Bowie girls' basketball tops Wise in Prince George's 4A play
Trailing 16-14 entering the second quarter, Bowie Coach Michael Hines decided to mix things up Thursday in a girls' basketball game against Wise. After applying some pressure to start the game, Hines switched to a 2-3 zone on defense. The change helped limit the host Pumas to a single field goal in the period while Bowie pushed its lead to eight heading into the half en route to a 53-40 victory.
"We started to see they had a lot of shooters," Hines said. "So if we got out on the shooters in the zone, they would get tired a little bit. They started to show a little weariness . . . it showed them a little bit of a different look. It changed the momentum of the game."
Bowie (14-2, 11-1) used the defense to maintain its lead throughout the second half and handed Wise (14-3, 12-1) its first loss in Prince George's 4A play.
Senior Linnel Macklin led all scorers with 20 points. She drilled two three-pointers and got herself to the foul line during Bowie's 13-3 run in the second quarter, helping her team bounce back from its first league loss earlier in the week, an overtime defeat against C.H. Flowers.
"We tried not to dwell on the loss . . . " she said. "We tried to learn from it and come out and execute tonight. . . . I was trying to let the game come to me and then my teammates stepped up as well, so it was a team effort."
Macklin got plenty of help from Keyana Tate, who finished with 12 points. It seemed whenever Wise would show signs of closing the gap, Tate would get a bucket or grab a big rebound.
Point guard McKenzi Bess kept Wise's defense honest, repeatedly using a high ball screen to get into the paint and then find her teammates for open looks. After finding Macklin for back-to-back scores in transition, Bess collapsed the defense and hit Ryan Maynard for a wide-open three that extended Bowie's lead to 11 at the end of the third quarter.
Wise, playing without injured leading scorer Eliqua Brooks, missed a consistent scoring threat. The Pumas struggled at times to score against Bowie's active, energetic defense.
"The biggest thing is defense," Hines said. "Defense is going to do this. We've got a lot of people who can score, but they bought in to what we want to do and sacrificed themselves for the betterment of the team and it was really shown, especially in this game."