The Starting Five

Tag: Class 2A semifinals

Third quarter: City 46, North 31

by on Mar.13, 2009, under Prep Basketball, Prep Sports

North shoots 2 for 8 and commits 11 turnovers in third. City shoots 5-for-21, only thing keeping the Hubs even remotely close.

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Halftime: City 33, North 23

by on Mar.13, 2009, under Prep Basketball, Prep Sports

So much for City’s quickness being the main problem: North can match that. And North has handled the pressure pretty well. But the Hubs can’t get anything going inside offensively at all against City’s size (which is actually having more of an impact than I expected) and City controlled the glass in the second quarter during a 13-4 run that gave the Knights a 31-18 lead.

The Hubs have been forced to shoot primarily from the perimeter, and aside from Kirksten Mitchell’s two 3s and nine points (including a strong drive for a three-point play) and a surprise 3 from the top of the key by LaRae Allen, the 3s are not falling. North shot 2-for-15 in falling behind 16-8 after one quarter and is 7-for-28 at the half. The Hubs have made just 3 of 15 3s. That’s 15 of 28 shot attempts outside the arc … that’s the main problem. City is 14-for-36 and has done it in all ways: 3-pointers, pump fakes, a power dribble and then a shot, transition baskets and inside putbacks.

Unless North’s 3s start to drop, or they can find a way to get out in transition and get some fast-break points (City only has five turnovers, that’s not good enough defense for North), I don’t like the way this game is going for the Hubs.

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Warmup impressions

by on Mar.13, 2009, under Prep Basketball, Prep Sports

North got  nice ovation from the students sitting in the end seats on the side of North’s bench. Nice to see.

City College is not as big as River Hill, even though they have five 6-footers and a couple of them are thick. But City’s whole team looks really quick and athletic. Makes sense considering they’re only giving up 33.8 points per game. The question is, how much basketball skill do they have to go with all that quickness.

North looks focused. Not too many laughs or smiles. City’s the same way.

I won’t have time to give quarterly updates but I will give a halftime report.

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Final: River Hill 78, Parkside 39

by on Mar.13, 2009, under Prep Basketball, Prep Sports

River Hill improves to 27-0 and will face the North Hagerstown-City College winner Saturday at 1 p.m.

River Hill made 34 of 60 shots, Parkside 11 of 47. Yikes.

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Halftime: River Hill 44, Parkside 14

by on Mar.13, 2009, under Prep Basketball, Prep Sports

No sense in continuing the play-by-play, it’s jut a one-sided rout. River Hill has too much depth, too much size, too good a defense. The 2A East region (and the southern Eastern Shore area) must be pretty weak. Parkside has some individual athletes but no teamwork — they look like they’ve never seen a pressure defense — and they’re getting picked apart.

Des River Hill have any weaknesses? Seelaus and Dannelly don’t need the ball to be effective, they just have to crash the glass, and with their size, they’ll get their points and rebounds. Seelaus also is athletic enough to create her own shot. Oliver, Vega and Collier can all shoot if given space. So you have to pick your poison. I’d rather get beat by the outside shot than by inside layups, and take my chances on the glass. Then you have to deal with River Hill’s pressure.

Should North get to the final, LaRae Allen is going to have to have a great game on the glass, and the Hubs will have to keep the turnovers under control. They’ve been pretty good against pressure all season — they have a lot of capable ballhandlers and passers — but they haven’t seen pressure like River Hill’s.

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First Quarter: River Hill 28, Parkside 5

by on Mar.13, 2009, under Prep Basketball, Prep Sports

What a first impression … and it happened before the game even started. River Hill’s Vanessa Collier, a starting guard, performed the National Anthem on her clarinet and it was amazing. That’s one talented girl.

Parkside starts in a zone trying to deny the inside. River Hill goes with a 1-2-2 press.RH guard Shantrel Oliver knocks down an athletic jumper. Parkside’s Raquel Weeks swishes a 3. RH’s two big girls, Alicia Seelaus and Ryann Dannelly, go to work, getting two offensive rebounds and Dannelly scores and is fouled. She misses, but Seelaus rebounds, scores and is fouled herself. She makes the foul shot. 7-3 River Hill. Parkside’s doing a lot of dribbling, not much passing, that’s going to have to change. Weeks is fouled on a drive and makes 1 of 2. RH misses a 3, too quick a shot. Each team turns the ball over. RH’s defense is tenacious, in order to beat them you’re going to have to pass the ball quickly. Oliver gets her own rebound, is fouled and misses both shots. Parkside gets a couple offensive boards but fails to convert, and RH’s Alex Vega scores in transition. Another Parkside turnover and Oliver is fouled going to the hoop in transition. She misses both. RH gets the rebound, Oliver hits a 3. I guess a foul shot is too close in. Vega then knocks down a 3. RH is simply better. Parkside turns it over again, and Oliver is fouled going to the basket. She makes both. 17-4 River Hill. RH gets a steal and Vega scores. Anther Parkside turnover and Oliver scores on a feed from Vega. Parkside’s Ashaneyla Hyland and Weeks are trying to do everything with dribbling, it won’t work. Dannelly scores an easy bucket in transition. 23-4 with a minute left. Another Parkside turnover, but RH misses in transition. Oliver makes a steal, then scores and is fouled. Swish. 26-4. Hyland drives into the lane and is fouled. She makes 1 of 2. Vega finishes the quarter with a 14-foot jumper. 28-5. Wow. Parkside isn’t that good, but River Hill is scary.

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Let the state semifinals begin!

by on Mar.13, 2009, under Prep Basketball, Prep Sports

I’m on press row at UMBC as River Hill (26-0) and Parkside (20-4) get ready to play the first Class 2A state semifinal. Wireless Internet is working great (knock on wood) so I will do my best to provide quarterly updates.

Most people (me included) think River Hill is the team to beat — that happens when you’re 26-0. They have four girls averaging more than 10 points, two very good inside players who are 6-1 (Alicia Seelaus) and 6-4 (Ryann Dannelly) and they’re tough defensively. Parkside is generally regarded as the weakest of the four teams left. I’m really interested to see River Hill play.

I think North will knock off City College later today. City College is very good defensively but I don’t think they have the scoring depth to be able to beat the Hubs.

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