Atholton girls regain respect on court after three-year dry spell

First-year coach Shacreaw making Raiders force in the county again

Notebook

High Schools

January 19, 2001|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Atholton's girls basketball team no longer is surprising the opposition.

"I don't think we're going to sneak up on anybody anymore," said Raiders first-year coach Maureen Shacreaw. "I think people are starting to realize these kids can play."

Over the previous three seasons, the Raiders won a total of three county games and only eight overall. Tonight, when the second half of the league schedule begins, Atholton (6-5 overall, 4-5 league) will be going for its fourth straight league victory when it plays host to Centennial.

The Raiders, who last had a four-game win streak at the start of the 1995-96 season, lost to Centennial (8-5, 5-4) by 10 points in the season opener, but Shacreaw said her team has greatly improved.

"We're a lot better than we were then," Shacreaw said. "They've really come together and are playing with confidence. Now they expect to win. Their mentality has changed."

So how did Atholton, which won one county game last season and none the year before, turn things around?

"It's hard to pinpoint one thing," said Sarah Costa, the only senior on the team. "But something's working."

Two things stand out: a new coach and the addition of talented freshmen.

Costa and sophomore Katie MacFarland are the only returning players from last season. They are joined in the starting lineup by three freshmen - guards Chelsey Barrett and Julia Reynold and forward Lisa Daciek. A fourth freshman, Meaghan Murphy, also has played well off the bench.

Costa, a fiercely competitive athlete who also is an All-County catcher, has provided leadership.

"Sarah has been the leader pushing them to what they can be," Shacreaw said.

Atholton won its third straight Wednesday night, 58-50, over visiting Hammond. Costa had a game-high 20 points and 14 rebounds. Barrett had 14 points and MacFarland eight. Reynold, who had scored in double figures the last six games, got into early foul trouble and finished with four.

The Raiders took 20 more free throws than Hammond, and finished 25 of 42 from the line, including 11 of 15 in the final period.

"They're so excited. They're proud of what they're doing," Shacreaw said. "They believe in themselves."

The best game tonight features 10th-ranked Glenelg (8-4, 6-3) at eighth-ranked Oakland Mills (8-5, 5-4). The Gladiators beat Oakland Mills, 52-33, 11 days ago after scoring the game's first 14 points.

Both teams have aspirations of the Class 1A title, and might have to face each other a third time in the regional playoffs.

"We need to beat them to let them know that if we see them again in the playoffs, that we have the capability of beating them," said Oakland Mills coach Marcus Lewis.

Games rescheduled

The boys and girls basketball games scheduled for tonight between Long Reach and River Hill has been moved to Monday. The JV will start at 3:30 p.m. and the varsity at 5 p.m.

The games were rescheduled to allow students and friends to attend a viewing for Andre Devonne Corinaldi, the Long Reach student who was killed last Saturday.

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