After St. Frances' girls basketball team lost to Riverdale Baptist yesterday, the No. 2 Panthers' second loss this week, guard Shatyra Hawkes said players know the answer to getting back on the winning track: teamwork.
There wasn't enough of it yesterday in the 69-48 loss to Riverdale Baptist at the 12th annual Basketball Academy at Morgan State's Hill Field House.
There wasn't enough of it Monday in a 62-40 loss to No. 1 Seton Keough.
"There's a lot of individuality," Hawkes said. "We just need to come play together every day. Every day's not going to be easy, like we can go out there and do whatever we want. We've got to play together. If we do, we win."
Part of the problem is having to play without 6-foot-1 All-Metro center Kandice Green, a senior and the Panthers' most experienced player.
Green sprained an ankle in the Panthers' first meeting with Riverdale Baptist at the IAABO Christmas Tournament two weeks ago.
The Crusaders (17-3), an Upper Marlboro power ranked No. 6 by The Washington Post, pulled away from a 41-41 tie to take a 55-43 victory after Green left the game at IAABO.
Green, who played in the Seton Keough game, did not dress yesterday, and the Panthers (13-3) struggled with their post game and missed her leadership.
They stayed close until late in the second quarter, nearly making up a 10-point deficit.
They made it 25-22 on a three-pointer from Janay Newman and a free throw by Hawkes.
But some easy inside baskets helped the Crusaders run their lead back to 10 by halftime.
"They got more easy baskets, and they didn't get that the first time," St. Frances coach Jerome Shelton said. "Our defensive transition wasn't good. That dug a hole for us early, and we were trying to get back in it. We tried to keep them away from the basket, and that opens up something."
Rahneeka Saunders and Ataira Franklin hit three-pointers. That extended the Panthers' defense, and 5-10 Franklin and 6-3 Tianna Hawkins ended up scoring 22 points each and combining for 18 rebounds.
Alice Abiya led the Panthers with 10 points, and Newman added nine.
The Panthers will meet No. 8 Dulaney today at noon at the Basketball Academy. Shelton said he wasn't sure whether Green would play.