Hawks prove no match for Catonsville
Second quarter proves undoing for women’s hoops team
After a promising beginning to Monday’s home contest against Community College of Baltimore County-Catons- ville, the College of Southern Maryland women’s basketball team struggled in the second quarter and the Hawks could never recover from that deficit in the second half in a 60-42 loss in a Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference contest.
CSM (1-4, 1-2 MDJUCO) trailed 15-8 after the opening frame, then were out- scored 19-7 in the second period by the visiting Cardinals and the hosts never got close in the second half. Catonsville (3-3, 2-1) notched its third straight vic- tory overall as the two teams essentially traded baskets in the second half.
“That second quarter we did not play good defense,” CSM second-year head coach Ardell Jackson said. “It was a mat- ter of us not doing a good job talking on the floor. I thought we played with a much better effort in the second half, especially on defense. We were able to run our offense a little better, but we dug ourselves into a huge hole that we could not dig out of.”
Catonsville established control of the game at the end of the first quarter when Kai Wyatt and Jordan Gans each connected on short jumpers to extend the Cardinals lead to 15-8. Freshman Brittany Coles, a Westlake High School graduate from Waldorf, scored early in the second quarter for CSM, but the Cardinals responded with an 11-0 run on outside jumpers from Cheyenne Howell and Wyatt for a 27-10 lead with six minutes left in the half.
Trailing by 19 at the break, CSM opened the third quarter with solid defensive pressure that forced a pair of Catonsville turnovers and two buckets from Haley Oliver, a North Point High School graduate from Waldorf, and another from Coles trimmed the Hawks deficit to 35-21 three minutes into the second half. Baskets from Coles and Oliver later in the quarter kept CSM within 14 with two minutes left in the third.
While the Hawks offense sputtered in the late stages of the third quarter, Catonsville freshman Cailtin Alley
gave the visitors a boost with a three-point field goal late in the period to give the Cardinals a 44-27 lead. She then opened the fourth quarter with a con- ventional three-point play that pushed the lead to 47-27 and another three-pointer by Alley later gave the visitors a 53-31 advantage with just less than seven minutes remaining.
During a two-minute stretch midway through the fourth quarter, turnovers from both teams exceeded points and the Cardinals were able to maintain a commanding lead. Tamara Burns made her presence known late by going 3 for 4 at the foul line and by connecting on a three-point field goal with just over a minute remaining, but the outcome hardly ever seemed in doubt.
“We’re still a ver y young team,” Jackson said, citing sophomore Akilah Stroman, a St. Mary’s Ryken High School graduate from White Plains, as his lone returning player. “We have a lot of talent among our freshmen. We still have to learn to play together and get better on defense. We’re a work in progress. I think the pieces will all come together before the end of the season and we’ll be much better next year. But we’re young and very much a work in progress.”