All Sarah Jenkins wanted to do following No. 3 Riverdale Baptist's 63-44 victory over No. 4 DuVal last night was go home, collapse on her bed and rest. The senior guard scored a game-high 16 points for the undefeated Crusaders, but that wasn't why she was so tired.
Jenkins has had flu since Monday, and had not attended school or practiced with the team since then. She went to a half-day of school yesterday and then started the game, which was played before a standing-room only crowd in Upper Marlboro.
"I am so tired," Jenkins said. "I did not have any energy out there to run or to shoot. I found it very hard to do anything."
Jenkins's senior teammate, Joi Jefferson, also was sidelined by flu this week, and Jefferson also played and scored 10 points. The pair sparked a tremendous team effort by Riverdale Baptist against a DuVal team that has four returning starters from last year's Maryland 3A champions.
Seven players scored for the Crusaders; junior forward Raven Mallard had 12 points, and senior guards Vicky Briscoe and Terrelle Waller scored eight each.
"We practice hard, and this team is full of good ballplayers," Jenkins said. "We don't lose anything when we sub.
"We have a lot of confidence in each other. Me and Joi were weak tonight, but the others stepped it up."
Jenkins was especially effective in the second half, scoring 13 points in the final two quarters. She made four three-pointers, including two in the first four minutes of the third quarter that helped Riverdale (8-0) build a 46-24 lead.
When the Lady Tigers scored four straight points to open the fourth quarter and cut Riverdale's lead to 50-39, Jenkins scored five consecutive points--on a lay-up and then a three-pointer from the left side--to stretch the lead to 55-39.
"It was very important for us to have Joi and Sarah because of their leadership on the court," Riverdale Coach Keith Lynch said. "Sarah had 16 points and hit several big shots for us.
"We have 11 players, and we need all 11 players."
DuVal, which was led by senior Vernessa Neamo's 14 points, had not played since Dec. 7, when the Tigers beat Eleanor Roosevelt, 65-27. Riverdale Baptist, on the other hand, was playing its third game this week.
"This was a tough game for us after the layoff," DuVal Coach Walter Clark said. "We treated it like the second game of the season.
"We lost to an experienced team. In all phases of the game, they were superior."