Fallston pair stirs the team chemistry

Harlee, Steiner lead offense `by committee'


January 14, 2007|By BILL FREE | BILL FREE,Sun Reporter

When the Fallston girls basketball team takes the floor, freshman Jess Harlee and senior Kristen Steiner can be counted on to handle most of the scoring.

The rest of the offense is "by committee," said Cougars coach Vernon Brown, referring to Kim McDaniel, Jess Steiner, Lexy Fitzkee and Lindsay Howard.

Harlee, 5 feet 11, averages a team-high 18 points and is the most versatile player on the squad, playing every position but point guard this season. Harlee went on a two-game spree last week, scoring 48 points in two nights.

"Jess gets a lot of her points in transition, driving to the basket," Brown said. "If you put her in the right spots in the press, she excels."

Steiner is second in scoring with a 10-point average for the Cougars (7-3), who have lost three of their past five games after a 5-0 start. The losses were to C. Milton Wright, St. Mark's of Delaware and Urbana.

Steiner "has a nose for the ball, and she gets a lot of defensive rebounds," Brown said. "And she gets back on offense.

"We're young on the floor," he added. "An indicator to whether we're going to win or lose is how well we defend and how well we rebound. We're an up-tempo team looking for our defense to create offensive opportunities."

The team seems to have bought into the game plan of stressing defense and rebounding.

"It's all about team chemistry for us," Brown said. "Taking care of the little things and the rest will take care of itself. But our major team goal is to win our conference [Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference]."

To advance in the Class 3A East regional playoffs, Fallston would have to get past tough county rivals such as North Harford, Bel Air, Aberdeen and Edgewood, along with Howard County foes River Hill and Centennial and Severna Park of Anne Arundel County.

"We have our work cut out for us," Brown said. "Our region is spread out and there are a lot of talented teams."

In praise of Mullis

Tony Martin, whose John Carroll boys basketball team (16-3) is ranked No. 12 by The Sun, attributes his success in part to his mentor Ray Mullis, for whom he worked as an assistant at Cardinal Gibbons from 1988 to 1991.

"A lot of what I've been doing in coaching here and at Spalding I took from Ray," said Martin of Mullis, who died in December 1994. "One of his strengths was his understanding of young people. He could take five guys from the stands and teach them to play tough man-to-man defense."

Winning shot

The C. Milton Wright boys basketball team improved to 5-3 last week by beating Bel Air, 62-60, on a buzzer-beating finger-roll layup by Jesse Volk.


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