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Hodick finishes strong at nationals

OXON HILL, Md. – The rebounding was there from the start of the USJN 17U Nationals for Leah Hodick.

As the JB Hoops Carra team progressed toward the conclusion of the tournament, her offense began clicking as well.

Hodick was right in the middle of the team’s romp in a first-place battle Tuesday night, then was a big part of the offense again Wednesday when JB Hoops battled but fell shot in the Bronze Championship Division quarterfinals.

“It was exciting,” Hodick said of the 61-28 rout of the Baltimore Charm with first place in Pool GG at stake in the last game of that portion of the tournament. “We had the bench into it. Our parents were into it. That was probably the best offensive and the best defensive game we had in this tournament.”

Hodick was a big part of each.

“I just went into it, knowing I needed to do something if we were going to have a shot at winning it since they were big,” Hodick said.

On the defensive end, she blocked a shot, made a steal and was tied for second on the team with four defensive rebounds.

Hodick shared team scoring honors, going 5-for-6 from the floor while putting up 11 points.

“We really wanted that number-one seed and to make it to the playoffs,” Hodick said.

Hodick, who already started for two years at Pittston Area and recently transferred to Riverside where she will be entering her junior year, provided at least five rebounds in each game, but was just 5-for-19 from the floor in the three games that were played Sunday and Monday.

After averaging just 3.3 points per game to that stage, she matched Victoria Toomey as the team’s top scorer over the final three games.

Hodick had nine points early Tuesday in a 50-19 rout of Breakers Ebersole from Rhode Island. She had 11 points in each of the last two games, including the 48-40 quarterfinal loss to New York Havoc to end the tournament.

In the last game of the tournament, Hodick led the team in total rebounds (seven), offensive rebounds (three) and blocked shots (three). She was prominent in the late first-half run that created one of the only two JB Hoops leads in the game, blocking one shot, altering another, making a steal, grabbing rebounds, setting up teammates and scoring three points.

The final JB Hoops lead of the tournament came when Hodick got an offensive rebound and scored for a 22-21 lead on the Havoc a minute into the second half.

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