Severna Park takes 62-53 win over Annapolis

January 27, 1994|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

Severna Park coach Kevin McGrath took Lauryn McAlister aside just after Christmas and gave her the news in three words.

"It's your turn," McGrath said.

It was the sophomore's turn because regular point guard Erin McNeally had been suspended for the season for undisclosed reasons.

"I told Lauryn not to be nervous because if I didn't feel she could do the job, I'd have put some- one else in there," McGrath said.

McAlister went out and justified McGrath's faith in her by becoming the high scorer in a win over Meade.

Maybe this will be a charmed season for the Falcons. There are indications of that.

Minus two starters -- Jen Hatch (visiting colleges) and McNeally -- No. 13 Severna Park scored 15 of the game's last 17 points to defeat No. 17 Annapolis, 62-53, last night at the Falcons' gym.

Still another starter, Jen Conner, missed most of the second half with a bruised tailbone suffered when she fell after leaping for the ball.

Despite the personnel losses, Severna Park is 10-1, its lone loss to Bethlehem, Pa., in a Christmas tournament.

"I don't know what to expect," McGrath said before the game. "Our last game was Jan. 14 and we've practiced only three times since. Taking a break like that is like starting all over again."

Annapolis (7-5), which also hadn't played since Jan. 14, and Severna Park were sluggish in the first quarter. The game was tied at 19 in the second period, but the Falcons spurted to a 40-30 lead in the third.

the fourth, Annapolis pulled even at 46 and went ahead at 49-47 on Janelle Queen's three-pointer. The Panthers were riding on the coattails of Shannon Henderson, who crammed most of her game-high 25 points into the second half.

"Shannon turned on for a while," Annapolis coach Dave Griffith said. "But then we made mistakes, not new mistakes, the same '' old ones. We got outplayed. We were terrible. Too many mistakes and turnovers."

Annapolis' lead was short-lived. Behind Sandy Jenkin and Angelo DeSalvo, who led with 16 and 15 points, respectively, and McAlister, the Falcons put Annapolis away with the 15-2 run in the final five minutes.

"I felt quite comfortable with our team until the second half," McGrath said. "But even when we were down by two or three, I felt confident we could come back."

Although Annapolis couldn't avenge its six-point loss to Severna Park in December, the Panthers may have smoother sailing ahead. Of their first 12 opponents, 10 have been ranked.

"It won't be as hard at the end as it was at the beginning," Griffith said. "If we get through the next two weeks I'll be happy."

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