River Hill muffles Long Reach, 48-40

Hawks' defense difference vs. high-scoring Lightning, which is bumped from 1st

Boys basketball

High Schools

February 06, 2003|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

River Hill controlled the tempo, kept Long Reach from the foul line and held the Lightning to a season-scoring low in a 48-40 upset win yesterday at River Hill.

The No. 14-ranked Lightning had been averaging a Howard County-high 70 points per game.

River Hill's victory, coupled with Mount Hebron's triumph over Atholton, knocked Long Reach out of first place in the county for the first time this season.

The No. 19-ranked Hawks (14-3, 10-3) are now in third place, one-half game behind second-place Long Reach (14-2, 10-2) and 1 1/2 games behind No. 13-ranked Mount Hebron (13-3, 11-1).

When River Hill lost to Long reach by 21 points on Dec. 16, the Lightning was 33-for-47 from the foul line. Yesterday, Long Reach was 3-for-6 at the line.

In that earlier game, four River Hill players, including point guard Richie Jackson and center Matt Glover, fouled out.

Glover left that game for good early in the third quarter, but yesterday he had a triple double, scoring 12 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking 10 shots. It was his second triple double in three games.

"We knew we could play to their level," said Glover, a 6-foot-7 senior. "Defense was the difference. They normally score on fast breaks, but we stopped their transition game today."

Glover's shot-blocking ability and River Hill's tight man-to-man defense forced Long Reach to have its worst shooting performance of the season. The Lightning shot 17-for-55 (31 percent) from the field.

Glover especially did an excellent job blocking out Long Reach's 6- 4 big man, Terrell Blackwell, who had only two rebounds and six points.

Jackson was the only Hawk to get into foul trouble. He sat out portions of the second and fourth quarters; Aaron Bolds replaced him at point guard.

It was a free-wheeling game in which the referees allowed both teams a lot of leeway, and that was part of the reason for 20 turnovers by River Hill and 17 by Long Reach.

"We worked on getting two guys back on defense every time a shot went up," said Jackson, who held Long Reach point guard Mike Smelkinson to 10 points - seven of which came in the fourth quarter. Smelkinson has averaged 16 points, but had difficulty penetrating yesterday.

Three River Hill players scored in double figures, including 10 points apiece by Brent Terry and Rogers Barnes. Jackson scored nine points.

The Hawks led 22-13 at halftime and 35-26 after three quarters. Long Reach pulled to 38-34 with 2:33 left to play, but a driving basket by Barnes forced Long Reach to start deliberately fouling, and the Hawks made eight free throws down the stretch.

Zack Hines led Long Reach with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

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