Northwestern stumbles against Parkside, 54-47

March 05, 1995|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Sun

The Northwestern Wildcats made just two of their first 26 shots in yesterday's Class 2A East Region title game. They shot 18 percent from the field and missed 23 of 29 three-point attempts.

And still nearly won.

Against a less physical Parkside team, the top-seeded Wildcats got to within three points in the final minutes before falling, 54-47, at Arundel High School.

Though the Wicomico County power will advance to UMBC Friday for the state semifinals, Northwestern coach Lillian Brown said her team's strong showing was something to build on.

"They had height on us and that hurt a lot, but we were never completely out of it," said Brown. "I think we were a little afraid. I just reminded them that they had to have been pretty good to make it this far. I think we could've won if we had shot a little better."

On this day, shooting was about the only thing that stood between Northwestern (16-3) and a victory.

Though facing a taller, quicker and more experienced Rams squad, the Wildcats matched their opponents rebound for rebound and steal for steal.

They kept themselves in the game by crashing the offensive boards, giving themselves two or three scoring opportunities on many possessions. By game's end, they had taken 33 more shots.

And when Parkside (19-3) began missing its layups and free throws in

the second quarter, they used a 10-2 run to pull to within a point just after halftime.

"We missed too many easy shots and too many foul shots," said Rams coach Lance Lewandowsk, whose normally sure-shooting team missed nine of 12 foul shots in one fourth-quarter stretch. "We got out to that big run and then just forgot about everything. We were extremely lucky to win this game."

Trailing by 10 early in the fourth quarter, Northwestern made a furious comeback effort. The Baltimore City team turned up the intensity on defense, forcing Parkside to rush its shots.

The Wildcats then took advantage on offense. Led by center Nicole Eades (17 points), and guards Keisha Todd (13) and Katina Hurt (10), they went on a 13-6 run over the next five minutes to cut the lead to 48-45 with 2:03 left.

But that's where the comeback ended. Parkside's Cortney Urban began making her foul shots, Tish Westcott -- the tallest player on the court at 6-foot-1 -- hit a key layup and the Wildcats misfired on four three-point attempts.

Despite the loss, Brown said she's confident her team -- which has six freshmen and no seniors -- will be back next season.

"We're a young team, and a lot of times they'll lose confidence in their shot," said Brown, whose teams had never reached a regional final before. "Hopefully, we'll be back at this point again next year."

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