Mickie Burns and Melissa Cuneo helped Seton Keough build a lead, then helped the Gators regain it.
Burns and Cuneo combined to score Seton Keough's first 14 points, then teamed to score the first two baskets in overtime, as the fifth-ranked Gators (5-2) defeated No. 3 Walbrook (2-3), 52-48, in a semifinal of the Hoops Division in the Holly-N-Hoops Tournament at the University of Maryland Baltimore County last night.
Seton Keough will meet No. 7 Severna Park, a 58-35 winner over Parkville in the other Hoops game yesterday, in the championship game tonight at 9. Walbrook will play Parkville at 5 p.m. today in the consolation game.
The victory was Gators coach Trish Cook's 300th in 17 seasons at Seton Keough and Archbishop Keough, and Seton Keough's third straight win over Walbrook in this tournament.
Cook praised Cuneo (18 points), Burns (14 points) and senior center Chris Politz (eight points, seven rebounds).
"Chris played an important role for us," Cook said. "She had been struggling at the foul line, but she was 5-for-6 from the line in the first half. She was also more offensive-minded and she went to the basket more."
More importantly, Politz did a nice job defensively on Walbrook's 6-foot-5 center, Tabitha Chambers. Politz, 6-1, took Chambers out of her game, drawing three fouls on her in the first half. Chambers sat out for 12 minutes and finished with 10 points.
"We wanted them to have to beat us from outside," Cook said. "With Tabitha in there, it's hard for her to miss as close as she plays."
Burns made her first three shots of the game, as the Gators took a 6-0 lead. Cuneo scored Seton Keough's next six points before Burns hit a jumper with 1 minute, 35 seconds remaining to give the Gators a 14-6 lead.
Seton Keough maintained a lead until Walbrook's Tina Fauntleroy (11 points) made two free throws with 12 seconds remaining in regulation to pull the Warriors even at 45.
Kelly Hines (eight points) took a shot from three-point range for the Gators with three seconds left, and Fauntleroy grabbed the rebound for Walbrook. The Warriors could not get a final shot off before time expired.
Burns and Cuneo hit jumpers and Chris Politz added a free throw to give the Gators a 50-45 lead with 2:30 left in overtime. Walbrook pulled within 50-48 on a three-pointer by Rebecca Childers with 1:00 remaining, but Karen Petro came off the bench and made a short jumper with 44 seconds left for Seton Keough. Walbrook committed a turnover, and the Gators then ran out the clock.
In the other Hoops Division game, Kerri Schmale and Laurie Habicht led a balanced Severna Park attack with 10 points apiece.
The Falcons took a 13-4 lead after one quarter and extended it to 21-5 with 5:09 remaining in the first half.
Parkville was led by Joy Burns' 18 points. The Knights' leading scorer, Laurie Bender, appeared at the game on crutches due to cartilage damage in her knee suffered in a game Thursday. Parkville coach Nancy Gross said Bender's return this season is in doubt.
In the Holly Division, Southern of Anne Arundel (3-3) pulled away in the third quarter en route to a 45-38 victory over the Institute of Notre Dame (2-2). Laekeka Wesley scored 19 to lead Southern.
The Bullogs will meet North Harford (4-1), a 59-34 winner over Leonardtown in the other Holly Division game, in tonight's championship at 7 p.m. Carie James' 27 points and 18 rebounds paced North Harford.
IND and Leonardtown will play in the Holly consolation game today at 3 p.m.