Sunday, December 6, 2015

REVIEW: Doubleheader Sweep For Chiefs At Hanover

RVASN correspondent Taylor Luck offers this report from Friday's doubleheader as the Chiefs won two games from Conference 20 rival Hanover in first week action.

Hanover High School was alive Friday evening as the Monacan Chiefs came to town for a Conference 20 basketball doubleheader. The Chiefs girls’ team has been wildly successful the past few years, and as the reigning 4A State Champs took the court for the first time in nearly nine months, nothing was expected to change.

The top seeded Chiefs were heavily favored against the home standing Hawks. Megan Walker, the number one recruit of the Class of 2017, scored 22 points in about a half of play, and Hanover was unable to contend as the Chiefs rolled to a 97-43 victory.

Monacan started off strong as expected, hitting easy shots and forcing turnovers on many early Hanover possessions. After a quarter, Monacan already held a 29-7 lead. The second half wouldn’t get any better for the Hawks, and by halftime, the Chiefs held a commanding 64-18 lead. Walker totaled 16 points in the half, and teammate Alex Parson was not far behind with 12 of her own.

Despite laying off the gas, Monacan continued to increase their lead in the third quarter, dropping 18 more points to Hanover’s seven. The final quarter allowed some of the Chiefs’ deeper bench players to get some playing time, and Monacan showed why they should be feared, cruising to the 54 point victory.

Walker finished the night with 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 steals; while Shalonda Wilkins totaled 16 points and 6 rebounds. The Hawks’ best performance was delivered by Elizabeth Ellen, who had 14 points. The Chiefs moved to 1-0 on the season with the victory, and while that isn’t a surprise to anyone, Coach Larry Starr says they are far from perfect.

“I thought our enthusiasm was great, I thought our intensity was great. I thought we did some good things offensively, but we made a lot of bad mistakes on defense, and that’s the thing we really need to pick up.” noted Starr, “In a closer game, those things are going to haunt us. That’s my concern because last year we were there and did some of this stuff that we did tonight. This year my plan is to try to work through it, but in close games it’s going to cost us. So we see where we need to improve.”

The boys showdown began differently, as the Hawks kept pace with the Chiefs for the first quarter. Monacan took an 18-13 lead a period, then went on a 10-2 run to open up a 13 point lead halfway through the second, enjoying a 35-23 edge at intermission. Nick Parks led the way for the Chiefs in the opening half with 14 points.

Monacan came out swinging in the third quarter, outscoring Hanover 12-9 over the first four minutes, and opening up a 17 point advantage by the end of the period. As the game quickly headed toward the final whistle, Monacan’s biggest lead was 19 points. Hanover tried to battle back late but never got within 11 as the Chiefs went on to win 78-66.
Parks finished his night with a  24 point performance, followed by Darian Peterson with 15, and Wallace Washington with 12. The Hawks were led by Alan Dabney, who put up 28 in a losing effort.

The unbeaten Chiefs both head to Dinwiddie Monday and then to Manchester on Wednesday looking to stay perfect as the young season moves forward.

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