Aberdeen girls face challenge of injuries

Two basketball starters are hurt within a few days

January 20, 2008|By Jeff Seidel

The Aberdeen girls basketball team started strongly, but it now faces some major challenges.

Aberdeen is 8-3 overall, but top scorer Tiffany Taylor (13 points a game) injured her ankle during warm-ups of the team's game at North Harford last week.

The point guard will be re-evaluated Tuesday to see if there is a fracture, and Taylor's status is going to be determined then.

This came a few days after starting guard Chelsea Stevens broke her collarbone diving for a loose ball in the team's victory over Bel Air.

Stevens is expected to be out four to six weeks, and coach Mike Blizzard said he thinks she will be back for the end of the regular season.

Blizzard said that losing two key starters has shaken his team a bit, but he's preaching to his players about staying the course and not forgetting what they need to do.

"I would say they're a pretty resilient bunch," Blizzard said. "They don't let things bother them. Yes, it's tougher now, but it's a circle-the-wagons type of time."

Taylor's injury clearly affected her teammates, and they fell behind by 14 early in that game at North Harford. But the Eagles rallied and lost by only two.

"We are learning to play without Tiffany and Chelsea," Blizzard said. "Somebody's got to step up into their roles."

Nadja Rhodes scored 17 points in that game, right after getting 16 in a win over Bel Air. She made the game-winning three-point shot in the final 10 seconds against the Bobcats and is averaging about 10 points a game.

Center Joanna Catalano (11 points, 10 rebounds a game) gives Aberdeen a strong inside player.

Freshman point guard Pez Scott has been improving, and classmate Ayana Stewart is playing well at shooting guard.

The Eagles went 13-6 last season and lost in the second round of the regional playoffs. They were hoping for more this season, but the injuries were a blow.

"We need help from different places," Blizzard said. "We need people to fit into roles."

C. Milton Wright girls basketball -- Lauren Houck became the first C. Milton Wright player in more than 10 years to reach the 1,000-point milestone 10 days ago. While delighted to make some history, Houck was just as happy not to have to worry about it anymore. She needed eight points to get there heading into the game against Fallston, and even though it was on the road, everyone clearly was watching when she had the ball. Houck got to seven points in the second quarter and had a few shots roll in and out. But when she finally scored the big points, late in the first half on a follow-up shot, the crowd in the gym erupted. Her teammates gave her an on-court party after the game, honoring her with flowers, pictures and a sign for the occasion. "I'm glad that's over with," Houck said while holding the ball and flowers. Erin Updegrove was the last C.M. Wright player to achieve the milestone.

John Carroll wrestling -- Junior wrestler Ethan Reese got his 100th career victory with a first-period pin last weekend in a match against Good Counsel. Reese (189 pounds) then added two more wins that day, as the Patriots beat Good Counsel, Winters Mill and Loyola. He got another pin plus a decision. The three victories gave John Carroll a 28-4 record. The Patriots were off until they met Rising Sun and Archbishop Spalding on Friday.

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