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SPRINGDALE – The Charles Herbert Flowers High School girls varsity basketball team got their ninth-straight victory with a dominant performance on Feb. 14 as they ravaged Laurel, 68-23.
“Well first off, Coach Hines is doing an excellent job with Laurel,” Flowers Head Coach Roderick Hariston said. “I felt like the first time we played them (Flowers won 61-45), they kind of shocked us.
“So, we were prepared this time. I think the team was better prepared and more serious than the first game. I think the kids were up for it to focus in on trying to win a state championship. That’s our goal. We are not taking any team for granted on any given night.”
In the first quarter, both teams started off slow. There was an infinite number of turnovers, bad shots and overall rough possessions. Flowers had the upper hand in the second quarter as they turned their defense into offense. At the end of the first, Flowers had a lead of 13-4.
“I felt we were complacent in the first half,” said junior point guard Kaniyah Harris, who finished with 14 points, three rebounds, three assists and one block.”
“Defensively, I felt we did a really good job at communicating and rotating. They were running a different offense that we had never seen, but we had to go along with the flow. We had to keep up by communicating and working together.”
Flowers continued their defensive pressure on Laurel, who had no answers for Flowers full-court press on defense. That forced Laurel to commit turnovers, took time off the shot clock and just ruined Laurel’s offensive plays. Flowers outscored Laurel 17-5 in the second period and took a 30-9 halftime lead.
“We did really good offensively,” said senior guard/forward Jasmine Hilton who scored a game-high 19 points to go along with five steals. “We worked as a team and took our time. We gave the extra pass to get the extra point, but collectively I think we did a really good job working as a team. Team, effort, attitude, commitment and humility is the motto we follow.”
In the second half, Flowers did not let up on the defensive side of the ball and was more aggressive on the offense. Flowers had 11 girls score at least one point in the game. Laurel looked confused, frustrated and caught off guard as Flowers cruised throughout the game.
Flowers outscored Laurel 38-14 in the second half and made a statement to not only the other competitors in Prince George’s County, but also the entire state of Maryland with this win as the playoffs approach.
“We have to get a quicker start,” Hariston said. “We missed a lot of layups, and we missed a lot of free throws, but in the second half, they picked it up intensity-wise.
The biggest thing is that we have to fight. We have to fight the whole time. This new team has never had the success that we are having right now. To their credit, they are taking it with stride and being humble. Like Jasmine mentioned, we have been preaching all year team, effort, attitude, commitment and humility.
“Humility is the biggest part of what we are trying to get done, and that’s what helped us through the last part of the quarters. Humbling ourselves, understanding the mistakes we made and what to do to improve those mistakes.”