Top-ranked Western falls, 59-54

January 01, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Staff Writer

LARGO -- Without ailing 6-foot-2 center Danielle Davis, No. 1 Western did not have the strong inside game it needed against Elizabeth Seton yesterday.

Despite leading by six with less than three minutes to go, the Doves suffered their first loss, 59-54, to Seton of Bladensburg in the championship game of the 21st annual IAABO Girls Invitational Christmas Basketball Tournament at Prince George's Community College.

In the consolation game, No. 2 Hammond bounced back from Thursday night's loss to Seton and routed Good Counsel, 73-49.

In the final, the Doves (7-1) hit eight of their first 10 shots in the fourth quarter to pull ahead 54-48 with 2:21 left.

But the Doves, who managed two rebounds in the quarter, would not score again. They committed a couple of fouls, turned the ball over and could not manage a rebound in the final two minutes.

"It was a lack of discipline and mental toughness toward the end of the game, but that comes with maturity," said Western coach Breezy Bishop, who has only five players with varsity experience.

The Doves pulled ahead late by converting a couple of Tesha Tinsley steals.

After Kim Smith drove the baseline for a layup to put Western up 50-48 with 2:49 to go, Tinsley picked off a Seton pass and laid it in. Tinsley quickly picked off another and fed Smith for a layup. That gave Western its biggest lead, 54-48.

But Seton (10-1) came right back. Roadrunners guard Darria Boyd hit a 20-footer and added a couple of free throws to put Seton on top for good, 55-54, with 1:16 left.

Without Davis, suffering from a kidney infection, the Doves constantly struggled down low. Chanel Wright, the second-leading scorer in the tournament with 65 over three games, had 15 points and seven rebounds yesterday, but it was not enough.

Guards Smith and Tinsley accounted for 37 points, with Smith hitting for a game-high 22. Only three points, other than Wright's, came from inside.

"Not having Danielle was critical," said Bishop. "I had to put Chanel inside, and I just didn't have the inside game I needed against a team like that."

Smith, who hit four three-pointers yesterday, picked up a trophy for the second most assists in the tournament, 14. The junior hit two 20-footers in a 10-point, second-quarter run that rallied the Doves within 24-23, the closest they would get in the first half.

In the consolation, Hammond junior guard Tiki Nicholson had a tremendous game hitting nine of 17 shots from the floor to lead the Bears with 20 points. She added seven rebounds, two assists and a steal.

Foremost on the Bears' minds was rebounding from Thursday night's 59 -47 loss to Seton.

"We were just kind of down after [Thursday's loss], and we wanted to put it behind us," said Bears forward Sonia Keiner, who scored 12 points. "We wanted to come out strong and play 100 percent."

Hammond (5-1) did just that, hitting eight of 13 shots from the floor in the first quarter to roll up a 24-12 lead. Nicholson hit Kellye Townsend for a layup to spark a 12-1 run midway through the quarter. Townsend scored four and Nicholson three, as the Bears broke out to a 20-9 lead over Good Counsel (8-3).

Unlike Thursday night, when the Bears struggled in the third quarter, they maintained the momentum with a strong run to open the half. Kacy Williams scored six points in a rally that put Hammond up 50-28.

Williams finished with 16 points and seven assists. Townsend added nine points and seven rebounds.

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