team.
Level 7, 9-11 gymnast Helen Beatson scored an 8.2 on the vault en route to a 28.35 finish in the all-around -- good enough for third place.
Fellow Level 7, 9-11 competitor Devon Neuworth captured third on the bars with a 6.95, and had a 7.3 on the floor to score a 26.95 in the all-around.
The other club gymnast to place was Caitlin Jenkins, whose 7.85 on the bars earned her eighth place in the Level 6, 9-11 division.
But there were also several other top performances among the girls who didn't place.
In the Level 5, 7-8 class, Glyn Sweets scored an 8.0 on the bars on her way to a 30.1 in the all-around, and Ashley Neuworth tallied a top score of 7.95 on the bars.
Among 9-11 girls, Erin Barnes, Nikki Saddic and Stephanie Greenhalgh all did well, with Saddic scoring an 8.45 on the bars and a 30.75 all-around. Amber Cahoon, Kristen Lehner and Amy Brandt also competed in the 12-and-older division.
In Level 6, 9-11, Jordan Peck scored a 7.4 on the vault and Michelle Levender a 7.05 on the floor.
More strong performances were turned in by gymnasts in Level 7, including Mary Issaco, 8.55 on the vault, and Vanessa Neuworth, 8.0 on the beam and 31.8 all-around.
* To submit information to the Howard County recreation roundup, call (410) 521-0505