Sherando girls rout Handley, 56-37
Posted: February 6, 2013
Special to The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — Sherando and Handley are two girls’ basketball teams experiencing a youth movement this season.
The Judges start three freshman and two seniors, but the Warriors are even younger, starting three freshmen and two sophomores.
With that kind of youth, things as simple as staying out of foul trouble and hitting free throws can make a big difference. Both worked in Sherando’s favor Tuesday as the Warriors toppled Handley 56-37 in a Northwestern District game at Maddex-Omps Gymnasium.
“For us to have an opportunity to play for the district title with a team of nine freshmen and sophomores is amazing,” Warrior coach Kevin Reed said. “Our kids are not completely developed like they will be eventually, but they get after it real hard and they stuck together as a team. I’m really proud of these kids.”
The win sets up a potential showdown with Millbrook Monday for the Northwestern District regular season crown and an automatic berth in the Region II tournament.
With the victory over the Judges, the Warriors (11-10, 7-1) have done their part. If Skyline upsets the heavily favored Pioneers Friday, though, Sherando will win its first regular season championship since 1997. Otherwise, the two district rivals will face off Monday at Handley for the regular season title and regional berth.
“I came into tonight game telling our players that our motto tonight is 1997,” Kevin Reed said. “That’s the year that Sherando won its only district title in girls’ basketball and tonight we could be only the second team in school history to do that.”
Getting past the Judges (10-9, 2-5), however, wasn’t easy though. Handley, although it trailed for most of the game managed to stay within striking distance of the Warriors until midway through the third quarter.
“I’m really pleased with the effort our girls made tonight,” Handley coach Marvin Scott said. “Despite the great effort, I thought that we didn’t play that well as a team, and that hurt us..”
Forced to play without starting point Alysandra Worrell, who fouled out with 5:27 still left in the third quarter, and with two other starters with four fouls, Sherando spent the last four minutes of the period on a 6-0 run that left the Judges behind 46-26 with only eight minutes left.
The first quarter was a physical battle between two teams looking to head into the postseason on a good note. With both teams playing tenacious defense, neither had a good quarter on offense. Handley hit just 4 of 14 from the field and committed 13 turnovers.
The Warriors weren’t that much better, going 4 of 20 from the field and committed seven turnovers.
What separated the two teams was the play of sophomores Lauren Reed and Heidi Brown. Reed nailed two 3-pointers in the quarter and scored all but two of Sherando points from field. She also teamed with Brown for a 7-of-8 performance at the line during the period, whereasHandley missed both of its free throw attempts.
The result was a 17-8 Warrior lead heading into the second quarter. It was also a recurring pattern for the rest of the game. Sherando finished the night 14 of 22 from the line, while the Judges hit just six of their 17 attempts.
Handley fought hard to stay in the game during the second period, thank to reducing their turnovers to just four and the play of Hannah Long and Tomekia Waller.
Waller scored five of her team-high 13 points during the quarter, and Long scored five second period points, including 3 of 4 from the line. It was difficult for the Judges to make up any ground since Sherando hit six of eight free throw attempts, and got eight more points from Reed, who led all scorers for the night with 22.
With the Warriors leading 33-22 heading into the second half, Brown quickly established herself after the break. The Warrior sophomore hit the first five points of the period, but the last three were the most important. Fouled by Worrell while shooting, Brown hit the shot and the free throw and sent the Handley point guard to the bench with her fifth foul.
“That’s a tough situation to be in with such a young team,” Scott said. “Losing your starting point guard and having two other starters in foul trouble really hurt us. We’re very young and we don’t have a very deep bench. We just don’t have the weapons to replace key players like that.”
The ensuing 6-0 run to end the period left Handley trailing 46-26 with one quarter to play.
It was a quarter completely dominated by Sherando, which spent the first five and half minutes on an 8-2 run.
Besides Reed, Brown finished the night in double figures with 16, including a 6-of-8 performance at the line. Angelica Robinson scored 12 points for Handley.