Early jump helps end drought for Raiders

Win over Long Reach stops county losing streak at 31

Girls basketball notebook

High Schools

January 16, 2000|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

The streak is over.

Atholton's girls basketball team had lost 31 straight county games entering Friday night's contest against visiting Long Reach. But the Raiders started strong and played their best game of the season in a 49-33 victory.

"We shot better from the floor, held our turnovers down and the defense came around," said Atholton coach Todd Kriner. "Everybody played their best game."

Atholton junior guard Michelle McKenna said "our motto [going into the game] was to finish everything we started, and we did that."

The Raiders (3-8 overall, 1-7 league) had their best start of the season, jumping out to a 19-7 first quarter lead. That was more points then they had scored against River Hill and Mount Hebron in the entire game.

"They showed up ready to play," said Kriner, whose team led, 26-14, at halftime. "We've been in so many holes at the start of games and we're trying to stay out of that."

Said junior forward Sarah Costa, who had six first-quarter points: "Our passing was better and we moved the ball down court a lot quicker. We had fast breaks and more of an offensive game. A lot of our shots were falling, too."

McKenna led nine Atholton scorers with 10 points. Karen Brownlie, Katie MacFarland and Costa each had eight.

Kriner said player moves he made prior to the holiday break have made the Raiders more competitive. MacFarland, a freshman, moved from second guard to the point, and Costa, who started the season at the point, was switched to a guard/forward position. McKenna began the season on the bench, but now is starting as the No. 2 guard. Brownlie, a senior, moved from a small forward position to the post.

"We're starting to learn what kids can help us where, and the kids are learning about each other," said Kriner, who added that working on fundamentals in small groups at practice has paid off.

Atholton's last county victory before Friday night came Feb. 4, 1998 when the Raiders defeated Hammond, 50-42.

Long Reach (0-12, 0-8) remains the only winless team in the county. Coach Shanya Evans said the Lightning lacked intensity against Atholton and made too many turnovers.

"We have a lot of youth, and we just have to hang in there right now," Evans said.

Centennial (6-6, 3-5) outscored Howard, 4-2, in the second overtime period to beat the visiting Lions, 38-36. Kim Pyne's basket gave the Lions (5-7, 4-4) the lead at the start of the second overtime. Ashley Evans (13 points) tied the game for Centennial, and Ashley Hall's basket with roughly 40 seconds left proved to be the game-winner. Howard, which got 17 points from Pyne and 12 from Tamara Jackson, had chances to tie the game.

Glenelg trailed late in both regulation and overtime but rallied to beat visiting Wilde Lake, 61-57.

Wilde Lake (9-3, 6-2) led by five points with just under two minutes to play, but Glenelg (7-5, 5-3) tied the game just before the buzzer. The Gladiators inbounded the ball underneath the Wilde Lake basket with 2.6 seconds left, and Jennifer Kurdziel's baseline shot sent the game into overtime.

Stephanie Howell's basket off an offensive rebound gave Glenelg a 58-57 lead with 23 seconds remaining in overtime. After a Wilde Lake turnover, Erin Edell made one of two free throws. The Gladiators got the ball back again, and Ally Biggs made two free throws for the final margin.

Glenelg converted 16 of 22 free throws, but the Wildecats made only nine of 23.

"That has never been a problem for us before, but it hurt us last night," said Wilde Lake coach Don Storr.

Howell led Glenelg with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Nicole Roy-Harrison had 16 points and Bryanna Herring added 12 for the Wildecats.

River Hil's convincing 57-37 victory over No. 6 Mount Hebron (11-1, 7-1) puts the No. 4 Hawks (12-0, 8-0) in the driver's seat for the county title. River Hill has defeated eight county teams by an average of 28 points.

"[Mount Hebron] played hard, but we wanted it more," said River Hill junior Keiko Miller-Tate, who scored her team's final 15 points of the second quarter. "We were hungry."

Hammond will play the opening game of the DeMatha Invitational at 3 p.m. Thursday at the MCI Center in Washington. The Golden Bears will take on St. John's, one of the top team's in the D.C. area. Three boys games will follow. Tickets -- $7.50 for students and $17.50 for adults -- are available at Hammond.

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