River Hill puts away L. Reach, 69-54

Steenberge's triple double helps forge tie in Howard

Boys basketball

High Schools

January 19, 2002|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Before a boisterous home crowd, the River Hill basketball team played its best game of the season last night and defeated league-leading Long Reach, 69-54, to gain a share of first place in Howard County.

The Hawks' 6-foot-10 Richmond-bound center Kevin Steenberge produced a triple double with 36 points, 27 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.

"Steenberge was unbelievable," said Long Reach coach Al Moraz. "He's easily the best player in Howard County."

The victory avenged a 12-point loss to the Lightning in the second game of the season, on Dec. 7, when Steenberge picked up three early fouls and had to sit out much of the game.

"I knew if I could stay in the game, we could take them," Steenberge said. "These referees were a lot different than the first game, and let us play underneath. This was the real River Hill team. When we played them earlier, we didn't have our offense set yet."

Steenberge's shot-blocking ability played a major role in the win by forcing Long Reach (11-3, 7-3) to alter and rush countless shots. The Lightning shot 20-for-78 (25.6 percent) overall and was 1-for-19 in the second quarter and 3-for-22 in the fourth quarter.

River Hill (10-4, 7-3), meanwhile, shot 28-for-59 (47 percent) from the field.

Steenberge was aided by sophomore point guard Richie Jackson, who played his best game of the season with nine points, eight assists, seven steals and six turnovers.

"I pushed it well tonight and went to the basket," Jackson said. "I kept my turnovers down. The first game, I made over 10 turnovers."

Senior guard Ivan Abrams also had a nice game for the Hawks with 13 points and seven rebounds.

"We had a good week of practice and executed our game plan," said Hawks coach Brian Van Deusen. "Our young guards executed the half-court offense well. This was our best game as a team. That [Anthony] Gaither is really tough for them."

Gaither scored 25 points and had seven rebounds, but scored only five points in the first half, when Long Reach let the game get away. River Hill led 37-23 at the half.

The Lightning rallied to within 52-47 early in the fourth quarter as Gaither scored 13 points in the third quarter to cut River Hill's lead to 52-42.

Long Reach scored the first five points of the fourth quarter. With a chance to cut the margin to three, Long Reach missed a layup. Then the Hawks went on an 8-2 run to go up 60-49 with 2:54 to play.

The Hawks sank nine free throws to complete their scoring as Long Reach's full-court press ran out of time.

"They were easily the best team tonight," Moraz said. "We showed courage and played a good second half."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.