Meghan O’Brien scored 18 points and fellow junior Skylar Bibbee added 15 as #6 Chantilly raced to an early 20-2 lead and held on for the victory over Herndon, 53-47.
It was a nightmare start for Herndon as star senior guard Madisen Kimble picked up two quick fouls and the Chantilly defense stopped the Hornets cold. The first Herndon possession foreshadowed the next ten minutes, as Herndon held the ball for almost a minute, didn’t get a shot, and ultimately turned the ball over.
“We’ve been working on plugging the [defensive] gaps and helping the helper this week,” Chantilly coach Josh Regan said. “The girls did a great job early.”
The Chargers would need that fast start as the visitors came charging back, playing some good defense of their own. The Hornets held Chantilly to a single point the last six minutes of the first half, regaining their composure to cut the Chantilly lead to five by halftime. Kimble managed to account for half of her team’s points despite sitting out about a full quarter with the two fouls.
When Herndon sophomore Mackenzie Koch buried a three to open the scoring in the second half, it looked like Chantilly was in serious trouble. That’s when Bibbee heated up for the Chargers, delivering three three-pointers over the Herndon zone in quick succession. The last of those treys gave Chantilly a 34-23 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Hornets would not quit, managing 24 fourth quarter points to keep the heat on Chantilly. Kimble got red-hot from long range, and two free throws by senior center Nycerra Minnis cut the Charger lead to 39-36. Chantilly again responded, with junior guard Megan Baxter finding her teammates for two quick buckets. Freshman guard Sara Huffman’s three from Baxter made it 44-36, and Herndon never got to within a possession again.
Kimble led the Hornets (3-4) with 26 points, hitting an impressive six shots from three-point range. Koch had a nice game off the bench, adding eight points, three rebounds, and three assists.
O’Brien was the most consistent weapon for Chantilly. When she wasn’t scoring the Lehigh-signee was finding the shooters from the high post (four assists) and hitting the glass (seven boards). She was an impressive nine-of-ten from the free throw line.
Huffman added nine points and Baxter seven for Chantilly (8-2).
all stats are unofficial
|Threes: Bibbee 4-6, O’Brien 1-1, Huffman 1-2, Baxter 1-5|
|Threes: Kimble 6-10, Koch 2-4, Johnson 1-6, Kuhlman 1-8, Minnis 0-1, Alston 0-1, Humpherys 0-1, Pearson 0-2|