Madison 62, Lee 50
Madison junior Mary Beth Brown last night continued to show Virginia AAA Liberty District girls' basketball opponents that her confidence has grown right along with her skill level.
The 6-foot-2 center scored a career-high 26 points at Lee to lead the Warhawks to a 62-50 win, helping them maintain their slim lead over W.T. Woodson in the district. Brown also had 11 rebounds, five blocked shots, an assist and a steal as Madison (14-4, 8-1) recovered from Tuesday's loss to W.T. Woodson (13-4, 7-1).
"She's gotten so much better because . . . she now believes that she is capable of the things that she can do and is doing," Madison Coach Denise Wojciech said. "It's more that than polishing her skills. She's a bright girl; a real thinker. She comes down the floor, looks at the situation the defense is in, and thinks to herself, 'How can I take advantage of that?' "
Brown had scored 22 points in each of her previous two games.
"When I was younger, I had older players out there showing me what to do," Brown said. "Now, I'm the one who has to do that."
Brown honed her skills in the past offseason, competing for the Potomac Valley Vogues select team, which played just about every weekend in the spring and summer.
Brown's improvements are supplemented by her left-handed release, which makes her difficult to defend, she said.
"The other team is used to playing against a right-handed shot," Brown said. "And my teammates are recognizing the right time to get me the ball down low."
Brown scored 14 points in the first half, which ended with the Warhawks ahead 30-21, their biggest lead of the night to that point. Madison held Lee (10-7, 4-4) without a field goal for more than six minutes spanning the second and third quarters.
The Warhawks' lead grew to 21 after LaToya Walker (11 points) scored with 7 minutes 25 seconds to go in the game. Teammate Leigh Kampman (11 points) chipped in seven in the third quarter.
The Lancers rallied behind the three-point shooting of Ashley York (16 points), who hit four three-pointers in the fourth quarter. But Lee could get no closer than 11 points with 2:25 left in the game.
Kristin Key led Lee with 23 points.