18-0 run lifts No. 12 St. Mary's past No. 4 St. Frances, 62-53

January 21, 1995|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Sun Staff Writer

St. Mary's coach Harry Dobson has noticed something about No. 4 St. Frances whenever it has the ball -- something that gives his team a chance for easy shots.

The 12th-ranked Saints took advantage for only one quarter yesterday, but that was enough to hand visiting St. Frances its first loss in the Catholic League, 62-53.

St. Mary's (11-6, 4-3) opened the second quarter with 18 straight points, scoring on a variety of open jumpers and drives to the basket. A 14-13 lead grew to 32-13, and the Panthers (12-6, 7-1) spent the rest of the game trying unsuccessfully to battle back.

"We picked up a couple things during our last game against them [a 43-39 loss Dec. 14] that I thought we could do," Dobson said. "We did them in the second quarter, but we didn't in the first, third and fourth. But they were still there to be done."

"I'm not going to explain what they are," he said, laughing, "because we might have to play them again."

Most of the Saints' scoring came from two sources, junior Tara Foran (22 points) and senior Annetta Davis (19). They also combined for 36 rebounds, and Davis had eight assists.

Juniors Heidi Moldenhauer and Jen Manning each had eight points, and senior Kris Miller added five points and seven assists.

St. Frances was coming off two defeats in New York during the weekend, to Christ The King by 23 points and St. Francis Prep by nine in double overtime. But the biggest loss was 6-foot-1 senior center Kortni Webb, who dislocated her kneecap Sunday and is sidelined indefinitely. She was averaging around 10 points and 12 rebounds.

"When you lose someone like that, who's such an important ingredient, it changes your chemistry," said coach Jerome Shelton. "We're hoping the schedule we've played has made the younger kids tougher."

The defending Catholic League tournament champions were led by senior forwards Kristi Webb (20 points) and Melba Chambers (16). Junior guard Jakia Ervin added 10 points, but the Panthers were 0-for-3 from the line.

All six of their second-quarter points came from Webb in the last 39 seconds. She scored in the lane, made a steal and layup and followed her own miss after a steal by Sherry Dawkins, reducing St. Mary's lead to 32-19.

Webb had picked up her third foul with 7:21 left before halftime, but Shelton kept her in the game. She got her fourth with 4:18 remaining in the third quarter, and fouled out in the last 41 seconds with St. Mary's ahead, 59-53.

The fourth quarter began with the Saints in front, 48-34, but a 12-4 run by the Panthers got them within six. Chambers, an All-Metro selection last year, scored 12 points in the final quarter after having only two at halftime.

"We do this every time we come down here. We wait until the fourth quarter to get going," Shelton said.

By then, it was too late.

Foran scored off the glass and Manning made a free throw for a 55-46 lead with 2:50 left. A three-pointer off the glass by Ervin reduced the deficit to 59-53 with 45 seconds left, but two free throws by Miller and one from Manning sealed the win.

Asked how badly the Saints needed this win, Dobson said: "We need every game. We've got 13 left and we have to win them all. We can still have a good record, but not a good season because I think we can always play like this if everything had been like it should have been."

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