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H-town girls step up in fourth quarter, beat Rams


The tempo took some time to get established with the start of a new week as Huntingtown hosted McDonough in a girls basketball rematch on Monday evening.

The two faced off on the Rams’ home court back on Jan. 25. In that nonconference game, Huntingtown fell 55-52.

Monday night was good to the Hurricanes as they pulled away in the fourth quarter and escaped with the 57-50 conference win.

McDonough took a 41-33 lead into the final quarter of play and led 50-47 with 2 minutes 10 seconds left in regulation until Huntingtown senior Taylor Morton hit a three-point shot to tie the game at 50.

Huntingtown forward Shelby Taylor followed with a shot that landed on the rim, but wouldn’t fall. After a Rams turnover, freshman guard Natalie Payne also sent a three-pointer through the net to put the Hurricanes up by three.

McDonough senior Carley Flowers missed a jumper and junior Taylor Croson fouled Morton to stop the clock at 23 seconds. Morton completed one of two at the free-throw line. Flowers was then fouled, but missed both of her free throws.

With 19 seconds remaining, the Hurricanes could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Senior guard Leea Parker came through by sinking both of her free throws to put the icing on the cake at 56-50.

Junior guard Karlie Quinn also went to the line and made a free throw to account for the seven-point winning margin.

“Yes, I thought we’d come back and we were running the ball down the floor well after halftime,” Huntingtown head coach Felicia Hall said. “Shelby was running the floor very well and put a few shots in. That’s when we win when we run the floor well and we haven’t been doing that. I knew that we could do that. Parker tends to come through for us in the end when we need her to settle things down.”

Payne said she had confidence that her team would come back and was ecstatic with the opportunity to connect for the three-point shot that put her team up in the final moments of the game.

“It felt great [to hit the three-pointer],” Payne said. “After not hitting it the whole game and then to make it felt great. They kept trying to get me the ball. We just kept working hard as a team. It’s been a good season. It’s my first year playing, so I’m still a little inexperienced, but it will come with me continuing to play. I definitely have to work on moving my feet because I get in foul trouble a lot and following my shot and looking up the court and make the good passes because North Point’s going to be an upper-level game.

“I blame [turnovers] on myself. Being a point guard I should be looking up, sometimes I pass the ball too late. Coach [Hall] wants us to work hard as a team and never give up and always have confidence in each other.”

The Rams had a 21-12 lead halfway into the second quarter and took a 27-19 lead to halftime.

McDonough senior Quandria Dyson didn’t hold anything back, coming out quick to start the second half with back-to-back three-point goals. Dyson, whose time on the bench was very limited as her team played more cohesively with her on the court, led the team with 22 points, three rebounds and two assists. She was 3 of 4 from the free-throw line.

Junior Robin Heard recorded her ninth double-double of the year with 12 points, 10 rebounds, one assist and one block. Flowers added nine points, seven rebounds, three assists and one block. The Rams were 14 for 26 (54 percent) from the free-throw line.

“This game was about pride and finishing the season strong,” Dyson said. “I really wanted to win. It was a heartbreaker. I wasn’t surprised [that Huntingtown came back] because I never underestimate a team, but I just thought we could finish strong. We need to finish the easy buckets [against Leonardtown and La Plata] the layups and easy shots that any team should make.”

McDonough (9-12, 2-8 SMAC) will travel to Leonardtown for a 6:30 contest tonight and will finish the regular season at La Plata at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

McDonough head coach Tenay Gaddy said that her team’s conditioning may have played a factor in how the game ended, but she asked for more running and that’s what her team gave the entire game.

“We ran and we boxed out and hit the boards,” Gaddy said. “That’s all I asked from them, but probably condition [affected the ending].”

Huntingtown (9-9, 5-5) will host North Point at 6:30 tonight, in which the Eagles can clinch the SMAC title with a win, and will travel to Great Mills to finish the regular season at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Huntingtown 57, McDonough 50

McDonough 15 12 14 9

Huntingtown 10 9 14 24

McDonough: Dyson 22, Heard 12, Flowers 9, Croson 4, Briscoe 2, A. Johnson 1

Huntingtown: Payne 14, Parker 9, Taylor 8, Gray 8, Johnson 8, Morton 7, Page 2, Quinn 1

Free throws: McDonough 14-26 (Dyson 3-4, Flowers 8-12, Heard 2-4); Huntingtown 9-16 (Payne 2-2, Parker 2-2, Taylor 2-4)

3-point goals: McDonough 2 (Dyson, Croson); Huntingtown 4 (Payne 2, Parker, Morton)