River Hill traps Centennial in overtime, 50-42 Hawks' defense cuts down No. 12 Eagles

Bair has 21

Girls basketball

January 15, 1998|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In a game filled with streaks, River Hill struck last yesterday. The Hawks rallied from a five-point fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime.

And then, sparked by Greeba Outen and Caitlin Bair, River Hill blanked visiting No. 12-ranked Centennial in the extra period while scoring eight points for a 50-42 victory.

Both teams had hot and cold streaks in this game. River Hill (6-5, 5-2) scored the game's first six points but could get just three in the final quarter.

Outen (14 points) scored four in the overtime, and Bair (21 points) added two with some good ball-handling against the Centennial pressure. Bair scored 10 of her player

points in the fourth quarter to help the Hawks rally.

The Hawks' defense went a long way toward helping them break a two-game county losing streak. Their 1-2-2 zone and swarming traps and pressure would not allow Centennial (6-3, 5-2) to find good shots.

In fact, the Eagles missed their last 10 shots and did not score a basket for the final 9 minutes, 44 seconds. River Hill then scored 17 of the game's final 21 points.

"We played good defense in the fourth quarter [and overtime]," said Outen. "We needed to work together, and that's what we did."

The Hawks bounced back from a three-point third quarter that left them trailing 33-28 heading in the final period. But they stepped up their pressure and forced seven turnovers in the quarter, denying Centennial shots and forcing the Eagles out of their offense.

Still, thanks to some good work from Jessica Mentz (13 points) and Michelle Kincaid (12 points), the Eagles had a shot to win in the fourth quarter. But Bair (21 points) tied it at 39 with a three-pointer with 2: 05 remaining before Stacie Tokasz made a free throw for Centennial with 1: 32 left.

Outen then made a jumper 18 seconds later for a one-point lead, and Hope Zelinger made a free throw to stretch the margin to 42-40 with 8.2 seconds left. But Kincaid calmly sank two free throws with 7.6 seconds left to force overtime.

Outen gave the Hawks the lead for good, hitting a jumper 36 seconds into the extra period. Zelinger then hit a follow-up jumper before Outen sank two free throws for a 48-42 lead with 1: 15 left. Bair then slammed the door with a pair of free throws for the 50-42 final.

"We really showed some class and pulled it together when it counted," said River Hill coach Karen Saunderson.

Pub Date: 1/15/98

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