Flint Hill’s three-headed monster takes down Sidwell Friends

Flint Hill's Claire Miller gets ready to shoot a free throw in a game earlier this season. Miller scored 22 points in the Huskies' 57-43 victory over Sidwell Friends on Jan. 25. (photo courtesy of Susan Spencer, PerfectShotPhotos, LLC)

A basketball team usually needs at least five players in order to play a regulation game.

On Jan. 25, the Flint Hill girls’ basketball team really only needed three.

Juniors Claire Miller and Whitney Wiley, along with senior Cami Lamont, combined to score 48 of the Lady Huskies’ 57 points in a double-digit victory over Sidwell Friends. Each member of the trio scored in every quarter but one (Lamont, first) en route to the 57-43 non-league victory.

“I love having (these three). I think it is hard to scout,” said Flint Hill head coach Jody Patrick. “All three are pretty different and do different things. But then we have others who do things to fill in as well.

“This team really gets it. They are very selfless. There is a lot of non-verbal communication because they know each other. We have seven juniors who have been together since their freshman year, so they have a lot of chemistry that has been building.”

Miller, the team’s forward, was the lead dog for the Huskies on Thursday night. The lefty poured in a game-high 22 points and nailed a three-pointer (4-for-4) in every quarter throughout the course of the night. She got into a little foul trouble early in the second and it allowed Sidwell to jump out a bit, however once she came back the score was tied by halftime.

“If I see I am wide open I am going to be in the ready position and ready to shoot,” Miller said.

Miller also showed great footwork in the paint. On several occasions she either drove to the hoop using a euro-step, or sealed her defender with a drop-step for an easy layup.

“I have been training a lot this fall and working on my post moves,” she said. “I really wanted to get better this year and I think I have.”

The game touted two of the best teams in the Washington, D.C.-Virginia area, with the Huskies currently ranked No. 1 in the DC area according to MaxPreps. Meanwhile, the Quakers weren’t far behind at No. 17.

The night unfolded with Miller and Sidwell’s Nicole Willing trading three-pointers toward the end of the first quarter to tie the score at nine. Then, the Quakers’ Nalani Lyde, who finished with a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds, scored two quick buckets to start the second quarter to give her team a slim lead.

The lead was short-lived though, as triples from Wiley and Lamont pushed the Huskies back in front. Play continued to be back and forth, and Miller capped off the first-half scoring with a bucket to tie the game at 23 heading into the break.

The game remained tight toward the end of the third quarter, but that was when Flint Hill started to pull away. Wiley connected on a jumper at the two-minute mark to give the Huskies their first lead in more than 10 minutes of game time. She then drained another jumper to push the lead to five (39-34). Sidwell managed to close the gap to three by the end of the frame, but the momentum seemed to be on Flint Hill’s side.

“I think the difference in the end was when we came out of the press we lost our enthusiasm,” Sidwell Friends head coach Anne Renninger said. “And our defense laid off and they hit a couple big three-pointers. We just didn’t get up on the ball enough.”

Flint Hill pulled away in the fourth behind six points from Wiley, five points from Smith and four points from Lamont. Miller’s fourth triple at the 5:35 mark of the quarter pushed the Huskies’ lead to seven and they never looked back. The Quakers’ Annie Boasberg tried to keep her team close with five early points, but it was too little, too late.

Despite the loss, Sidwell Friends still holds a 13-3 record. Renninger said, for whatever reason, her offense wasn’t in sync and it is something her team will work on as it moves forward.

“I think what we will take away is that we need to be more in sync on offense in terms of getting it to who we want to get it to when we want to get it to them,” Renninger said. “You didn’t see our offense tonight. Our best scorers didn’t get the ball where they are used to getting it, and some of that was us and some of that was them. We just held the ball and didn’t get that movement tonight.”

Meanwhile, Flint Hill improves to 14-5. After suffering a 30-point loss to Georgetown Visitation Prep a few days ago, Lamont said this kind of win was just what the team needed.

“It feels great,” Lamont said with a smile. “It feels awesome. (Georgetown Visitation Prep) took it to us hard the other day and we needed this to get our confidence back. We haven’t been ranked this high in the league for a long time, so this means a lot for the program.”