The River Hill Hawks are 25-0, ranked No. 1 and headed to the state semifinals. And there are two primary reasons for their success -- Brittany Gordon and Keisha Eaddy.
Gordon, a 6-foot-4 senior center headed to Delaware on a basketball scholarship, is a vocal leader who dominates the post, runs the floor well, and stands out at rebounding and shot-blocking.
Eaddy, a 5-6 junior point guard being scouted by Temple, is a leader by example who excels at passing and driving to the basket, using her vision and athleticism.
They led the Hawks to their first girls regional basketball championship Saturday by eliminating longtime nemesis Gywnn Park, a three-time defending state champ.
"We read each other really well," Eaddy said. `There's a connection. It just flows. I look to feed her. Brittany is phenomenal. She has court presence."
Gordon has an equally high opinion of Eaddy, citing her ability to go left or right and praising her passing ability.
"I've become accustomed to her passes," Gordon said. "You never know where they are coming from -- behind her back, between her legs."
Eaddy averages 22 points, six rebounds, 9.1 steals and 4.1 assists. Her high game was 32 points against Mount Hebron, and she set a school record with 18 steals against Long Reach. She scored her 1,000th point in a playoff game against Crossland.
Gordon averages 19.6 points, 12.8 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 4.8 blocked shots. She now has 21 double doubles. She's the school's all-time leading rebounder and shot-blocker.
Coach Teresa Waters, who likens Gordon and Eaddy to the complementary combination of peanut butter and jelly, said the two have had different life experiences.
"Brittany has both parents and a lot of natural, God-given talent. Six-foot-4 kids don't come around very often," Waters said. "So she was born with a silver spoon. Of all the players, she's withstood the most constructive criticism, because we've had such high expectations for her.
"Keisha's dad is deceased, and she has had to develop survivor instincts and learn to work a little harder."
Said Eaddy: "My dad [Ron] died when I was in the second grade, and it was hard because I was a daddy's girl." She has a tattoo on her right arm in memory of her father.
"I have four motivations in my life: My father's death; my mom, who always tells me I can do it; Coach Waters, who pushes me and calls college coaches for me; and my brother [Davon Smith], who works out with me."
Davon, 22, was an outstanding Oakland Mills guard who played on a team that lost the state title by one point. He is a huge supporter of his sister and was waving a sign after the Hawks beat Gwynn Park that said: "Eaddy, #10, 8th Wonder of the World."
Gordon also has two older brothers, who played basketball at Montrose Christian: 6-7 John, 22, and 6-8 Brandon, 21.
Height runs in her family. Her dad is 6-3 and her mom is 5-11. She has an uncle who is 6-11.
Gordon wears a size 12 1/2 shoe and was always tall for her age.
"I was 4-11 in the first grade and taller than my teacher," she said. By fifth grade she was 5-11, and by eighth grade she was 6-2.
She was the only freshman in her class to make varsity. During her four seasons, River Hill is 85-14.
Since sixth grade, she has had a personal trainer who she has worked with on shooting, agility and upper body strength at a Randallstown gym.
Waters said that Gordon volunteers her mom frequently for projects, such as putting new names on jerseys, and that Gordon also enjoys giving birthday cakes to surprised school secretaries and teachers.
"She's personable and well-liked by everyone from administrators to the janitors," Waters said. "She's unique and cares about everyone. She calls me Aunty instead of Coach Waters, and calls my husband Uncle Herb."
But Gordon doesn't like it when Waters describes her as a gentle giant.
"I'm not gentle when I'm blocking a shot," she said. "I'm very competitive and like to rise to the occasion. But I will extend a hand to help someone up."
Gordon and Eaddy credit Waters' tough practices, filled with lots of conditioning, with helping them get past Gwynn Park and reach the state semifinals. Their goal is to help River Hill win its first state girls basketball championship. The next step is tomorrow against Milford Mill at UMBC at 9 p.m.
"That's the next hurdle now," Gordon said. "We have to push on."