With all the attention focused on 6-foot-5 Largo senior center Candace Sutton and 6-2 Oxon Hill senior center Rebekkah Brunson last night, the Lions' supporting cast stole the spotlight in a 62-34 victory.
As a team, No. 7 Largo made 16 steals, outrebounded No. 17 Oxon Hill, 47-30, took 28 more shots than the Clippers and built a 25-point second-quarter lead in Oxon Hill. Largo improved to 5-0 (3-0 in Prince George's 4A) and ended Oxon Hill's three-game winning streak.
"We don't just have a one-dimensional team," Largo Coach Bob Blair said. "Candace is a big part, but we have other players that can step up and make it easier for her. It's hard for teams to defense us because we've got an inside-outside game."
Sutton scored a game-high 15 points and had eight rebounds, but she had plenty of help. Senior power forward Andrea House grabbed 14 rebounds--eight in the first quarter--and scored nine points. Senior guards Adrienne Harris and Amanda Kelly and junior forward Kenya Jackson each had four steals, and the Lions made 13 in the first half.
"The team effort was excellent from everyone," said Sutton, who will play at North Carolina next season. "Everybody stepped in and did their part. We got great steals, good defense, and it all came together."
On the other end, Brunson, who has signed to play at Georgetown next season, was held to 10 points and eight rebounds. For the first time this season, she did not have a double-double in points and rebounds.
"We played out of character," Oxon Hill Coach Debra Anderson said. "We prepared for everything they were going to do. Once [Largo] feels it can dominate you, it gets on top of you."
Largo took control early with its full-court press and trapping defense that forced nine first-quarter turnovers. Many of those turned into easy layups, as the Lions ran out to a 20-5 lead with 6 minutes 49 seconds remaining in the half.
Largo went on a 10-0 run late in the half--sparked by a three-point play by Sutton after Brunson picked up her third foul with 3:04 remaining--to take a 40-15 advantage. Powered by several offensive rebounds and Oxon Hill's 16 first-half turnovers, Largo took 47 shots in the first half to 22 for the Clippers (3-2, 2-1).
"I knew if we played aggressive defense we'd be all right," Blair said. "Our practice session consists of 30 minutes of defensive steals every day. We practice that, and we expect to have productivity when we're playing a game."