Howard gains final against Liberty Liberty Belle Girls

December 29, 1992|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Contributing Writer

Howard coach Craig O'Connell said he hoped to win hi team's game against Magruder by the end of the first quarter.

It didn't take that long.

No. 13 Howard scored 22 of the game's first 24 points and forced 32 turnovers, as the Lions routed Magruder, 61-26, in the first round of the Liberty Belle Christmas Tournament yesterday at Liberty High School.

Howard will meet Liberty in the title game at 5 p.m. today. Liberty beat City, 43-20, behind Dani Fostik's 15 points. Magruder, from Montgomery County, takes on City in the 1 p.m. consolation game.

Howard (4-2) often used a 2-1-2 full-court trap press to shut down the Magruder offense. Magruder turned the ball over on its first four possessions, 13 times in the first quarter and 24 times in the first half.

"We didn't know anything about them," said O'Connell. "We wanted to get a nice lead, and then we wanted to play the rest of the game with that margin."

The press gave Howard that cushion. Howard took advantage of the early turnovers to score the first five points of the game, and then 17 more for a 22-2 lead. Sharon Ford (game-high 18 points) scored seven in the quarter that ended with Howard in front, 24-4.

The Lions let Magruder (1-6) pass the ball inbounds before attacking. They pushed the Colonels to the side and trapped them, forcing many passing mistakes. No matter what Magruder tried, it didn't work.

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