Thomas Stone sophomore Ashley Blanford says she's better at softball than basketball. But it might take several good days on the diamond to top her performance on the court Friday night in the Cougars' 61-49 victory at La Plata High.

Blanford, a 5-foot-5 guard, hit a season-high four three-pointers and scored eight of her 16 points in the fourth quarter as Thomas Stone (11-0, 5-0 Southern Maryland Athletic Conference) erased a 10-point deficit and defeated the Warriors in the first game of a SMAC doubleheader.

La Plata senior Justin Wines was equally impressive in the boys game, scoring 17 of his game-high 21 points in the second half as the Warriors (4-7, 1-4) defeated Thomas Stone, 56-48. Senior center Mike Bahen scored 12 points for La Plata and senior point guard Derrick Mason had eight points and seven rebounds.

"Justin has been hot with the shot recently," said La Plata Coach Mike Meiser, whose team trailed at halftime, 26-24. "This was a real coming-out game for him."

La Plata led, 41-38, at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Thomas Stone guard Robert Naylor made two free throws to make it a one-point game, but Wines and Bahen combined to score 15 of the next 19 points to give the Warriors a 56-44 lead with 40 seconds to play.

"Before the game, the players came out and said right in the locker room, 'We need to win this,' " Meiser said. "I think that got them fired up."

Blanford fired up her team, too. Her three-pointer with 3:59 left in the game gave the Cougars their first lead, 49-47, and keyed a 14-0 run. Senior guard Lynn Malone scored four of her 10 points in that run, grabbing two rebounds.

"Ashley is a shooter," Thomas Stone forward Shenek Makle said. "She can shoot from anywhere. . . . Her three-pointers were the difference in the game. They gave us a lot of momentum."

La Plata (3-7, 2-3) took a 16-10 lead in the first quarter. Senior guard Necka Lancaster scored 12 of her game-high 24 points and freshman guard Myesha Gillespie (13 points) added four points and three assists.

La Plata led by three points at halftime and built the lead to 38-28 with 3:05 left in the third quarter. But Thomas Stone, led by senior forward Jewel Clark (21 points, 12 rebounds), went on a 9-3 run to cut the lead to four points heading into the fourth quarter.

Lancaster's three-pointer gave the Warriors a 46-39 lead early in the fourth quarter, but Clark hit a free throw and jumper and Blanford scored on a layup to help get the Cougars close. After Blanford put her team ahead with a three-pointer, she added another to make it 52-47 with 3:03 to play.

"We have a lot of good ballhandlers on the team, so my job is to score," said Blanford, who has 14 three-pointers this season and averages 13.7 points per game. "I shoot pretty good on the wings so if I have an open shot, I take it. I was lucky enough to hit a few tonight."

GIRLS

Thomas Stone (11-0, 5-0)--Washington 2 0-0 4, Blanford 6 0-0 16, Clark 7 7-10 21, Dorsey 0 1-2 1, Malone 3 3-4 10, Wighington 4 0-2 8, Makle 0 1-2 1. Totals 22 12-20 61.

La Plata (3-7, 2-3)--Lancaster 10 3-4 24, Gillespie 6 1-3 13, Smith 0 1-3 1, Stewart 0 0-2 0, Adkinson 1 2-2 5, Cooksey 0 0-2 0, Byrd 3 0-1 6. Totals 20 7-17 49.

Halftime: La Plata, 24-21.

Three-point goals: Thomas Stone 5 (Blanford 4, Malone); La Plata 2 (Lancaster, Adkinson).

BOYS

Thomas Stone (6-5, 3-2)--Lewis 1 2-2 4, Washington 1 0-2 2, Travers 1 0-0 3, Johnson 1 0-0 3, Spells 5 5-7 15, Naylor 2 2-2 8, Brown 1 4-4 6, Sims 0 1-2 1, Hawkins 3 0-0 6. Totals 15 14-19 48.

La Plata (4-7, 1-4)--Mason 3 2-2 8, Wines 9 3-4 21, Lee 1 0-0 2, Browner 4 0-0 9, Gardiner 2 0-1 4, Bahen 6 0-0 12, Nunnenkamp 0 0-2 0. Totals 25 5-9 56.

Halftime: Thomas Stone, 26-24.

Three-point goals: Thomas Stone 4 (Naylor 2, Travers, Johnson); La Plata 1 (Browner).