Raiders top Hurricanes
Leonardtown girls basketball pulls away late for win
The atmosphere in the Huntingtown gym for Friday night’s Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Chesapeake Division girls basketball game against Leonardtown was intense as both teams played hard down to the very last minute, but the neck-and-neck contest went in favor of the Raiders, 57-47.
“It was tough. We had to really fight for that game,” said Leonardtown junior forward Tamara Bush, who scored all 15 of her points in the first half. “Both our starters and our subs really put in work. Our subs really had a lot of energy as well as the starters. I got a lot of points on putbacks and a post move, but really I just fought. We knew we were going to have a fight and we knew we were going to take the ‘W.’ We want more wins and to be state champs. I want to continue to play hard as a team and win.”
Leaonardtown’s firstyear head coach Tylita Bulter was proud of the way that her team continued to battle against Huntingtown in a game that looked as if it could have gone either way.
“We always let teams capitalize on our mistakes, but tonight we fought,” Butler said. “We settled down when we needed to, we took care of the basketball when we needed to and it was at the end when they showed their heart. That’s what I like about this team.”
Butler added: “Honestly, we have two of our usual starters out, one took a hit in our last game, and we have another kid sick. So it’s truly a team win. We had two players step up, Arlia Saxon and Kalycia Banks. KB hit some big shots at the beginning of the game. She had some nice threes and I would trust her with my life shooting the ball. It’s when we make our own mistakes when we mess up, and tonight they showed they are capable of messing up and then playing basketball in a game of possessions.”
The game started out close with Leonardtown
(6-3, 1-0 SMAC Chespeake) taking the lead in the first quarter 11-5. Bush was a force under the basket in the first quarter scoring seven points, along with baskets from senior point guard Emma Vezzosi and sophomore forward Saxon. Vezzosi finished with a team-high 18 points in the contest.
Huntingtown (5-2, 0-1) came out with a vengeance in the second quarter. With 13 points from senior forward Maleah Smith, the Hurricanes came back to tie the game at 19 with 2:54 left to go before the half. However, the Raiders retook the lead by halftime 30-24.
“Honestly I think the game went well,” said Smith, who scored 17 points in the game. “We had a lot of heart and a lot of hustle and that’s something that I
think we excel in as a team. We continued to play our game no matter what the scoreboard said. We played Huntingtown basketball and I’m really proud of my team for that. When the score was close we all dug deep. We were working together and talking and encouraging even though some of the baskets didn’t go our way. This is a big step for our season, we can now see what our team is capable of and take that into the rest of the season.”
The teams played long ball in the third quarter. Vezzosi and Banks both sank three pointers, while Huntingtown had back-to-back threes from sophomore point guard Crista Link as well as one from freshman guard Kirsten Doty. The third quarter ended with Leonardtown leading 50-43 and the visitors managed to finish with a 10-point win.
“We didn’t come out on top, and you always want to walk in and win,” said Huntingtown head coach Jennifer Bodden, whose team is scheduled to host Northern at 6:30 tonight. “The girls played well, I’m proud of them. There are a few critical areas where we need to make some corrections, but at least we know where we need to make them. Leonardtown is a very aggressive team who goes after every ball. Leonardtown has a strong and well-coached program. They jump every pass on defense, they get a lot of points on turnovers and we didn’t protect the ball like we should have. We’re only going to keep moving up.”
Leonardtown is scheduled to host Calvert at 6:30 tonight.
“I like this win right here. It’s conference play, and they played hard. It shows exactly what I said earlier in the year, which is state champs,” Butler said.
Leonardtown junior forward Tamara Bush goes for the basket in Friday night’s Southern Maryland Athletic Conference girls basketball game against Huntingtown. Bush scored 15 points as the Raiders won 57-47.
Leonardtown senior point guard Emma Vezzosi looks to pass the ball in Friday night’s Southern Maryland Athletic Conference girls basketball game against Huntingtown. Vezzosi led the Raiders with 18 points in a 57-47 win.