By Kevin O’Rourke
While the Seneca Valley boys team is rampaging through the division and starting to make a lot of noise, the girls team has quietly been improving. This mix of seniors and underclassmen have fond a combination that can keep them in the mix in the 3A/2A division. Friday night they swept the division series against a young Wheaton team with a 36-28 win at home.
Coach Jennifer Hoffman knew her team wasn’t going to run away with the division, but the Lady Eagles are now 6-11 overall and 5-7 in the division. At 5-7 in the division, that puts them firmly in the middle of the pack with Damascus, Northwood and Poolesville all with divisional wins.
Not bad for a team whose coach, at the beginning of the season said, “Our goals this season is to become one as a team.”
The Lady Eagles played as a team Friday night. Seneca’s seniors Alanah Roy, Ciara Pannell, Tiana Ware, Rayana Cooke and Bailey Hockman moved the ball well to keep Wheaton off-balance most of the night. Seneca jumped out to a 19-3 lead in the first period and never looked back.
Coach Hoffman said she is pleased with the way the team is playing together. “It is a unique group with a mix of freshman and seniors but they are meshing well. It’s great to watch the freshmen grow and connect with the seniors. They have become like a family. A sort of big sister/little sister team. The seniors are taking the freshman under their wings. It is great to see.”
Seneca Valley had three seniors in double digits, Alanah Roy lead all scorers with 12 points, Rayana Cooke pumped in 11 points, and Tiana Ware had 10 points. In fact all of Seneca Valley’s points came from seniors, Ciara Parnell add three points.
“We did a lot of things we were working on this week at practice, moving the ball around the zone, getting the ball to our bigs underneath,” said Coach Hoffman Friday night.
And that senior leadership was the big difference in Friday night’s game against a Wheaton team with no seniors and only two juniors. The Knights were paced by Breaunna Gatling with 10 points, including a three-pointer from three-quarter court as time expired.
The Lady Eagles, now 5-7 in the division, will have the opportunity to improve their divisional record in two games next week. On Tuesday, they will travel to 8-5 Damascus (5-1 in the division), who is coming off a win over Northwood on Friday. Later next week, the Seneca Ladies will host 11-6 Poolesville, (5-3 in the division) who was victorious against a Northwest team that is still searching for a victory.
It promises to be a big week for Seneca, if the girls can win both games, they could jump ahead of both teams in the standings, as well as Northwood who is currently 5-5. However, the Lady Eagles will have their work cut out for them since Rockville and Watkins Mill remain atop the division with at least eight division wins each.
Top: Seneca Valley’s Alanah Roy (4) drive the lane past Wheaton’s Latefat Alli (4) for two of her 12 points.
Next: Senior Ciara Pannell (14) drives the baseline during Seneca Valley’s victory over Wheaton.
Next: Seneca Valley senior Tiana Ware (20) had 10 points and moved the ball well for the Screamin’ Eagles.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.