By Jerry Holsworth - firstname.lastname@example.org
WINCHESTER -- Despite a snow-induced break of nearly two weeks, Millbrook's top-ranked girls basketball team hit the floor on Tuesday clicking on all cylinders.
Their victim, Skyline, never had a chance after falling behind by 14 by the end of the first quarter and eventually losing 94-45.
"They're extremely good and we're really not as bad as the final score indicated," Hawks coach Jim Kenney said. "Frankly, we're a little intimidated by them. We just let Courtni Green go out there and do just about whatever she wanted to do."
Green exploded for 38 points, scoring at will in the paint and hitting a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.
But it wasn't just Green. Lacey Harris contributed 22 points toward the Pioneers' win, and Sara Mead added another 12 points for Millbrook.
"We were all really excited to get back onto the court after all of the snow," Harris said. "I had a lot of energy out there. I think that this game put us right back on track after the long break."
After allowing the first bucket of the game to the Hawks, Millbrook took complete control. Green, Harris and Mead combined for 22 of the Pioneers' 24 first- quarter points.
"I thought that we were a little rusty at the beginning of the game, but once we got into our groove we were fine," Millbrook coach Debby Sanders said. "We hadn't played since Jan. 29, and I was a little concerned about that. I thought that Lacey had the best game I've ever seen her play. She and Courtni just fed off each other the whole night."
While the Pioneers' offense keeping the scorekeepers busy, the Millbrook defense made life miserable for Skyline. The Hawks committed 32 turnovers for the game and managed only 18 field-goal attempts in the first half.
"They really get in your face and stay there on defense," Kenney said. "Frankly, we were a little intimidated by them. You really can't replicate in practice what they do on defense. You either handle it or you don't."
The Hawks were able to find their offense in the third quarter and managed to score 19 points. Taylor Henry and Kelsey Corcoran led the way for Skyline, scoring six points each for the Hawks in the period.
But it paled in comparison to Millbrook, which put 32 points on the board over the same time period and extended its lead to 71-34 with just eight minutes to play. Green was again the key, scoring 14 points in the quarter.
"The long layoff set us back a little as a team," Green said. "But once we got back to practice, it all came back. I thought this was exactly the kind of game we needed heading into the playoffs. You want to be playing at your best for the playoffs."
It wasn't just the starters that were making contributions for the Pioneers. Throughout the game, Millbrook's bench kept a blistering pace and held the Hawks in check.
"Our depth is our greatest strength," Sanders said. "We have several girls on our bench that could start for anyone else. They practice every day with our starters, and when they come in we never miss a beat."
Kye Rooks was a perfect example of Sanders' point. The Pioneers' freshman scored all seven of her points in the final period.
Shannon Hoverter led the Hawks for the night with 12 points.