River Hill manages to get grip on county title

No. 2 Hawks stay unbeaten with 38-35 win over Hebron

Girls basketball

High School

February 18, 2000|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

In only its fourth year of existence, River Hill captured its first county championship -- barely.

Despite the early struggles of junior star Greeba Outen-Barlow -- who sat on the sidelines with three fouls for much of the first half and part of the third quarter -- the Hawks held host Mount Hebron to 13-for-47 shooting to escape Ellicott City with a 38-35 victory last night.

The eighth-ranked Vikings, who played without point guard Julie Napolitano, had a chance to tie the game, but senior center Courtney Lombard's three-point attempt fell short to clinch River Hill's first county title.

"This means a lot to us," said Hawks junior center Keiko Miller-Tate, who finished with eight points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. "We worked hard to get here, and we wanted the game more."

With the win, No. 2 River Hill improved its record to 21-0 overall and 17-0 in the county. The Hawks will likely take over the No. 1 spot in The Sun poll.

But the victory and county crown were in serious jeopardy when Outen-Barlow committed her third foul with 1: 59 left in the first quarter.

The forward, who leads the Hawks in scoring averaging nearly 17 points per game, sat on the bench for a 14-minute, 10-second stretch that spanned from the final minutes of the first quarter to the middle of the third period.

"I was thinking, `God, please help me,' " Outen-Barlow said. "Why am I so tense and why am I getting these fouls?"

Seeing Outen-Barlow on the bench seemed to inspire eighth-ranked Mount Hebron (18-3 overall, 16-3 in the county), especially junior guard Tifanny Randle who scored eight of her game-high 14 points during Outen-Barlow's absence.

With the Vikings nursing an 18-15 lead at the half, both teams traded baskets until River Hill coach Teresa Waters sent Outen-Barlow back onto the court with 3: 49 left in the third quarter.

It didn't take long for Outen-Barlow to re-establish herself as a force as she assisted on two Hawks baskets, blocked two Mount Hebron shots, grabbed two rebounds and caused a turnover to give River Hill a 25-24 lead at the end of the quarter.

Despite a jumper from freshman guard Fana Walcott that gave the Hawks a 37-32 lead with 1: 19 left in the final quarter, Mount Hebron narrowed the lead to two points courtesy of a layup and one of two free throws by junior forward Erin Jaschik with 48 seconds left.

After both teams traded turnovers, senior forward Lauren Kickham missed a layup and flagrantly fouled Hawks junior guard Rashida Walcott.

Walcott converted one of two free throws to bump the lead up to 38-35, but on the ensuing possession, she failed to inbound the ball before the referees called a five-second violation.

With just 5.2 seconds left, Lombard inbounded to Randle, who passed the ball back to Lombard for the three-point attempt that fell inches short of the rim.

Waters, who said her team "struggled" to find its rhythm, praised her team for not giving up after Outen-Barlow sat out with her third foul.

Notre Dame Prep 42, Chapelgate 32: The Blazers pulled past the Flames (19-4, 6-1) for an IAAM B Conference Semifinal victory. Carly Fyfe had 10 points and Christy Groves had 7 points to help the flames in IAAM competition.

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