Tuscarora found herself in a strange situation Friday against Briar Woods, unable to rely on his top scorers because of a bad problem. Thanks to the second-year guard Alyssa Cabessa, the crime went well.
Cabessa has committed the crime, earning 20 career points to lead the Husky to a 64-56 victory over the Falcons.
"We knew it would have an impact on this group, we did not necessarily know how or why," said coach Michael Newkirk. "Until the [Friday’s] game she was our spark off the bench. We started last night and she was able to get on the plate … she trusts the process and is coming around. "
The Huskies are used to leaning on junior guard Isabellah Middleton, who averages 26 points per game. But they gave proof of depth, with a nice contribution by senior guard Rosi Santos, freshman Claire Troiano and freshman Lea Lesho, who went 4-for-5 from three points in the win.
The Huskies (11-2, 4-1) have seven consecutive victories and are tied to second place in the Potomac District with Potomac Falls (12-2, 4-1), which will have to face Tuesday.
"We understand that Potomac Falls will come with a lot of energy and a lot of confidence and we must be sure we can take the step," said Newkirk. "If we can dictate the pace with the defensive pressure and schemes, it will put us in an ideal position for success."
Maret, who plays with a complete roster, is young and talented
Last year, the girls' basketball program Maret had six players. Not just six players on varsity: six players in the entire program. No JV team. Frogs have played a few games with only five players available and have finished a few with four. Not surprisingly, they went 5-18.
In this season, an influx of young players has frogs playing with not only a complete roster, but also a renewed sense purpose. With 10 varsity players and a JV team, Maret started 10-3 and came across the IAC.
"This year we have a group of basketball enthusiasts as I am," said coach Monique Liddell.
Six of the varsity team players are freshmen, some of whom have had experience playing the last year. At Maret, a K-12 school, Liddell can see what kind of talent he has in the pipeline.
"I was waiting for this group to come to the ninth grade," he laughed.
But a young team arrives with challenges. Liddell said the team has no experience in some gaming situations, something that is both good and bad. They are not necessarily ready for a few moments, but they will not be intimidated by them.
The roster lacks in size and internal presence, but the team has a lot of guards and wings that know how to score. Liddell said his goal this season is to train youth and team talent in a cohesive unit.
"I try to convince them to buy in the team," he said. "Because when this season counts, we will need to do it together."
Oxon Hill's Warren scores 1,000 points
About seven years ago, when Oxon Hill Devone Williams coach met guard Iyanna Warren through the Amateur Athletic Union, Warren was barely 5 feet away. However, Williams could say that Warren would turn into a strong player because of his work ethic.
Williams' prediction has come true in the last four years, while Warren has influenced the Clippers varsity team. Friday night, during the 56-17 of Oxon Hill on Potomac (Md.), Warren, an honored Howard, got his thousandth career point.
"He scored 1,000 points," Williams said, "but we still do not want to turn around enough."
Williams said the freshmen occasionally make his varsity team, but he said that some make the biggest difference that Warren did during the 2015-16 season when he averaged 9.8 points per game .
Williams said that Warren has made better decisions over the past four years, turned into a sharpshooter and become a trainer on the floor. Warren, now 5ft 3, helped Oxon Hill qualify for his first 3A Maryland semi-finals in 2017.
"The biggest jump came from the second year to the junior season," Williams said. Last year, Warren ordered the Clippers a record of 23-2.
With all five starters last season, Oxon Hill (7-2) has aspirations to the Maryland 3A title.
Howard relies on the new directors in the search for the county title
Despite winning four of the last five Howard County championships, Howard has faced uncertainty this season. The team lost their first three players and entered the year without any senior.
"We really did not know what to expect with a new cast of characters," said coach Scott Robinson.
Those new characters have exceeded Robinson's expectations so far. Three players are scoring in double figures, led by freshman Gabby Scott who averaged almost 14 points and nine rebounds.
Scott is the lonely 6-footer of the team, with the second highest player 5-7. As a result, Robinson was forced to change his scheme to adapt it to his staff. Instead of often attacking the basket, he relies on the movement of the ball to open the shots.
"It was a fun team to train in this aspect because we do not have an internal game," he said.
The strategy worked, with the team accumulating nine wins, although he lost a heart-killer at River Hill in the last few seconds on Friday. But for a young team, a near loss can lead to good things.
"There are so many teams that are able to beat us, I would not say we are favored by any stretch," Robinson said of his team's record. "Some things you can control, but you can not control the expectations of others."
-David J. Kim