Wednesday night’s game at Great Mills High School marked the start of Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Chesapeake Division play for the hosting Hornets and Northern Patriots.
After racing ahead 18-2 after the first quarter, the Hornets were able to double up the visitors and earn a 66-33 victory.
“We are 1-0 in the [Chesapeake] division now,” Great Mills head coach Matt Wood said. “Obviously the ultimate goal is 12-0, so we are off to the right start.”
In the opening quarter, Great Mills (10-0, 1-0 SMAC Chesapeake) held Northern without a made field goal and had six different players score in the frame. The Hornets ended the quarter on a 13-0 scoring run.
“This was our first [Chesapeake] division game, and we are 1-0 now, so that sets the bar for us for the rest of the season,” Hornets senior Toyin Allen said.
Northern (3-7, 0-1) played better in the second quarter and tied the hosts in the frame with each team adding 13 points to its total.
“We are a work in progress and just have to continue to get better moving forward with each game,” Patriots assistant coach Charlie Gross said.
After halftime, Great Mills was able to extend its advantage to 30 points after outscoring the visitors 24-10 in the frame heading into the fourth quarter.
“I thought we played a little sloppy at times and we certainly missed a lot of layups,” Wood said. “The expectations are that we perform better. Northern is a good team and we didn’t want to let them hang around. We just have to capitalize on our opportunities going forward.”
Great Mills had five different players register points in the final quarter and finished the fourth outscoring Northern 11-8.
“I feel like in the first half we didn’t do so well and missed a lot of layups and putbacks, but in the second half we played better,” Allen said.
Three Hornets finished in double figures on the night. Sophomore Camille Witherspoon and senior Alaina Bernich each scored a team-high 11 points and sophomore Nakeya Hall added 10. Allen finished with nine points, followed by senior Taylor Dean with eight.
Patriots junior Kaila Pruitt led the visitors with a game-high 14 points and was the only Northern player to finish in double figures.
“It hurt us tonight that we didn’t have our leading scorer, Camryn Beaver. She is supposed to be back on Monday and that should help us,” Gross said. “It is extremely important for us to get [Pruitt] going. Her and Camryn are both very important for us on offense and so is Abby [Litton]. The press got her some today, but I think in the future she is going to be big to help us distribute the ball.”
Litton finished with all seven of her points coming in the first half and made one three-pointer. Northern sophomore Savannah Downey added five points and sophomore Rebecca Wright finished with three and made the Patriots only other triple on the night.
Northern is scheduled to be at St. Charles at 6:30 tonight, while Great Mills is slated to be at Chopticon at 6:30 tonight.