South River starts flat, then grinds Old Mill by 17

Third-period rally lifts Seahawks to 48-31 victory

Girls basketball

High schools

January 18, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Maybe South River girls basketball coach Dirk Rinehart's absence played a role. Perhaps playing on Wednesday rather than the usual Tuesday was a factor.

Whatever the reason, the No. 19-ranked Seahawks could not shake their troubles or host Old Mill until posting a 15-8 third quarter to escape Millersville with a 48-31 victory last night.

A lethargic start nearly prevented the Seahawks from improving to 7-0 in the county and 11-2 overall.

"It all comes down to focus, and we didn't have it," said senior guard Lindsey Roche, who scored a game-high 14 points and recorded four rebounds, three steals, and two assists. "We had practice [Tuesday], and it was sluggish. How you practice determines how you play."

Assistant coach Jessica Francis filled in for Rinehart, saying he was tending to some personal matters. "We started a little slow," she said, agreeing that his absence may have affected the team. "It took us a while to get into the swing of things."

South River's hopes of extending its winning streak to five games didn't appear bright in the beginning. Old Mill (5-8 overall, 2-5 county) threw a three-quarters press that seemed to slow the Seahawks' transition game.

Leading by just three points at the half, South River became more aggressive on the glass in the third quarter, scoring easy put-backs.

Armed with a 10-point lead at the end of the third, the Seahawks clinched the win by limiting the Patriots to just four points in the final quarter while dropping in 11.

For the game, South River won the rebounding battle, 40-17. Twenty of the Seahawks' rebounds were on the offensive glass.

The trio of 6-foot senior forward Alexandra Sullivan (10 rebounds), 5-11 freshman forward Lindsay Sheppard (10) and 6-0 senior forward Sarah Swears (eight) was too much for the Patriots.

"We were more aggressive in the second half," said Sullivan, who added eight points and two blocks. "It was a lot easier to get put-backs, because we were taller."

Old Mill coach Craig White didn't disagree.

"We lost our box-outs," said White, whose team was led by 5-10 junior center Caitlin Engel (eight points, seven rebounds and three steals). "They had four or five chances, and they were a little more aggressive to the loose balls."

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