Junior guard Paris McBride had 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while a smothering Vikings defense limited Osbourn Park to just three third quarter points as #7 Woodbridge stayed unbeaten with a 57-39 home victory over the #18 Yellow Jackets on Tuesday.
The contest was close early. Woodbridge started the game on a 6-0 run but Osbourn Park tied the game at eight and only trailed by one after the first quarter, thanks mostly to the impressive shooting of Jackets senior Nadia Davidson (21 points). The visitors kept after the Vikings in the second quarter, but it was then that McBride started to provide some breathing room for her squad.
First she threw a beautiful backdoor pass to sophomore guard Tae’lor Willard to put the Vikings up 22-15. Then, when Osbourn Park clawed back to 22-20, McBride scored on two consecutive drives to extend the lead to six. Soon after she found senior sharpshooter Hanna Oliver open for a three-pointer. The McBride show was in full effect, and Woodbridge took a 29-22 lead into the half.
“She works hard, definitely has a motor,” Woodbridge coach Tamika Dudley said of her point guard after the game. “She runs the team and definitely does it all. All the intangibles as well as being really good. And she’s a great kid on top of that. We’re blessed to have her.”
As good as McBride was Tuesday night, it was team defense that allowed the Vikings to pull away in the third quarter. Woodbridge used an aggressive, trapping half-court defense to force the Yellow Jackets to turn the ball over and rush shots. Osbourn Park couldn’t manage a field goal, getting only sophomore Sha’Lynn Hagans’ three free throws in the quarter. Even the long range of Davidson didn’t help, and after three it was 43-25 Woodbridge. The game was effectively over.
“We gave up a couple of wide open shots [in the first half] and they nailed them,” Dudley said. “At halftime we talked about it–it’s tough with their guards against our posts–but then we started to turn them over a lot. Didn’t always capitalize on it and missed some lay-ups that could have put away the game earlier, but we’re young. We’ve only played 11 games.”
The win may not have been perfect, but it was still a fairly significant test passed with flying colors. While Osbourn Park is unable to match the depth of Woodbridge, there are few duos around the region as potent as the Yellow Jackets’ Hagans and the Coppin State-bound Davidson. Woodbridge played impressive defense on both, limiting Hagans to one-of-nine shooting from the field and making Davidson much less efficient in the second half. Only two other Yellow Jackets were able to score on the evening, and it just wasn’t enough.
While only four players scored for the visitors, eight scored for Woodbridge. Oliver had 12 while Willard added nine. Freshman Aaliyah Pitts had seven points, four rebounds and three assists and junior center Jasmine Forte added six points and nine boards.
It was certainly a team effort Tuesday, but the crowd couldn’t help but be impressed by McBride, especially. She attacked the rim, delivered crisp passes, played solid defense and despite being one of the smallest kids on the floor, hit the glass all night. A coach from the University of Delaware was in attendance. The Blue Hens have offered McBride a scholarship and she certainly did nothing Tuesday to make them re-consider.
“Both times Delaware has come to watch her she’s had great games,” a smiling Dudley said. “I told their coach maybe they should come more often.”
box score is unofficial
|Threes: Oliver 2-5, McBride 0-1|
|Threes: Davidson 3-8, Lee 2-3, Buchanon 1-2, Hagans 0-3, Morina 0-4|