Visiting Linganore went on a 9-2 run midway through the fourth quarter to pull away from Westminster for a 47-43 win and its third straight Central Maryland Conference girls basketball title last night.
Westminster (8-9) clawed back from an 11-point, third-quarter deficit to trail by just one at 37-36 with a little more than four minutes left in the game. But the Owls couldn't convert on three straight possession with a chance to take the lead and Linganore (14-3, 10-0) pulled away from there.
"We had three trips down the court where we had a chance to take the lead and came away with nothing," said Westminster coach Bernie Koontz.
"We did a good job of getting open for the shots, but just didn't hit them."
The first half was marred by poor shooting and turnovers on both sides -- a lot due to solid defense by both teams. Linganore made just eight of 37 shots in the half, but took a 21-16 lead into halftime.
The Linganore defense forced 15 Westminster turnovers, and the Owls didn't shoot much better in the half, going 7-for-21.
Linganore opened the third quarter by going inside to Betsy Roberts for two straight baskets, and Carrie Jenkins' steal and layup with 2:35 left in the quarter gave Linganore a 31-20 lead.
That's when Westminster began making its charge. The Owls scored the last seven points of the third quarter -- six by senior Tinah Houck -- to close to 31-27.
The Owls trailed 37-34 midway through the fourth, when Jessy Farinholt hit a jumper to get to 37-36, but that's when the Owls stalled.
Brooke Holland missed a running jumper with 4:20 left; Kenya Warfield missed a layup, and then Holland turned the ball over at the 3:16 mark.
Jenkins drove in for a layup to make it 39-36, and then Jackie Beach scored off a steal from the inbounds pass to further pad the lead.
"It's always tough coming in here and getting a win," said Linganore coach Brian Matthews.
"Our defense has carried us all year long, but their defense did a good job tonight as well."
Warfield led the Owls with 14 points, and Houck finished with 13.
Linganore was paced by Jenkins' 14 points.