Park returns to its favorite role Bruins are seeded No. 1 in AIS B Division tournament

February 07, 1993|By Tara Finnegan | Tara Finnegan,Contributing Writer

It's that time of the year again for the Park School girls basketball team.

With the Association of Independent Schools tournament starting tomorrow, the Bruins (15-1) will enter as the No. 1 seed and favorite to win the B Division championship.

Park finished with an overall record of 14-4 last year and lost in the AIS B Division championship game to rival Garrison Forest by one point. Bruins coach Robin Willard and his squad are looking forward to the probable rematch.

"We're going to have to play good defense and run our offense successfully," Willard said. "They [Garrison] have a lot of height and a lot of good athletes."

Park beat Garrison Forest, 48-39, earlier this season, but the Bruins aren't underestimating a rematch.

"We won by nine, but the game was a lot closer than the score," center Jessica Schiavone said.

"That was a real hyped-up game, and I think if we meet them again and play the way we can play, we can win," forward and co-captain Monica Brinkley said.

When Park does play to its potential, the Bruins usually have won.

One of the secrets of the Bruins' success this season has been the depth of their bench.

"We've got enough people to put in and keep the other teams running," Willard said.

Schiavone added that conditioning is also an important contributor to the team's stamina.

"We lift weights every other day, and we do a lot of running so everybody's in shape," said Schiavone, a transfer from Seton Keough.

Schiavone leads the team in scoring (12.0 average) and rebounding (6.3), followed by Brinkley (9.5 points, 5.4 rebounds).

In addition to their B Division wins (6-0), the Bruins have beaten Pikesville and AIS A Division teams Roland Park and Notre Dame Prep in non-league matchups.

But Wednesday, against A Division opponent Maryvale, Park's 15-game win streak was snapped. Maryvale rallied from a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the visiting Bruins, 47-42.

"Our big goal was to go undefeated this year. We were really rTC trying to do that," said Schiavone, who led the Bruins with 19 points (15 of 19 from the foul line). "But, we're going to come together and practice hard, and we are going to win the [B Division] championship. We have to."

Even though Wednesday's loss prevented an undefeated season, Willard believes it could have a positive effect on his team.

"They are disappointed in losing, but they are probably going to learn something from it," Willard said. "I think we can come back strong in the next game."

Brinkley said: "I think the game showed us that it is possible that we can lose, and hopefully we can get up and roll through the tournament."

Park has a first-round bye and will play host to the winner of tomorrow's Towson Catholic-Arlington Baptist game on Tuesday

at 3:30 p.m.

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