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Marist’s depth is being tested early.
Already shorthanded with one senior (Claire Ryan) out until January while recovering from offseason knee surgery, JeTaun Rouse exited in the first minute of Tuesday’s Marist Thanksgiving Tip-off Classic game against T.F. North with a sore knee.
“We started out pretty rough,” senior Leah Bolton said. “We all had to come together as a team, and start getting used to each other.”
It didn’t take long, as the No. 2 RedHawks roared back from a five-point deficit to roll over the Meteors 63-25.
Sophomore Bria Stallworth had a breakout night as a varsity player, scoring 16 points. Bolton added 12, Dajae Black and Brooke Wyderski eight each and Hannah Michalek seven points and seven rebounds for Marist (3-0).
T.F. North (0-2), rebuilding under new coach Chris Pruitt, was led by Tasha Johnson (11 points) and Shartavia Wilkins (8 points).
Rouse came off the court limping after the first two trips down the floor.
“She had surgery in the summertime just to clear up some stuff like bone chips. It wasn’t torn or anything,” Marist coach Mary Pat Connolly said. “She’s been playing a lot, but it just takes awhile for that muscle to get back.
“(Monday) she played a whole game, and tonight when she said it was sore I just said, ‘OK let’s just try to win this game without you.’”
Stallworth, a 5-4 guard, came off the bench and went 8-for-11 from the field, alternating stop and pops with drives to the basket
As a freshman, Stallworth played on the varsity but saw minimal time.
“This felt good to actually come out help my team out,” Stallworth said. “I don’t like scoring just two (points) per game. I want to actually contribute this year.”
North, which lost to Rich Central 49-47 on Monday, got a quick jump on the RedHawks as Devin Luster and Johnson each hit a 3-pointer during a 6-1 start.
Marist finally got a spark when Bolton drove for a three-point play. She set off a 13-0 run that sent the RedHawks on their way.