Young Wright team falls to Whitman

March 10, 1995|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Sun Staff Writer

Top seed Walt Whitman went into last night's Class 3A semifinal against C. Milton Wright (17-9) with five senior starters who had led the Vikings to a record of 21-3.

They showed how they accomplished it during an 11-0 run early in the third quarter, turning a nine-point lead into a 22-point cushion. The final score at UMBC Fieldhouse was 66-42.

Whitman will play Bladensburg (22-3) for the championship tomorrow night at 9 o'clock.

During the first three minutes of the third-period blitz, Whitman overwhelmed Wright in opening a 44-24 lead. The Mustangs' first points came on a basket by Erin Lesh at 4:36, only their second shot in that span.

NB The Vikings came in with a 12-game winning streak, including a

60-41 whipping of No. 6 South Carroll team in a regional final. Wright came in with a winning streak of six. And that's about where the similarity ended.

Courtney Gaine, a 17-point scorer on the season, led Whitman with 24 points.

For Wright, Erin Updegrove, the metro area's top scorer with a 23-point average, had 27 points to reach 1,003 for her three years.

Wright, which does not have a senior on its 10-player squad, recovered with a reasonable last quarter, but, in the end, it just did not have enough weapons.

"Their experience -- being here three straight years -- paid off for them," Wright coach Gloria Leidlich said of Whitman.

"They'd switch defenses each time down the floor and it really made a difference. We tried to adjust. We knew what was going on, but our youth and inexperience showed."

The first quarter was a shooting duel between Gaine (seven baskets for 14 of 22 points) and Updegrove (11 of 13), with the Vikings getting all their points inside, and Updegrove working to get four baskets and adding 3-for-4 on free throws.

The widest margin was 20-10 with two minutes left, and a blowout appeared just minutes away.

Wright, however, refused to go away.

Tightening up its 2-3 zone defense, it forced five turnovers in the first four minutes and limited the Montgomery County team to just one basket.

At the other end, five players had a part in keeping the Mustangs relatively close. When Nicole Nimmo and Annie Sappington scored back to back, they were within 28-24 at 1:30.

As it developed, Whitman gave an indication of what was to come when Kim Bretz made a three-pointer and Megan Barlow connected from along the baseline.

It was 33-24 at the break, as the Vikings restored an earlier nine-point margin.

C. Milton Wright would get no closer.

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