Joppatowne tops Hereford for first region title

March 06, 1994|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Sun Staff Writer

It took a little while for top-seeded Joppatowne to get things going yesterday afternoon against second-seeded Hereford. But once they did, there was no looking back.

Joppatowne (17-3) captured its first girls basketball region championship with a 65-38 win against Hereford (12-7) in the Class 1A North region final. The No. 20-ranked Mariners will make their first state playoff appearance Thursday at UMBC.

Balanced scoring, a swarming press and the dominating inside play of sophomore Brandi Barnes was the difference.

Barnes scored 10 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and had eight blocks, while Santae Boyd (15 points) and Dionna Bishop (14 points) gave the Hereford guards problems all day long with their relentless defense.

"This is great. It's the first region title for the school in women'basketball," said second-year coach Lynette Shelley.

"We have a well-balanced team who worked very hard in fine-tuning their skills this season. They've really worked hard."

It was the visiting Bulls who jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead before Shelley called a timeout with 5:10 left in the first quarter.

Whatever she said worked because the Mariners scored 14 of the final 16 points of the quarter to take a 14-10 lead after one. They never looked back.

"They seemed a little unfocused at the start, so I just told them to calm down and stay focused on what they needed to do on offense and defense," Shelley said.

Bishop started the rally with two jumpers and then her free throw with 1:13 left in the first gave the Mariners an 11-10 lead they would

never relinquish.

They outscored Hereford 21-3 in the second quarter to take control.

Time after time, the Mariners' press caused turnovers, which were converted into easy baskets.

Barnes' strong defensive rebounding and eight blocked shots also started some Joppatowne fast breaks.

"We started the pressure game midway through the season and it's worked against a lot of teams," Shelley said. "We have a lot of speed on the floor which really makes the press work."

Nine players scored for the Mariners.

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