By Tommy Keeler Jr.
WINCHESTER -- Games that are hyped up usually don't live up to the hype, and Wednesday night's Northwestern District clash between Sherando and Millbrook certainly did not.
The Pioneers led from the start and cruised to a 65-27 win over the Warriors.
The two teams have been at the top of the district the last few years, and are expected to be there again this season. The first battle between the two teams was all Millbrook.
"We just didn't play well," Sherando coach Mike Marsh said. "Hats off to Mllbrook. They played a very solid game.
"If you told me before the game what the score of the game was going to be I might have thought it would be in favor of us, considering how we had been playing [before Wednesday]."
The game was close for most of the first period as both teams struggled with turnovers.
A driving layup by Millbrook freshman Kelli White gave the Pioneers a quick 2-0 lead. A steal and layup by Sherando's Erin Magalis tied the game at 2-2, but the Pioneers would lead the rest of the way.
Millbrook's Brenna Cook scored six points on a 7-0 run to help give the Pioneers a 9-2 edge with 3:37 left in the opening period.
Sherando's Audra Sites scored back-to-back baskets to cut the lead to 12-6 with 1:23 left in the first period.
The Warriors (5-4, 0-1 Northwestern) turned the ball over seven times in the opening period and went 4-for-18 from the field. The Pioneers used several zone defenses, which forced Sherando to have to hit shots, which they weren't able to do.
The Pioneers (10-2, 1-0 Northwestern) were able to hurt the Warriors on the boards, especially in the first period.
"We knew coming into the game we were going to have to rebound well, if we were going to have a chance to win the game," Millbrook coach Kevin Barr said. "We did a good job with that."
Millbrook maintained a six-point edge heading into the second period, but things went south quickly for the Warriors.
Millbrook outscored Sherando 19-4 in the period with six different players scoring. Sherando went 1 for 14 in the period.
Marsh said the Warriors were focused on stopping the Pioneers' top scorers Cook and Lauren Reed, but other players stepped up and helped Millbrook out.
Cook said it was important to have a team effort.
"It's huge to have everybody contributing," Cook said. "Liz McDonald had a huge game for us. She was able to get a lot of boards and some big putbacks."
The game was also the first time Reed had to face her old teammates. Reed transferred from Sherando this year.
"We just had to treat it like it was just another district opponent," Reed said. "It was just any other game."
The Pioneers were led by Cook with 18 points, while Reed had 13 and McDonald 10.
Heidi Brown led the Warriors with six points.
The Warriors will look to get back on track with two more games this week.
"This is only the 10th game of the season. We still have 12 games left," Marsh said. "We have Skyline on Friday. We just have to come out and play hard and hopefully get another one in the win column. We have a chance to erase this from our memory fast."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd