Annapolis holds off Severna Park, 52-51

February 10, 1993|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

A fan sitting behind Severna Park's bench called yesterday's game at Annapolis "the battle for second place."

It turned out to be a battle right down to the end, when Severna Park's Erin McNeally stole an inbounds pass with one second left and missed an off-balance jumper, and the 18th-ranked Panthers escaped with a 52-51 victory over the 15th-ranked Falcons.

The victory kept Annapolis (13-3, 4-1) one game behind Old Mill in the Friendship Division standings. Visiting Severna Park (13-4, 3-2) dropped to third.

"This is a huge win for us," said Panthers coach Teresa Ross. "We felt like this would be a pivotal game for us in terms of the standings. It does a lot to the points, in terms of the playoff picture.

"I don't mind a close game because I think it does a lot for our confidence, in terms of being in a pressure situation."

The pressure almost became too much for Annapolis, a team without a senior on its roster.

The Panthers led 52-47 after junior guard Janelle Queen scored high off the glass with 1:40 remaining, but Severna Park's Kate Marks (13 points, 11 rebounds) put back a miss, and teammate Amy Carnaggio was fouled while trying a three-point shot with eight seconds left.

Carnaggio made the first two free throws, but missed the third.

The Falcons' Kris Drapalski (10 points) grabbed the rebound, had the ball knocked loose, and the ensuing jump ball went to Annapolis.

Four seconds remained, enough time for one more piece of drama.

After calling a timeout before being called for a five-second violation, Queen was able to inbound the ball to sophomore Emily Nugent against a rare Falcons press.

Nugent tried to make a return pass to Queen, but McNeally (14 points) stepped in front to make the steal.

McNeally's shot glanced off the side of the rim as time expired.

"I'm proud of these girls," said Severna Park coach Kevin McGrath. "We've got four or five of them who think they blew the ballgame because they missed a shot, but that's garbage. We've had a lot of teams where we were in this position and didn't get a good shot off. We got a bunch of good ones; they just didn't fall."

Queen led all scorers with 20 points and added seven rebounds.

Junior center Shannon Henderson had 14 points, 16 rebounds, four steals and four assists, and junior guard Cristi Samaras contributed eight points, five assists and four steals.

Annapolis freshman forward Stephy Samaras sprained her ankle in the first quarter and is questionable for today's game against Broadneck.

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