North Harford and Joppatowne won lopsided victories over Harford County foes in their regional semifinal games Thursday in girls basketball.
The Hawks (20-2), seeded second in Class 2A, Region IV, knocked off sixth-seeded Fallston, 47-20. They were scheduled to meet Parkside, in Salisbury, yesterday for the regional championship.
The Cougars (11-10) stayed with North Harford early, but the Hawks outscored them, 11-2, through the 9 minutes before halftime to take a 19-8 lead.
In the second half, Shannon Bracken and Cathy De Ran combined for the first six points. Fallston never got closer than 14 the rest of the way.
"We seem to have a tendency to start off slow," said guard Tracy Thompson, who led North Harford with 23 points,seven steals and two assists. "Once we get going, we all get fired up and start hitting," she said.
Bracken added 11 points and six rebounds. Kristy Wegeler led Fallston with eight points.
In Class 1A, Region III, Joppatowne knocked off defending regional champ Havre de Grace, 59-41. The Mariners were to play Kent County High for the regional title yesterday.
Joppatowne (13-8) took an early lead and held on.
"We were down by eight in the first two minutes and that was the ball game," said Warriors coach Sheilah Collins.
"Joppatowne drives; that's all they do. We tried to cut that off, but they could have dropped-kicked it tonight. Everything they put up went in. We gave them the outside shot and they made it."
The Warriors (8-14) got within eight early in the fourth quarter. Nitrease Hamilton hit afree throw and Trusha Sheppard canned a baseline jumper to pull the Warriors within 40-31 at the end of three quarters. Hamilton hit another free throw to open the fourth quarter.
Then Joppatowne's ThoriStaples took over. The junior assisted Candy Collier for a layup, then stole the ball twice and hit the layups to put Joppatowne up, 46-32, with 5 minutes, 2 seconds to go.
"We had all these different strategies planned, but we fell back on our 2-1-2 defense and our teamwork," said Joppatowne coach Kathy Wunderlich.
"We told everyone they would have to contribute and they did."
Staples finished with 27 points, nine rebounds, six assists and six steals. Collier added 14points.
Hamilton led the Warriors with 25 points while Bobbi Zachry added 11.