Severn proved it could defeat Garrison Forest four days earlier. What the Admirals needed to do yesterday was avoid a letdown that would have ended their season.
They almost didn't.
Seeded No. 2 in the Blue Bracket, Severn trailed most of the first half before recovering for a 49-42 victory over No. 3 Garrison Forest in the Association of Independent Schools A Division quarterfinals.
On Friday, the Admirals knocked off the Grizzlies, 57-44, behind 18 points from Kate Graw and 17 from Monique Jennings, but it wasn't to be that simple the second time around.
Yesterday, they went up by five points in the first quarter, then went cold. And Garrison Forest, with just eight players on its roster -- including three reserves up from junior varsity -- took an 11-10 lead on a steal and layup by Lauren Klein (12 points) with 1:40 left in the period.
The Grizzlies (6-7) went up by eight points with 10 seconds left in the half, but Severn reclaimed the lead, 34-32, on a basket by Heidi Hammes (eight points, eight rebounds) with 4:07 remaining in the third quarter. There were two ties before a free throw by Severn's Amy Galebach made it 37-36.
With fatigue setting in, the Grizzlies began turning the ball over. They also made just four field goals in the second half and were outscored, 25-12.
Severn (11-10) ran off six points to open the fourth quarter, stretching its lead to 43-36. It twice went ahead by nine points on jumpers by Jennings and Sherie Cornish.
Graw (16 points), Cornish (12) and Jennings (10) each scored in double figures. Jennings also had four steals, and Cornish grabbed eight rebounds and made three steals.
"It's hard to beat a team two consecutive times," said coach Maurice Jennings, whose team will meet fourth-seeded Bryn Mawr in tomorrow's semifinals. "We made some mental mistakes, and we missed an awful lot of wide-open, easy shots that would have opened up the game. We put a lot of pressure on Katie Graw and Monique to score."
The Admirals hope to repeat their success against Bryn Mawr. They prevailed, 48-39, two weeks ago.
Garrison Forest coach Ed Morse used six players, including freshman reserve Melissa Harrison. He watched the Grizzlies begin to fade midway through the last quarter, when they made many of their 30 turnovers.
"In the last four minutes, you could really see the fatigue," he said. "When you get tired, you start turning the ball over; you start losing your concentration, losing your poise. You could see that happen.
"All the kids here have to do it all the time, for 32 minutes every game. And there's a breakdown. They're teen-agers."
Morse used a 2-3 zone in the first game, but switched to a box-and-one on Jennings, who was held nearly eight points below her average.
"They thought they could take her away from us," said Maurice Jennings, "and it was very effective in the first half. But we made some changes and came out with a different mind-set in the second half."
Maggie Shoemaker led Garrison Forest with 14 points and 10 rebounds.