Experienced Green Hornets top Rams

Kelsey Jenkins

FISHERSVILLE – Strasburg had a young inexperienced squad this season. Wilson Memorial returned most of its players from last year’s state semifinal team, and Wilson Memorial’s experience showed on Friday night when the two teams met.

The Green Hornets took control early en route to a 76-35 Region 2A East first round girls basketball tournament win over the Rams.

“I thought all of us in the first half played a little hesitant,” Strasburg coach Darin Jenkins said. “Rather we thought it was going to get blocked, rather we saw two girls coming at us and we didn’t know what to do – we panicked. You got to expect that – we’re young. We play a lot of young girls.

“There’s a whole lot of weapons on that side. There’s a lot of things they can throw at you. For a young player who hasn’t been around very long, who hasn’t experienced that you got to expect some of that.”

Strasburg’s Carey Scott scored the first basket of the game, but the Green Hornets responded with the next eight points. Wilson Memorial’s Jordan Sondrol had five points during the run.

Strasburg’s Daniella Henry scored inside the paint to cut the lead to 8-4 with 4:24 left in the first period.

The Rams didn’t score again until the buzzer at the end of the period on a jumper by Scott, which ended an 11-0 Wilson Memorial run.

Strasburg had 23 turnovers in the first half, which led to easy points for the Green Hornets.

“We tried to make it a defensive game as always,” Wilson Memorial coach Jackie Bryan said. “We’re a very defensive team. We talked about how we just wanted to defend, get steals and layups. I was real pleased with that.”

The Green Hornets (20-5) scored the first five points of the second period, before Henry scored on a put-back to cut the lead to 24-8 with 6:33 left in the first half.

The Rams (10-14) managed only two free throws the rest of the first half, as the Green Hornets went on a 13-2 run for a 37-10 lead.

“We couldn’t seem to find a way to get settled down at the beginning,” Jenkins said. “A lot of that’s because of them. They do that to you. We knew that going in. We knew it was going to be extremely tough. We just couldn’t get that one, two, three possessions in a row where we could actually get a shot at it. We just kept turning the ball over, and once you do that to a team like that you’re going to find yourselves in a hole quick.”

The Rams held their own with the Green Hornets in the third period, as they were out-scored 17-14. Kelsey Jenkins had six in the period for the Rams.

However, the Green Hornets scored 22 points in the fourth period, and eight different players score. They had 11 different players score in the game.

The Green Hornets were led by Jordan Poole with 13 points and Sarah Sondrol with 12.

Wilson Memorial will host Maggie Walker in the regional quarterfinals on Tuesday with a state tournament berth on the line. After falling in the state semifinals last year, Bryan said getting back and doing even better this year is a big goal for her squad.

“The goal is to win it all,” Bryan said. “We haven’t made any bones about that. The seniors they want that ring. So they’re after the ring — that’s what they’re looking for.”

Kelsey Jenkins led the Rams with 12 points and four rebounds. Henry had eight points and 10 rebounds, and Haley Bischoff had seven points and 10 rebounds for the Rams.

Jenkins said he was very proud of what his three seniors – Kelsey Jenkins, Scott and Heather Knave – gave him this season.

“I’m proud of our seniors Kelsey and Carey,” Darin Jenkins said. “… They’ve put in a lot of time. I’m proud of them for being role models this year with a lot of the young girls that came up. It’s not always easy doing that. They did everything I asked them to do all year. … Heather Knave is another senior, who this is her first year back into the program. She didn’t get a lot of playing time this year, but she came to practice every practice and she worked hard.

“… I respect all three of those girls, and I think all three of them are going to have bright futures. They’re really good kids.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com