Fairfax's Mara Cunningham is one of the most prized post players in the area, but she was no match for Robinson's unheralded inside tandem last night.
The Rams' well-kept secret of Karen Sheehan and Jennifer Beauchamp ganged up on the Rebels' 6-foot-3 Vanderbilt-bound senior and led the defending state champions to a surprisingly easy 69-53 home-court nondistrict victory over the previously unbeaten Rebels, ranked No. 2 in the area.
Sheehan scored 17 points and Beauchamp, playing her second game since hurting her ankle on Jan. 4, produced 11. But more important they outrebounded the unsuspecting Cunningham at both ends of the floor.
With Cunningham occupied with 6-2 Sheehan, it was up to Talitha Lee to take on 6-1 Beauchamp. But Lee, a converted small forward, couldn't handle Beauchamp, leaving her free to pluck rebounds on the weak side.
The twosome's inside play also opened the outside for the hot-shooting Rams (11-2, No. 11). Heather Phillips, the region's second-leading scorer, had 27 points from just about every spot on the floor, but mostly open baseline jumpers.
"She's like that, isn't she?" said interim Robinson coach Greg Croghan. "It makes a difference."
"Even when we did a good job of shutting Heather down," said Fairfax Coach Dwight Trimmer, "they got too many offensive rebounds."
And when it wasn't one of those three, Anne Metzger's pesky defense forced the Rebels (11-1) into turnovers or hideous shots. Fairfax's Jamie Dykes is one of the best defenders in the region, but she met her match. Metzger limited Dykes to eight points on four-of-12 shooting and had several steals.
Cunningham led Fairfax with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocked shots and Patti Faverno added 10 points.
Robinson, which is still without suspended coach Traci Schneeweis, quietly and methodically ran away with the game in the second quarter.
The Rams outscored Fairfax 21-9 in the period and limited the Rebels to 30 percent shooting to lead by 38-24 at the half.
Fairfax drew within five points in the third quarter when it went on a 14-5 run, mostly based on defensive hustle. But Phillips hit two straight jumpers to extend the Rams' lead back to nine. R (11-2) -- S. Metzger 2, A. Metzger 4, Anderson 2, Phillips 27, Williams 2, Beauchamp 11, Sanderson 2, Fitzwater 2, Sheehan 17. Totals 30 9 69. F (11-1) -- Dykes 8, Kvancz 2, Cunningham 19, Schafer 6, Faverno 10, Lee 8. Totals 22 7 53.
Halftime: Robinson, 38-24.
Three-point goals: Fairfax 2 (Schafer 2).