By Brad Fauber - firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- Host Skyline used a consistent offensive effort to down Clarke County, 68-51, in nondistrict girls basketball action on Monday.
The Hawks (7-1) had four players score in double-digits, with senior Taylor Henry leading the way with 19 points and sophomore Jenny Norman adding 16 points and 17 rebounds.
"I thought we played fairly well," Hawks coach Jim Kenney said. "We had four girls in double-figures -- when you get balance like that -- I was happy with the fact that we were able to score 68 points because we've been struggling a little bit on offense."
Skyline jumped on the Eagles early, as four different players scored for the Hawks in a 10-1 run to open the game. Clarke County (0-8) finally sank its first field goal of the night with four minutes left in the quarter, but managed only one more bucket in the opening period, a 3-pointer from junior Rachel Sefton.
Henry and fellow senior Oshene Kelly combined for 12 points in the quarter for the Hawks as Skyline held an 18-6 advantage entering the second period.
"I thought we played a pretty good game, especially in the first quarter," Henry said. "We came out and knew what was coming. Coach [Kenney] said before the game, 'Don't take anybody for granted.'"
The Eagles had better luck on offense in the second period, finding some success beyond the 3-point arc to get them back in the game. Seniors Megan Waring and Brittany Teasley nailed back-to-back treys with less than six minutes left in the period to pull Clarke County within seven.
Skyline responded by ending the half on a 12-6 run, working the ball down the court against the Eagles' 1-2-1-1 full court press and finding some open looks around the basket.
"When you play Clarke County, who brings full-court pressure like that the entire game, you know you're going to have some turnovers because they do a really good job of it," Kenney said. "Fortunately we were able to be fairly successful at breaking it -- we were able to score some easy buckets."
Clarke County pulled to within nine points midway through the third quarter when a bucket by junior Becky Smith made the score 42-33. That would be as close as the Eagles would get for the remainder of the game as Skyline ended the third on a 10-3 run, taking a 16-point lead into the final period.
Teasley led Clarke County with 10 points, and Smith added nine for the Eagles. Kelly finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds for the Hawks. Sophomore Quinn Breeden added 10 points for Skyline.
While the Eagles shot very well (6-for-11) from 3-point land, they struggled to put the ball through the net in the paint despite many opportunities for second- and third-chance points.
"We had a lot of put-back opportunities, we just didn't shoot the ball," Eagles coach Tim Lawrence said. "When you're making those shots, your defensive effort tends to pick up, and I felt like our defensive effort sort of lagged. We were struggling so hard to score -- the energy kind of lagged."