On Centreville’s first possession against No. 17 Oakton, guard Jenna Green immediately attacked the basket and misfired. But the William and Mary recruit drove to the hoop again on the ensuing possession, pulled up and sank a jumper.
Several plays later she broke down her defender with an in-and-out dribble, tossed the ball between her legs and stepped back to drain a three-pointer.
Green was completely locked in Friday on her home floor as the Wildcats continued their recent string of success against a team that had dominated Centreville for nearly 20 years. The standout guard poured in a game-high 20 points to lead the No. 12 Wildcats to a 55-38 win in Clifton, their third straight against their Conference 5 rivals. She kept defenders at bay with a killer crossover that tantalized the home crowd.
“We took a bad loss to Chantilly, so we didn’t want that to happen again,” Green said of the team’s one-point loss Jan. 10. “We’ve refocused ourselves in practice and in the games. We’ve been working hard.”
Since the fifth grade, Green has spent three to four days a week dribbling two heavy basketballs to perfect her handle, and when she is running the point she seems to have the ball on a yo-yo. She scored in a variety of ways with her step-back spin move and showstopping crossover to eclipse the 20-point mark for the eighth time in her last 12 games.
With Green leading the offense, Centreville (13-2, 2-1) used an aggressive man-to-man defense to limit the Cougars to nine field goals.
“We worked on playing hard defense for the last two weeks,” Wildcats Coach Tom Watson said. “We’ve worked on keeping our hands off and not worrying about the crossovers. It’s amazing to see them execute what we worked on.”
Centreville took a 24-17 lead into the half, and that quickly swelled to double digits with senior guard Katie Blumer (10 points) knocking down three consecutive three-pointers. Her third attempt came from at least one foot beyond the three-point arc and rattled in off the rim.
“After the first one, my confidence level was high because I haven’t been hitting lately,” Blumer said. “I didn't think the second one was going in and definitely didn’t think the third would drop.”
Guard Lindsey Abed scored a team-high 13 points for the Cougars (13-2, 2-1), who shot 18 for 26 from the free throw line.
After the game, William and Mary assistant women’s basketball coach Kelly Killion shook Watson’s hand and thanked him. Referencing Green, Watson replied: “You’re getting the best guard in the Northern Region.”