By Tommy Keeler Jr.
FRONT ROYAL -- Things will be a little different for Skyline senior guard Quinn Breeden this season and the Hawks should benefit from it.
With the addition of freshman point guard Kima Robinson, Breeden has moved to her natural position -- shooting guard. The move paid dividends for the Hawks in their season opener as Breeden led Skyline to a 57-26 win over Kettle Run in girls basketball action Tuesday night.
"We have younger girls who are able to bring the ball up the court so [Skyline coach Jim Kenney] wants me to be more like a shooter," Breeden said. "It opens up our options. We have someone that can always bring the ball up the court, so I can get my shot."
Breeden led the Hawks with 17 points and four steals against the Cougars. Breeden has been the point guard for the Hawks the last two years, and said she likes playing at the shooting guard spot.
"I like it a lot. I can score more and do other things for my team, instead of just bringing the ball up and passing," Breeden said. "I'm not used to it, but I gotta get used to it."
"She's a scorer and she has been," Kenney said of Breeden. "Unfortunately, the last couple years we haven't had a point guard, and she's just pretty much had to do it. I think moving her to the two guard, I think it's going to really open some things up once I can convince here that she needs to look to score more."
The Hawks looked solid in their season opener. They jumped out to a quick lead on the Cougars and didn't look back. Skyline scored 12 of the first 14 points, but the Cougars did make one run early in the second quarter.
Kettle Run trimmed the lead to 17-12 with 4:11 left in the first half. The Hawks closed the half out with a 10-0 run and cruised the rest of the way.
"I think we just needed to pick up our defense and let that translate to our offense," Breeden said of the Hawks' run. "Just play hard. Do what we know we can do best."
The Hawks had a balanced attack, and had good production off the bench as well. Senior Jenny Norman had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and senior Shayne Clifton had nine points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Robinson had five assists in her varsity debut at point guard.
"She's got a lot to learn," Kenney said of Robinson. "She's a got a long way to go to being a true point guard. But I tell you what, I think she did a really good job tonight."
Keneny was also pleased with the play of freshman forward Nikea Whitmore, who had six points.
"I really enjoyed watching her tonight," Kenney said of Whitemore. "The skies going to be the limit for her. She's got good post moves already as a freshman. She's got soft hands. She's strong."
The Hawks struggled last year and finished 5-19, but Breeden said she already sees a difference in this year's squad.
"We've had a lot more enthusiasm this year than we did last year," Breeden said. "It's our senior year. We didn't want to come out like we did last year. We did terrible last year. We just want to come out and play hard and have fun while were doing it."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd