River Hill runs away from Atholton, 84-59

No. 13 Hawks start fast, roll to third straight win

Girls basketball

High Schools

December 13, 2003|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Last night's game was supposed to be a major test for River Hill's high-octane offense as it faced Atholton's stingy defense.

The No. 13 Hawks dispelled that notion in a hurry.

River Hill scored 18 of the game's first 21 points and never looked back en route to an 84-59 pasting of the host Raiders in Columbia.

Senior guard Marche Westray led the way for the Hawks (3-0 overall and county) with 20 points and four steals, while junior center Brittany Gordon contributed 17 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks.

A potentially scary thing for the Hawks' opponents is that coach Teresa Waters and her players agree that River Hill, which is leading Howard County in scoring with an average of 82.7 points a game this season, hasn't reached its peak offensively.

"I wouldn't say it's great," Gordon said of a Hawks offense that got at least two points from nine players last night. "We're still trying to work on it to be great. Soon, it will get there."

Said Waters, whose program has captured three of the past four Howard County titles: "We constantly strive and work hard. We can never be perfect, but we can strive to be almost perfect."

Atholton entered last night's matchup as the third-best defense in the league, surrendering just 38 points a game.

But the Raiders (2-1 overall and county) had few answers to River Hill's superior speed in its three-guard set of Westray, senior Ashley Thomas (13 points, four rebounds and four steals) and sophomore LaKeisha Eaddy (10 points, seven assists and five rebounds).

The trio combined for 23 of the Hawks' 40 first-half points, and River Hill outscored Atholton 28-16 in the third quarter to enjoy a 68-40 advantage it would not relinquish.

The Raiders' most significant disadvantage was in the post, where the 6-foot-4 Gordon picked off offensive rebounds and converted putbacks over Atholton's pair of centers - sophomore Sarah Nyanjom and junior Mandy Ulan.

Raiders coach Maureen Shacreaw said Gordon's presence forced her defense to fall back, leaving the Hawks' guards alone on the perimeter for open shots.

"We couldn't match up with her," said Shacreaw, who can't wait for senior Lisa Daciek to return from an anterior cruciate ligament injury that will keep her out until at least February. "We couldn't play with their height, and their height opened things up."

Senior guard Chelsey Barrett paced Atholton with 23 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Junior forward Allie Scott chipped in 15 points and 14 rebounds.

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