By Tom Robinson
OXON HILL, Md. – JB Hoops Rose made the most of a height advantage on the inside and accurate shooting from the outside Saturday night to turn its opening game of the USJN 17U Nationals into an easy victory.
Rachel McDonald made five 3-pointers to score 15 points while leading JB Hoops to the 63-37 romp over the Winston-Salem Stealers 16 Role at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
“You want to start the weekend off strong and hope you keep rolling,” said coach Jerry Rose, whose team will continue in Pool ZZ with two games each Sunday and Monday.
JB Hoops took care of the fast start part by making six 3-pointers in the first half for a 34-13 lead. It finished with nine 3s.
Part of that success came after Rose noticed a height advantage during pregame warm-ups and instructed his team to make sure it got the ball to 6-footers Claire Dougherty and Trinity Johnson.
“Those two girls, when they get the ball down low, they’re not ball hogs,” Rose said. “They’ll pass the ball.
“We had a couple of those where we went inside, then we went outside. When we go in, then out, we’re a very good team.”
Dougherty finished with 11 points and Maria Belardi added 9.
McDonald got right to work early, scoring the first six points on consecutive 3-pointers. She made four in the first half.
“Rachel McDonald was on fire,” Rose said. “She hit a couple 3s early and we got her the ball with very good passing.”
Johnson and Clair Marion also made 3-pointers in the first half. Belardi and Deanna Wallace connected in the second half.
JB Hoops Rose plays CTAB Elite 16 from Virginia Sunday at 5:10 and Belles 16 Truhan from New Jersey at 8:40. CTAB Elite beat Belles Saturday.