By Owen Gotimer
Ashburn (Dec. 30, 2014) – After an early departure from the first annual Maroon & Gold Classic girls basketball tournament in 2013, the host Broad Run High School Lady Spartans are headed to the 2014 Maroon & Gold Classic championship game. On Dec. 29, the Lady Spartans defeated George C. Marshall High School, 53-33, in the semifinal round in Ashburn.
A slow first half turned around for Broad Run junior forward Mariah Leonard who posted a double-double and led the way for the Spartans with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
“Hard work sparks a lot of steals, she gets a lot of easy things,” Broad Run head coach Sean Gundry said. “Once she gets going, we usually get going. She did a good job finishing in the second half, taking advantage of her opportunities.”
The Marshall Statesmen actually led for most of the first quarter as the Lady Spartans struggled to connect on opportunities early in the game. Broad Run senior forward Nicole Braithwaite kept her team in the game early, corralling five first quarter rebounds.
However, Gundry wanted a change of pace to close the half and made the decision to give his bench a go, and the Lady Spartans bench – who outscored the Statesmen’s bench 21-8 – proved to be the difference.
“Our bench really came through tonight, stepped up and gave us some big time minutes when the shots weren’t falling. That’s team basketball,” Gundry said.
Off the bench, junior forward Jasmine Braswell scored 12 points while sophomore guard Grace Mattimore added 7.
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“We’re not going to change what we do. It’s too early in the year to change what we do,” Gundry said. “We’re going to do the best that we can to contain their shooters and hope that maybe they’re off a little bit, and we get some rebounds and play our game.”
Broad Run Lady Spartans Stats
Mariah Leonard 23 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 assist, 5-for-8 free throws
Jasmine Braswell 12 points, 4 rebounds, 1 blocked shot, 1 assist
Grace Mattimore 7 points, 2 rebounds, 1-for-2 free throws
Nicole Braithwaite 6 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist
Samantha Polk 2 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal
Julia Nappier 2 points, 2 assists, 0-for-2 free throws
McKenna Gallagher 1 point, 3 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 assist, 1-for-2 free throws
Chyna Roberts 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist
Sofia Ackerman 1 rebound
Sabrina Montgomery 1 rebound
53 points, 36 rebounds, 17 turnovers, 12 steals, 1 blocked shot, 7 assists, 7-for-14 free throws
George C. Marshall Statesmen Stats
Kristen Tillman 9 points, 4 rebounds
Olivia Barrand 7 points, 5 rebounds
Kylie Hardin 5 points, 4 rebounds, 3-for-4 free throws
Leah Walters 5 points, 4 rebounds
Rachel Piche 2 points, 3 steals, 1 assist
Paige Emory 2 points, 1 steal, 2 assists
Charlotte Donnellan 3 points
Jordan Rogers 1 rebound
Amber Greve 1 steal
33 points, 18 rebounds, 21 turnovers, 5 steals, 3 assists, 3-for-4 free throws
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently in his senior year at Syracuse University. Follow LoCoSports on Twitter (@LoCoSports) for up-to-date news and scores from around Loudoun County.