River Hill handles a slower pace, 47-35

Second-ranked Hawks solve stingy defense of No. 5 Mount Hebron

Girls basketball

High Schools

January 11, 2003|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The River Hill girls basketball team's style is up-tempo and high-octane.

But the No. 2 Hawks proved that they can also be patient and opportunistic as they outlasted No. 5 and visiting Mount Hebron, 47-35, last night.

River Hill had averaged 68.4 points before meeting a stingy Vikings defense that hadn't allowed an opponent to reach the 40-point plateau.

But the Hawks got points from seven players to preserve a perfect Howard County record at 8-0 (9-2 overall).

"We knew that they thought they had a solid defense that they could use against us," said junior guard Ashley Thomas. "And in the beginning, I thought we weren't running our offense. But we settled down, and things worked out for us."

On a night when senior forward Laura Hostetler, the team's leading scorer, finished with just four points - 15 below her average - River Hill received sizable contributions from others.

Senior forward Megan Buescher compiled 10 points, four steals and three rebounds, and sophomore center Brittany Gordon used her 6 feet 4 inches to register 10 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.

Thomas chipped in with nine points and two assists, but the biggest surprise came from reserve guards Marche' Westray and LaKeisha Eaddy.

Westray racked up eight points, three rebounds and three assists, while Eaddy, a freshman, had four points and six steals.

Their production drew a broad smile from Hawks coach Teresa Waters.

"Honestly, the ones that come off the bench are naturally quicker than the starters," she said. "We've got some quality players, and we know that everybody can be a contributing factor."

After a lackluster first quarter and first two minutes of the second, River Hill kicked off a 9-2 run that gave the Hawks a 20-13 lead at halftime.

River Hill pulled away in the third quarter, scoring 14 points and allowing the Vikings to post four.

Mount Hebron (8-2, 4-2) narrowed the gap to eight late in the fourth quarter but was forced to foul the Hawks, who converted five of their last eight free-throw attempts.

As impressive as the Vikings' defense was, Mount Hebron had few answers for River Hill's traps. The Vikings turned over the ball 35 times.

"We made too many turnovers, and River Hill did a really good job of pressuring us," said senior forward Kristen Waagbo, who led Mount Hebron with 16 points and 10 rebounds. "We just couldn't handle it tonight."

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