Annapolis scuttles Severna Park, 50-41

March 05, 1994|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Sun Staff Writer

Their leading scorer didn't make a field goal the entire game and had just nine points, which should have been enough to keep the Annapolis Panthers out of next week's state tournament.

It wasn't.

Senior forward Janelle Queen came through with 16 points to help offset a subpar offensive night by Shannon Henderson, and No. 12-ranked Annapolis went 20-for-27 from the line in a 50-41 victory over No. 15-ranked Severna Park in last night's Class 4A East Region final.

If the fifth-seeded Panthers (19-6) proved anything, it was that they don't need Henderson -- a 6-1 senior center -- to reach her scoring average of 18 points to win. Guards Emily Nugent and Cristi Samaras combined for 17 points, and sophomore forward Stephy Samaras had four of her six points during the fourth quarter, which began with No. 2 seed Severna Park trailing, 33-30.

First-year coach Dave Griffith also received quality minutes off the bench from junior guard Artina Trader and sophomore forward Ginny Dauses.

"To be honest, tonight I would have thought we could win without Shannon making a field goal," he said. "The only reason I say that is these kids have been playing with their hearts for the last week."

Two free throws by Henderson gave Annapolis a 44-38 lead with 40 seconds remaining, but Severna Park made one last push.

A free throw from sophomore guard Angela DeSalvo and a follow by sophomore center Jennifer Holmes sliced the margin to three with 25 seconds left. Cristi Samaras answered with two free throws, and Queen made a steal and was fouled. Her two free throws, and two more by Henderson, sealed the win.

"The seniors knew this would be our last chance to go on [to the states]," Queen said. "And like our coach said, only Annapolis believes in Annapolis. We've proven ourselves big."

Junior forward Sandy Jenkin scored 18 points for Severna Park (18-5), which lost four of its last six games. DeSalvo added nine before fouling out.

A physical first half saw Annapolis fall behind 10-1, then recover to take a 23-21 lead, even though Henderson had just three points.

"At halftime we talked about it and I told them we had to work harder, and that's what we did," Griffith said. "We lose four

seniors after this season, so I told them, 'Hey, it's got to be now. If you let it slip away, it'll be a couple years before we get back to this position.'"

Nugent hit a three-pointer to begin the third quarter, increasing the lead to 26-21. Queen later drove the baseline and scored for a 31-25 lead, but Annapolis couldn't put away the Falcons until the final seconds.

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