River Hill `D' tough in win

No. 13 River Hill 38 Atholton 35

Boys basketball

January 27, 2007|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,SUN REPORTER

The River Hill boys basketball team figured it had to keep Atholton's score down in the 40s or 50s to have its best chance of leaving the game against its Howard County rival with a win last night.

The No. 13 Hawks did even better.

A tireless team effort on defense kept the Hawks close throughout, and execution in the closing minutes proved to be the difference as the visitors walked off with a 38-35 win over the Raiders.

Senior Tommy Brenton, who had a team-high 13 points, passed up a potential tying layup when he saw guard Zack Serleth in the right corner with 20 seconds left. Serleth hit a three-pointer to give the Hawks a 36-35 lead that would be further padded when Brenton hit two free throws with six seconds left.

The Raiders had a three-point chance in the closing seconds when senior guard Steve Lombardozzi Jr. had a clean look from the top of the arc. But his shot went in and out. River Hill improves to 14-2 overall and 11-1 in Howard County play, while the Raiders fall to 13-3 and 10-2.

"I saw a layup and then I saw Zack wide open in the corner - I think he's the best three-point shooter in the county - so I just gave it up to him. He had a better shot than my layup so I'm going to rely on him," Brenton said. "He really stepped up for us and gave us the confidence we needed to pull away and take the win."

The Raiders, who average just under 70 points per game this season, shot 38 percent from the field and enjoyed a 24-17 lead with 4:51 left in the third quarter. But they missed on their last eight shots in the quarter to allow the Hawks to close within 24-23 after sophomore point guard Mike Campanaro hit a runner in the lane early in the fourth quarter.

River Hill, which shot 27 percent from the field, went 5-for-9 and hit five of six free throws in the final quarter to pull out the win.

"We made a couple mistakes at the end of the basketball game and they took advantage of it," said Atholton coach Jim Albert, who got a game-high 14 points from senior forward Torey Fassett. "We played at that tempo before, so if we don't make the mistakes it's a different game. You've got to give credit to River Hill - they played great."

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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