River Hill rejects No. 6 Glenelg, 63-41, tightens county race

Hawks get nine blocks

1 game separates 4 teams

High Schools

Girls basketball

February 03, 2002|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Earlier in the season, sixth-ranked Glenelg ended No. 12 River Hill's 36-game Howard County winning streak. Last night the Hawks stuffed it, literally, back in Glenelg's face.

River Hill rejected nine shots, including an emphatic seven in the second half, and pulled away to defeat the Gladiators, 63-41, before an emotional crowd in Clarksville. The game was part of a doubleheader for the Sixth Annual Howard County Women's Athletics Hall of Fame Induction ceremony.

"There was really poor sportsmanship displayed after the last game," said River Hill junior forward Megan Buescher, who finished with nine rebounds, six points, five steals and two blocked shots. "They slapped the floor and said `defense' on the last play, which was an inside thing from last year. That made us really angry and want to come out and beat them really bad tonight."

The result further muddled the already crowded Howard County league standings, where one game separates the top four teams. River Hill (11-6, 10-3) and Glenelg (14-3, 10-3) are tied for third, one game behind first-place Mount Hebron (14-3, 11-2) and a half -game behind second-place Centennial (12-4, 10-2).

Three Hawks scored in double figures, but River Hill's driving force was freshman center Brittany Gordon, who scored a game-high 19 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, blocked five shots and had a steal. On top of scoring 13 of her 19 points in the second half, and eight of River Hill's 12 third-quarter points, Gordon also blocked Glenelg junior guard Katie Krumpotich's fourth-quarter with such force, that Krumpotich suffered a bloody nose.

"We were ready for them this time," said Gordon, whose team fell to Glenelg, 68-60, on Dec. 17 without her. "They beat us by eight, but we beat them by a lot. We were ready, and they weren't."

Junior guard Meredith Brooks scored 11 points off the bench, including the final seven of the first half to put the Hawks ahead 32-24 at halftime. River Hill leading scorer Laura Hostetler (13.8 points per game) added 10 points and six rebounds, and junior forward Allison Kupec had seven points and two blocks, including one that sent the ball into the crowd.

"The girls came with a whole lot of intensity," said River Hill coach Teresa Waters, whose team has won six straight since starting the season 5-6. "There's not a lot of love lost when it comes to sports and competition between Glenelg and River Hill high school. The girls just came ready. When we played them the first time, we were trying to find our own identity."

Guard Chela Hamilton led Glenelg with 12 points, and junior guard Chrissy Starcher added 11. Glenelg, which had its five-game winning streak snapped, raced to a 16-6 first-quarter lead by hitting five of its first seven shots, including three three-pointers. But the Gladiators missed 16 of 18 over the final 11 minutes of the half to fall behind by eight.

Trailing 47-38 with 6:50 remaining the fourth quarter, Glenelg went scoreless until the final minute, as River Hill ran off 14 consecutive points.

"The referees allowed it to be a really rough game, and I have a lot of finesse players," Glenelg coach Ciaran Lesikar said. "Tonight, we weren't ready for it."

In the alumnae game that preceded the main event, the Tan team took a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter and held on for a 41-39 victory.

Tammy Webster (Mount Hebron, 1990) led the Purple team with 20 points, including 10 in the final period. Auretha Fleming Baldwin (Oakland Mills, 1980) led the Tan team with nine points, followed by Jill Younce (Glenelg, 1996) and Mona Jackson (Howard, 1995) with eight and seven, respectively.

After that game, Mia Dammen (Oakland Mills, 1991), Helen Moody (local official), and Joan Kelso Smedley (Wilde Lake, 1985) were inducted in the county's Women's Athletics Hall of Fame.

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