South River adjusts to slower pace, upsets No. 12 North County

Roche's 23 points lift Seahawks to 49-39 win, 3-0 county record

Girls basketball

High Schools

January 04, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The South River girls basketball team prefers a track meet, but it can handle a crawl just as well.

After scoring a thoroughbred-like 19 points in the first quarter, the host Seahawks adjusted to a half-court pace and outlasted No. 12 North County, 49-39, in Edgewater last night.

Senior guard Lindsey Roche registered a game-high 23 points, eight rebounds and four steals to push South River to 3-0 in county action and 7-2 overall.

A significant factor stemmed from the Seahawks' burst at the start of the game. South River shot a smouldering 8-for-12 from the field and used a full-court press to harass the Knights into committing six turnovers.

While North County employed a similar press to force the Seahawks into turning over the basketball six times, South River solved the press and found open players for layups or short-range jumpers.

"By pressing, you open the floor, and I've got a couple of athletes who love that," said Seahawks coach Dirk Rinehart. "I felt that if we could push the tempo, we would gain the advantage."

But the Knights didn't stray too far, connecting on five of 11 field goals and posting 11 points in that opening quarter.

"They had 11 points," Roche said. "They weren't that far behind. We knew that we had to step it up even more."

While the first quarter was a scoring clinic, the rest of the game was a defensive struggle. The Knights limited South River to six points in the second quarter, but the Seahawks still enjoyed a 25-21 lead at halftime.

South River appeared to have broken open the game with an 8-4 run at the start of the third quarter that gave the team an eight-point advantage. But North County cut the lead to three courtesy of a 6-1 run to close out the period.

Any Knights hopes of a comeback were quickly snuffed out by Roche, who scored 13 points in the final quarter to lift the Seahawks to the upset win.

Senior forward Alexandra Sullivan, who recorded 11 points and three rebounds, said the victory helps the Seahawks measure up against No. 2 and defending Class 4A state champ Arundel, which edged North County, 51-49, two weeks ago.

"It gives us an idea of where we are and what we need to do," Sullivan said.

Despite 17 points and six rebounds from senior guard Caitlin Burns and 14 points and two steals from senior forward Stephanie Watts, the Knights dropped to 2-2 in the county and 6-3 overall.

North County coach Sally Entsminger was less than pleased with her team's effort.

"The name of the game is rebounding and defense, and we didn't do a good job in either one," Entsminger said. "It looked like [South River] wanted it more than we did."

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