It's not uncommon for the better athletes to elevate their game to ahigher level come playoff time, no matter the sport.
The entire Chesapeake girls lacrosse team is doing just that.
Senior attacker Diane McBee led seven Cougar scorers with six goals and one assist last night, as No. 2 Chesapeake defeated No. 6 Perry Hall, 18-5, in the 4A-3A state semifinals.
The Cougars, 19-14 winners over No. 7 Liberty last Friday, advance to Saturday's 2 p.m. finals against No. 5 Severna Park at Catonsville Community College.
Chesapeake defeated Severna Park, 17-16, on April 19, ending the Falcons' 57-game winning streak.
Severna Park, the four-time defending state champions, assured a rematch by downing top-seeded Dulaney, 14-6, in yesterday's other semifinal.
McBee ranks among the county's leading scorers with 72 goals and 17 assists. She netted seven goals last Friday, giving her 13 in two playoff games.
She did, however, benefit from a little assistance from her friends yesterday. What team goes as far as the Cougars have relying solely on one player?
Even the NBA's Chicago Bulls have Scottie Pippen to ease some of thescoring burden on Michael Jordan.
Chesapeake (14-0 and winners of19 straight) offers the likes of senior Marlene Pyles, who scored four goals last night, and junior
Natalie Buritsch, who added three.Senior Julie Smith had two goals and one assist, and senior Julie Henne, junior Becky Smith and sophomore Denise Perrone completed the scoring.
Goalkeeper Michele Julian stopped 13 shots, including sevenin the first half. She was aided by a tremendous defensive effort, led by senior Sherri Malloy and junior Cindy Bumgarner.
Perry Hall (9-2) had reached the semifinals with a 13-11 upset of third-seeded Catonsville last Friday, but never led against Chesapeake.
The gamewas tied once, 1-1, but Pyles scored three minutes into the game to put the Cougars ahead to stay.
Julian made two straight saves after Pyles scored, and Perrone converted a free-position shot to give Chesapeake a 3-1 lead.
With Smith controlling the first seven draws,the Cougars built on their lead.
McBee again found an opening andscored to make it 4-1, before Kerri Johnson fed Karen Bradley for a Perry Hall goal.
Johnson had three goals and one assist before being issued a red card with around 10 minutes left. The sophomore attacker ended the year with 65 goals and 23 assists.
Chesapeake scoredfour unanswered goals after Bradley's tally -- including two from McBee -- en route to a 9-3 halftime lead.
The Gators scored twice toopen the second half, but another clutch save from Julian was followed by nine consecutive Chesapeake goals.