RARELY HAS A NAME — Mercy -- been more incorrectly applied, for the Sharpshooters granted little to Chesapeake's girls basketball team in the first round of Archbishop Spalding's Noel Classic yesterday.
Chesapeake coach Ginger Woods gratefully watched Mercy's Stephanie Rohe take a permanent seat on the Sharpshooters' bench with four minutes left in the game. Rohe's 32 points were more than what Woods' entire squad would score in its 68-27 loss.
The 6-2 Baltimore County team's No. 13 ranking in The Sun poll spelled bad luck for the Cougars' back court of junior guard Staci Jenkins and senior guard Deanna Castle. In all, Mercy amassed 17 steals, with Rohe, an All-Metro player, robbing the 1-3 Cougars 11 times.
Thanks to Rohe (eight boards) and 5-foot-11 junior center Gayle Belz (14 points, seven boards), the Cougars were out-rebounded, 36-24 -- 18-10 in the second half, when they were outscored, 45-17.
"We wereslow getting back on defense, and I thought that hurt us more than anything," said Woods, whose Cougars were coming off of last week's 53-47 victory over
In today's 2 p.m. loser's bracket semi, the Cougars play seventh-seed Mount de Sales of Baltimore County (1-6), a 53-31 loser last night to No. 2-seed Broadneck (4-0).
TheBruins, ranked No. 6 by The Sun, meet Mercy in today's 6 p.m. semifinal. The other semifinal features top-seed St. Mary's against the winner of last night's North County-Archbishop Spalding game.
The Sharpshooters gave the Cougars an idea of what was to come in the opening period, sprinting out to a 17-2 lead with eight points from Belz and five more from the 5-5 Rohe. It was 15-0 before Chesapeake's 5-8 senior forward Michelle League put her team on the scoreboard with justover two minutes left.
"The fast break was really the key for us today. We made the steals, drove up the court and capitalized -- thatwas the whole game," Mercy coach Mary Ella Marion said. "We also seemed to be doing real well with our man-to-man defense."
The Cougars' 5-9 junior forward Denise Perrone can attest to that. Perrone, whohad 21 points, six rebounds and three steals against Spalding, was held scoreless in the first quarter and converted just two of her team-high nine points during the first half.
"We were cold, and they just didn't miss," Woods said. "We only have two seniors on the team, but our young players continued to try real hard."
Chesapeake mounted more of an offensive in the second period, closing to 23-10.
In that period, the sixth-seed Cougars tightened things up defensivelyand got four each in points and boards from 5-9 sophomore forward Megan VanWambeke (eight points, seven rebounds), while Perrone and Jennifer Jovan contributed two points each.
The Sharpshooters never let up, however, outscoring the Cou
gars, 18-10, in the third period, with eight points from Rohe and six from Belz in that stretch.
Chesapeake still trailed, 41-20, to end that stanza with the worst yetto come: Mercy buried the Cougars with a 27-point fourth-period.
"We started to string some things together in the third period," Woods said. "But our girls just couldn't maintain it. That quarter took the heart out of them a little bit."
Broadneck, which built a 30-10halftime lead against Mount de Sales, was led by seniors Ava Tasker (16 points) and Michelle Meyer (12 points), who went 6-for-8 from thefree-throw line.
Rebounding from 5-10 Sarah Bannatt (eight boards, three assists), 5-7 April Quigley (seven, four) and 6-0 Jen Chapman(six boards) helped the Bruins. Bannatt and Chapman contributed fourpoints each.