Owls stop Cavs to win county title

February 25, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

The showdown for the Carroll County girls basketball championship last night was a classic.

It was the youth, exuberance and aggressiveness of underdog Westminster against the experience, talent and poise of South Carroll.

And fittingly it came down to an exciting three-minute overtime before the Owls overcame the Cavaliers for a 63-59 victory at Westminster.

The Owls (5-0 in the county, 13-5 overall) ran a relentless fast break last night and they were still racing down the court in overtime against a seemingly tired South Carroll (4-1, 13-6) team.

Westminster scored its six points in overtime on fast breaks, with Cassandra Conklin, Beth Lister and Lauren Kadlubowski each scoring baskets to break a 57-57 tie at the end of regulation.

Conklin had an assist on Lister's layup in overtime, completing a scintillating performance that included 19 points, eight assists and eight steals.

Lister also scored 19 points to share scoring honors for the Owls, who virtually clinched a berth in the 4A regionals.

Kadlubowski contributed 13 points for the winners and freshman Jill Ibex had eight points, a block and two steals in a strong performance off the bench.

Ibex is one of the many young Westminster standouts, with only two seniors on the team.

"We had something to prove," said Conklin. "I think we were underestimated this season. I guess you could say just the sight of South Carroll fired us up for this game."

Westminster coach Bernie Koontz said: "We played well on defense, hit the key shots and never stopped hustling. That was the difference."

It was the first meeting of the season between the top two county girls teams, and unfortunately for basketball fans and South Carroll it was the last.

A scheduled Feb. 10 game between the Owls and Cavaliers at South Carroll was snowed out and was eventually canceled after it could not be fit into the schedule.

There will be no second chance against Westminster for South Carroll's outstanding junior trio of Nicole Spencer, Amber Clutter and Melissa Gettemy.

Those three girls, playing together for a third season, combined for 50 points last night but it wasn't enough.

Spencer played her best game of the season, scoring 26 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The 5-foot-10 center took the ball to the basket with authority and simply overpowered Westminster at times.

Gettemy and Clutter complemented Spencer well, with Gettemy getting 11 rebounds and Clutter running the offense superbly from her point-guard position.

It seemed as if Clutter spotted almost every open teammate last night on fast breaks, but the Cavaliers couldn't finish on the breaks.

"We did a lot of good things, but in the end it came down to us not making the easy shots," said South Carroll coach Al Skierski.

"Our old shooting problems cropped up again. Also, Nicole getting four fouls late in the fourth quarter hurt us. I had to take her out for a while and she was a little tired. You never know what might have happened if we had played them on our court. The extra lift from our fans might have been enough to push us a little harder."

Skierski said the Cavaliers are in a tight struggle with Walter Johnson for a 3A regional playoff berth.

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