“I felt a lot more comfortable,” said Spann, a Penn State signee who missed the Falcons’ 77-73 loss to St. John’s on Dec. 11. “I was kind of off to a slow start but I’m just getting back into my rhythm that I’m used to. I’m getting back now to how I normally am.
“It’s just a mental aspect that you kind of have to get over. You’ve got to trust your foot. You’re kind of nervous because you don’t want to hurt it again or tweak it. Once you get over that, it’s fine, because you know what you can do as a player. You have to stay confident and know that your foot won’t fail you.”
Four players from Good Counsel (15-3, 8-2) scored in double figures against St. John’s (15-1, 7-1). Senior forward Amanda Fioravanti scored 17 points, junior guard-forward Sara Woods 12 and senior guard Jordan Light 10.
Oh, and that half-court shot that capped her 15-point third quarter was maybe not as much of a fluke as it seemed to be. Spann and Light shoot those every practice.
“I don’t make a lot of them,” Spann acknowledged.
West Springfield contains Butler
The Spartans have held Lake Braddock senior center Natalie Butler to her two lowest-scoring totals this season, including 15 points in West Springfield’s 48-41 win over the 6-foot-4 Butler’s team Friday.
In the three games prior to facing West Springfield, the Georgetown recruit had totaled 110 points.
“What we do is try to minimize touches,” said West Springfield Coach Bill Gibson, whose team is allowing only 35.9 points per game. “We’ve got three kids we rotate in to keep her from getting the ball.”
Those players are 6-foot-2 senior center Lindsay Mares, 6-foot freshman center Maura D’Anna and 5-9 senior forward Sarah Kerndt.
“I just think they’re all pretty determined kids and they do what you ask them to do,” Gibson said. “[Among them], one’s a little quicker, one’s a little taller and one’s a little stronger. It’s that and just pressure defense.”
West Springfield’s top seven scorers are three freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors. One of the juniors is forward Amy Berglund, the team’s leading scorer at 16.3 points per game. Freshman forward Jasmine Taylor, a former post player used more outside now, scored a team-high 14 points against Lake Braddock, nine on three-pointers.
Freshman point guard Shelby Haynes made all six of her free-throw attempts in the final minute, including twice in one-and-one situations.
Haynes’s clutch accuracy belied the Spartans’ weakness: As a team, they are shooting 53.7 percent from the line this season.
“Hopefully,” Gibson said, “we’re saving up for the end of the year.”
Floyd leads the way
Stonewall Jackson junior forward Nicole Floyd, a Wake Forest recruit, is the Raiders’ top player, and also perhaps the No. 19 Raiders’ hardest worker, a combination that has helped spur a 14-3 record. The 6-foot-2 Floyd is averaging a team-high 19.3 points per game.
“She works on her game probably twice, three times a day,” Stonewall Coach Diana Martinez said. “She’s just a relentless worker. Daily she’s adding components to her game, which is something you need in a star player.”
The Raiders could get a boost in the playoffs if senior guard Danielle Burns, a Fordham recruit, is able to return from an anterior cruciate ligament injury she sustained last summer. She has been doing drills with the Raiders for the past two weeks.
“She’s had the opportunity to sit on the bench, sit in practice and watch and learn the game of basketball, so I think maturity-wise we’re going to get a player back that’s extremely mature,” Martinez said. “She’ll have a better understanding of the game. Her leadership skills have developed over the course of the injury. We’re going to get a great floor general and she’s somebody who can break a defense down.”
Senior point guard Amanda Hinton, who will play at Bryant (R.I.), is averaging 13.3 points. Senior forward Taylor Character, who was out of town for the Raiders’ 73-31 win over Broad Run Friday, has picked up her offensive rebounding and has converted more on putbacks. She averages 9.6 points.
Stonewall, which has won more than 75 consecutive Virginia AAA Cedar Run District games, has lost to No. 4 Riverdale Baptist (18-3), No. 12 H.D. Woodson (10-5) and to Newport News school Woodside (15-1) by one in double overtime.
The Raiders’ top wins have been over Forest Park (13-5), Norfolk school Maury (14-3) and Orangeburg-Wilkinson (17-1), the top-ranked 3-A team in South Carolina.