River Hill, City cruise to final

girls basketball state class 2a semifinals

No. 6 Hawks beat Parkside by 39, improve to 27-0

No. 4 Knights outmuscle N. Hagerstown in 59-39 win

March 14, 2009|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Baltimore Sun

The sixth-ranked River Hill girls basketball team jumped on Parkside early and never relented in the Class 2A state semifinals yesterday at UMBC's RAC Arena.

The undefeated Hawks went on a 24-2 run to end the first quarter and didn't look back, building a 30-point halftime lead en route to a 78-39 victory over the Wicomico County team. River Hill (27-0) will try to win its second state title in four years against No. 4 City at 1 p.m. today.

"We're excited about the fact we get to advance to the 2A finals again," River Hill coach Teresa Waters said. "I think our kids are peaking at the right time. They are just excited about the opportunity that is ahead of us."

Shantrel Oliver and Alex Vega each scored 14 points for River Hill, Alicia Seelaus scored 13 and Vanessa Collier added 10. Ashaneyia Hyland led Parkside (20-5) with 18 points; Shonte Stevenson got 13.

Parkside's deliberate style was no match for River Hill, which likes to run up and down the court. The Hawks scored 34 points off 24 Parkside turnovers and went 34-for-60 shooting (56.7 percent).

River Hill broke Parkside's 15-game winning streak. The Hawks should also be fresh for today's title game after using every player against the Rams.

"What we do is we press," said River Hill's Ryann Dannelly, who finished with eight points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. "Teams get frazzled when you press them."

Parkside made just three field goals in the first half and trailed 44-14 at the break. Things did not get much better for the Rams in the second half as River Hill outscored them 19-9 in the third quarter.

The 78 points were the most Parkside allowed this season.

"If you dig yourself in a hole early against a team like that, you're in big trouble," Parkside coach Warren White said.

No. 4 City 59, North Hagerstown 39: : The Knights (23-3) used a tight zone defense and a stellar inside-outside game to beat the Hubs (23-3) in the other 2A semifinal and earn a shot at their first state title.

City got 30 points in the paint and 22 more off turnovers as it steadily built its lead over the Washington County team, forcing many of the Hubs' 23 turnovers.

"As far as their zone, it was the best we've seen all year," Hubs coach Barry Brown said.

City out-rebounded North Hagerstown 52-42, but the Knights got 29 offensive rebounds and scored 15 second-chance points. Centers Akilah Sewall and Kayla Dillard and forwards Victoria Mitchell and Dominique Dawson combined for 16 points and 26 rebounds.

"I thought our big girls did really well in transition, going up and down the floor and posting up," senior guard Breiara Barksdale said.

That post play, combined with the usual strong performances from guards LaShay Taft (18 points) and Barksdale (16 points), kept the Knights in the lead from late in the first half. Taft hit a three-pointer and fed Carissa Williams and Dillard for layups in a 6-0 run that boosted their lead to 40-24 in the third quarter.


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