For the Potomac News & Manassas Journal Messenger
DUMFRIES An 11-3 run to end the first half propelled the Hylton girls’ basketball team to its first win of the season, 48-36 over Potomac.
Seniors Jasmine Byrd and Tanisha Brown lead the Bulldogs with 13 points each, while Panthers junior Tiffany Jenkins leads all scorers with 22 points.
Potomac, which trailed 15-10 after the first quarter, opened the second quarter with two consecutive three-pointers by senior Stephanie Adkins and Jenkins to cut Hylton’s lead to one at 17-16. But that’s as close as the Panthers got, as Hylton went on an 11-3 run to lead 28-19 at the half and then opened the third quarter with a 9-2 run to go up 37-21.
“We just said to settle things down and stop doing things we hadn’t been working on in practice,” Hylton coach Melvin Smith said. “They [Potomac] were young and we knew we had more experience than they did going in and that they would be susceptible to pressure.”
The Bulldogs’ took their biggest lead of the night, 21 points, after freshman Briana Robinson hit two free throws to give Hylton a 46-25 lead early in the fourth quarter. Potomac coach Michael Adkins said he thought the difference in the game was Hylton’s outside shooting.
“We lost on perimeter jump shots tonight,” Adkins said. “They [Hylton] hit two threes, one at the end of the second quarter and another to end the third. We just didn’t challenge the three-pointers very well. If we stop four jump shots by them, it’s a totally different ballgame.”
Adkins also said he thought his team needed to improve in rebounding and second-chance shots allowed.
“We allowed too many second-chance shots, especially in the third quarter,” Adkins said. “We’ve got to get better on the boards, too. I thought we did a good job in the first quarter, but our rebounding in the third quarter definitely needed improvement.”
Smith said although he was pleased with the win, he wanted Byrd to look for her shot more throughout the course of games.
“Jasmine is looking to pass a lot and set her teammates up,” Smith said. “I don’t really want her to, but it’s a good thing if her teammates are open and hitting their shots.”
Byrd said her teammates’ ability to get open looks was the difference.
“They seemed to be open all night,” Byrd said. “I just thought I might as well give it up to them.”
Despite the lopsided loss, Adkins said he was happy with his team’s effort.
“We lost seven seniors, and for us to come back and bust our butts the way we have been, I’m proud of our team,” Adkins said. “I’m pleased because it’s still early and they’re getting adjusted.”