Elks jump out to huge lead, coast past Tigers in girls’ hoops
— Two seasons ago, the Elkton girls’ basketball team was a young squad enduring its way through a two-win season. This year, the Golden Elks are the defending Susquehanna champions with their sights set on a return to a regional title game.
And two seasons ago, Rising Sun went 13-1 in the lower division while posting a perfect record against county opponents. This year, it’s the Tigers that have a youthful and inexperienced unit that expects to deal with some growing pains throughout the season.
The tables have turned. “This group remembers what it was like when they were freshmen a couple of years ago,” Elkton coach Chris Dunn said following his team’s 54-21 non-divisional victory over the Tigers on Thursday.
Tigers coach Kathy Stoudt said the outcome was expected.
“Chris and I talk a lot about where they were when we were successful two years ago and having a good run and his team was weak,” she said. “We’ve just switched roles, so now we just have to keep working through it.”
The new roles were evident as the Elks jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the game’s opening minutes. Elkton made the first three 3-points it attempted in that span, while Rising Sun turned the ball over on its first four possessions before it ever crossed mid court.
“We’re pretty fast. They’re a very young team and we knew that, so we took advantage of that right out of the gate,” Dunn said, adding that the Elks will use the full-court press throughout the season. “We know we’re undersized. We set out from the get go to be quick and score in transition.” Elkton led 27-5 after one quarter. “I have the utmost respect for Chris, they could’ve beat us 100-0. What an incredible team, though. They are so quick and I’m looking forward to what they do in the upper division this year” Stoudt said. “It’s their speed, it’s their anticipation, it’s their confidence in their ball handling, it’s how well they know each other — you can tell they play together all year. But mostly, the speed. The speed of their game is so much faster than ours.”
Stoudt added that she began to see some positives from her players over the next three quarters once they settled down.
Vanessa Dunn led the Elks (2-0) with 15 points and eight assists, Taniece Redden scored 13 and Ty Segure added eight points and four assists.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way we’ve performed,” Dunn said of the first two games. “The team came ready to play this year, we’re under no illusions about what the Chesapeake is going to bring and we’re prepared to take every team one at a time and we’re going to give everything we got, win or lose.”
Maddie Foard and Bella Barbato led Rising Sun with six points apiece, while Megan Brown added five.
Follow Sean Grogan on Twitter: @Sean_CecilWhig