Centennial girls strong in 1st half of season

Only eight tried out for varsity basketball

Notebook

January 10, 2007|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,sun reporter

The Centennial girls basketball team has gotten plenty of mileage from its resources in the first half of the season.

The Eagles, who went 12-12 last season, had only eight players try out for varsity at the start of this season, but coach Rob Slopek has been able to get the most from each in an impressive 9-2 start.

Sophomore guard Molly Speicher (17.4 points per game, 7.6 rebounds) has consistently been the team's leading scorer, with her fellow starters stepping up at different times to help bring home wins. The Eagles are coming off county victories over Wilde Lake and Howard last week to improve to 7-1 in league play, with a game against Reservoir slated for tonight followed by a showdown at Glenelg on Friday.

"I think the biggest thing is the kids are buying into the program and the team atmosphere. They understand it's five playing together and that they have to get things done as a group -- nobody can do it by themselves," Slopek said.

The Eagles have an abundance of experience, including four senior starters. Taking care of the basketball isn't an issue, with Lacey Barnett and Angeli Sivaraman both capable point guards.

Power forward Brooke Austin has two double doubles this season, averaging 9.9 points and 5.2 rebounds, and forward Nicole Funk (6.5 points) has made some timely contributions.

Atholton (9-1) went into the week atop the county standings with a 7-0 mark, with the Eagles and Mount Hebron both 7-1.

Holiday spirit

The giving spirit was in full gear this holiday season with the Hammond wrestling team, which had a highly successful canned food drive to help support Elizabeth House in Laurel and the First Baptist Church of Savage food bank.

The idea for the drive came from senior state champion Devon Gillett, with the original goal of 400 items to be passed on to Elizabeth House to provide help for families in need at Christmas. When 2,114 items were donated, a second charity was found and the items were split.

The wrestling team helped distribute items from two full trucks and one minivan to the two charities two days before Christmas.

Gillett said that about 25 wrestlers and 20 parents participated in the drive.

"It was a huge turnout -- way more than I expected," said Gillett, who is 19-3 this season. "As far as the team, it makes me really proud. We lost a lot of seniors from last year, so this helped pull us together and gave us a chance to get to know each other better outside of the [practice] room."

Fassett leads Atholton

Atholton senior forward Torey Fassett scored 51 points in two wins last week. He scored 29 in a 61-58 win over Howard last Wednesday, and came back to score 22 Friday in a 58-44 win over defending county champion Long Reach.

The Raiders (9-2) went into the week with a 6-1 county mark, just behind River Hill, which is 10-2 overall and 7-1 in the league.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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