Eager to get back to its winning ways after losing five of its past six games, the Frederick High School girls basketball team showcased a balanced offensive attack and used a strong second half to earn an impressive 51-38 victory at Walkersville on Friday night.
Down 22-21 at halftime, the Cadets put together an 18-4 run to start the third quarter, playing at a high intensity level on both sides of the ball to grab its largest lead of the game. Frederick never looked back at that point, carrying the momentum for the rest of the game on hot shooting from Andrea Mwando, Christina Negoescu, Kiyana Grant, and Courtney Davis. All proved to be viable scoring options throughout the night, each scoring in double digits while providing top-notch defense down the stretch.
“I knew I had to step up tonight because I wasn't doing that great in the beginning of the season,” said Mwando, a freshman who has been taking advantage of her added minutes as of late. She knocked down timely 3-pointers and finished with 12 points, including nine in the second half.
Grant also turned it up in the second half by attacking the basket, scoring seven quick points in the third quarter and finishing with 12 overall. Her defense played a major role in the quarter, as she made her presence felt in the paint and forced the Lions to take tough contested shots.
“Defense has always been big for Frederick girls basketball,” said Grant, who also came down with seven rebounds. “This was a big win for us. We were on a five-game losing streak, but this boosts our confidence — we know we can beat any team.”
Frederick's reliable scorers, Davis and Negoescu combined for 22 points. Walkersville had trouble containing them as it saw the lead quickly slip away. The balanced scoring has been something Frederick has prided itself on all season.
“In the beginning of the season we had a goal to have at least five players averaging in double digits, coach Kievette Hammond said. “It took us awhile to get to this point with this offensive chemistry, but I think it's coming out now. We don't want anyone to be able to focus on one particular player.”
“We're trying to peak at the right time now both offensively and defensively,” added Hammond, whose team earned its second straight win after the losing streak.
Walkersville had a dominant second quarter, using a 17-3 run to go up 22-19. Junior guard Tyra Hughes helped lead the run, and scored her 1,000th career point midway through the quarter on a running floater down the middle. Hughes finished with 11 points, most coming in the first half. Lana Long was Walkersville's top player of the night, recording a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
The Lions missed many opportunities close at the rim and struggled all night from the line, going 9-for-24 as a team. The combination made it difficult to comeback in the second half.
“We didn't do a great job in terms of trying to play at our pace,” coach Mike Mathis said. “In the second half they controlled the boards and got a lot of second chance points.”
Frederick 51, Walkersville 38
Frederick (12-6) 14 7 22 8—51
Walkersville (15-4) 5 17 10 6—38
Frederick: Andrea Mwando 12, Christina Negoescu 12, Kiyana Grant 12, Courtney Davis 10, Jennifer Nguyen 5.
Walkersville: Lana Long 19, Tyra Hughes 11, Chaslyn Derexson 3, Maddison Stair 2, Bre Nolen 2, Haley Bauer 1.