Tuesday night at Hayfield the Hawks used balanced scoring, strong rebounding, and a ability to get to the line to power past Annandale, 67-51. It was the Gunston District opener for both teams.
Hayfield raced to a 10-2 lead early, but Annandale soon battled back to forge ahead by a possession in the second quarter. That’s when forward Rachael Ross started to assert herself down low, grabbing offensive boards and scoring on the block.
“I sometimes start slow–takes me a while to get going,” Ross said. “I definitely had it going by the second, though.”
She was instrumental in the Hawks closing out the first half strong and giving her team a 29-24 lead at the break. Then things opened up for Hayfield, as it out-scored Annandale 20-10 in the third period. Freshman guards Kendall Dunham and Ayana Gillen started to use their quickness to attack the lane and get to the line. It didn’t help Annandale that senior guard Jayla Irvin, who had 13 points at halftime, missed a good chunk of the quarter after crashing to the floor.
After scoring more Hayfield (1-0, 4-9) was able to put more pressure on the Atoms with its full-court press. When talented Atoms senior point guard Sarah Shamdeen was able to break the press, she and her teammates often missed rushed shots at the rim. Shamdeen suffered through an atypical awful shooting night, missing all nine of her three-pointers and finishing 2-20 from the field.
The Hawks did not allow too many second chances for the visitors as they out-rebounded the Atoms by 22. Ross and Imani Gillen were relentless going after the ball. Those two alone had as many rebounds (29) as the entire Annandale team. Ross told us she believes the post players on the team are key to her team’s success long-term.
“When we play well down low it opens things up for the guards and on the outside,” she said. “We have a lot of height and posts that can play on this team.”
Dunham and Ayana Gillen certainly took advantage of the posts forcing the defense to collapse a little. They finished with 15 and 14 points respectively to lead four Hawks in double figures. The pair made 15 free throws between them. Senior guard Samara Mason added 13, while Ross finished with 12 to nab a double-double. Freshman Christina Cobbs added seven off the bench.
For Annandale (0-1, 4-6) Irvin finished with 18 points, while freshman forward Jane Elkins did a good job with a double-double (12 points, 10 boards). Shamdeen, who teams with Irvin to form one of the better backcourts in the area, also had seven rebounds and four assists.
Gunston play continues for both teams Friday with Hayfield battling rival West Potomac and Annandale clashing with Mount Vernon.
|Threes: Dunham 2-5, Cobbs 1-2, Gillen 0-2, Mason 0-2, Ta 0-2|
|Threes: Irvin 1-1, Johnson 0-1, Yungner 0-1, Shamdeen 0-9|