Forest Park girls basketball defeats Potomac (Va.), 62-55, in Virginia AAA Cardinal District game

After falling ill and missing a game last week, Forest Park junior Lexi Carpenter comes back strong to lead the No. 11 Bruins to a 62-55 victory over Potomac.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 22, 2011; 12:15 AM

It's never more satisfying for the Forest Park girls' basketball players than when the ball is like a rock skimming across the water's surface, touching multiple players' hands in boom-boom-boom sequence.

Take Friday night, early in the second half of the No. 11 Bruins' 62-55 home win over No. 18 Potomac (Va.). Senior Emma Kruse missed a shot, junior Lexi Carpenter snagged the rebound near the foul line and in one motion whipped the ball inside to junior Ashley Hubred for an easy basket.

The Bruins found each other early and often, frequently on fast breaks, in all but clinching the regular season Virginia AAA Cardinal District title and winning their 18th game in the past 19 in the series.

"We attack the basket," said Forest Park senior TiChina Mitchell, who scored 15 points coming off her Prince William County-record 46-point performance last Saturday against Hylton. "There's always going to be a dump or somebody wide open."

Forest Park Coach Rebecca Tillett considered the game fairly typical when it comes to the Bruins feeding the open player; in fact, sometimes she has to chide them for playing too unselfishly. In the 94-point game in which Mitchell set the scoring record, 67 of the team's points came off assists.

"We talk all the time about sharing the basketball, and even when we're attacking the rim they're still looking for each other - where can I get somebody in a better position," Tillett said. "That's the way that we want to play. That's the way that they talk to each other."

"It's all about the feel of the game where you feel they're going to be," added Carpenter, who scored a team-high 21 points in her first game back after missing three with an illness.

The Panthers (11-4, 5-2) trailed by eight at the half and pulled only as close as seven in the second, when sophomore Hannah Hayes scored on a three-point play with about 21/2 minutes left. Carpenter went coast-to-coast on a steal for a three-point play of her own to again extend the lead for the Bruins (11-2, 7-0).

Junior Danielle Robinson led Potomac with 15 points. Junior Teshya Heslip added 14 and junior Shianne Goodwin 12.

Forest Park on Saturday plays at Eastern Region power Princess Anne. The Bruins already have played defending state champion Lake Taylor.


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