The District V championship Tuesday night between fifth-ranked Arundel and No. 11 River Hill served as the last test before each team gets ready for the regional playoffs.
Host River Hill showed its mettle as the top seed in Class 3A East with a 57-53 victory over Arundel, the second seed in Class 4A East. The Wildcats could not contain speedy Hawks guard Shantrel Oliver, who finished with 27 points and had a key steal in the final minute to help seal the victory.
"They were not like any team we've seen in Howard County; they were way more aggressive," Oliver said. "I don't think we're going to meet a team of this caliber in the playoffs. This really prepared us."
Aleisha Henderson led Arundel with 15 points, Talen Watson had 11 and Sheronne Vails added 10.
River Hill (18-2) cut a nine-point halftime deficit to one on a jumper by Erin Geoghan with six minutes left in the third quarter. Alex Vega gave River Hill its first lead, 33-32, since early in the first quarter with a pair of free throws. A free throw by Oliver with 1:27 left in the third quarter extended the lead to six.
Arundel pulled to within one on a layup by Briana McKellery but could not convert another scoring chance.
"We know that Arundel is a powerhouse team in the area," River Hill coach Teresa Waters said. "Once they realized they could play with them, I think they were OK. We just told them that everybody needs to buy in and play defense."
BoysNo. 7 Annapolis 85, Hammond 64:
Warren Holliday scored 18 points and Delmore Howard had 16 as the Panthers (20-1) beat the Bears for the District V title at Arundel. Annapolis became the first District V champion.
11 RIVER HILL 57,
5 ARUNDEL 53
A-Henderson 15, Watson 11, Mahdi 1, Moore 3, Grant 4, Ross 5, McKellery 4, Vails 10 Totals: 16 17-28 53.
R-Oliver 27, Aresmeier 4, Geoghan 4, Golden 1, Piper 1, Moats 4, Sandler 2, Thomas 5, Vega 9 Totals: 19 19-30 57. Half: A: 27-19
7 ANNAPOLIS 85,
H-Blossom 17, Baboola 3, Stevenson 5, Patrick 2, Pierre 15, Turner 5, Carey 13, Haynes 2, Azmanio 2. Totals 25 11-21 64.
A-Papaleonti 6, Joyce 14, Woodlin, Wright 9, Reid 6, Holliday 18, Watson 4, Howard 16, James 2, McFadden 3, Barnes, Jones 5. Totals 25 30-43 85. Half: A, 47-28.