DeSalvo no flash in pan for Falcons Rebounding: The Severna Park senior has recovered from knee surgery over the summer, scoring 78 points in her past five games.

January 07, 1996|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

All substance and very little flash.

That is what Angela DeSalvo gives the Severna Park girls basketball team every time she steps on the floor.

"I can dribble behind my back but I prefer playing smart basketball and making good passes," said DeSalvo. "I don't see myself as a flashy player. My dad [Richard] taught me not to beat myself, use my head, don't give up and fight to the end."

The 5-foot-9 senior forward can do a lot of other things to beat opponents.

She can shoot from the outside with accuracy, drive to the basket for layups or dish off to an open teammate, penetrate the lane and pull up for a jumper, shoot free throws extremely well, handle the basketball against a trapping defense, move without the ball, shoot layups with both hands, and gravitate to the right place on the floor at the right time.

"I figure if I'm at the right spot on the court, the better chance we have of the other girls being where they're supposed to be," said DeSalvo, who led the Falcons in scoring last season with 17 points a game.

DeSalvo virtually puts on a clinic every night and often carries fifth-ranked Severna Park until her more celebrated teammate, 6-foot-2 Jennifer Holmes, can break free from collapsing defenses.

Take last Wednesday night's game against second-ranked Arundel on the road for instance.

DeSalvo came out and buried four of the first five shots she took, all jumpers, and got the ball inside to Holmes for a layup to account for 10 of 12 points Severna Park scored on the way to a 12-9 first-quarter lead.

But the Falcons failed to get the ball to a wide-open DeSalvo many times the rest of the night and went down to a 55-42 defeat.

DeSalvo would score only nine points in the final three quarters after getting eight in the first.

When the Falcons made a run at powerful St. John's-Prospect Hall of Frederick in the second quarter of last week's Holly Division championship game at Essex Community College, it was the outside shooting of DeSalvo that led the charge.

She went on to score 20 points in an 80-60 loss to St. John's-Prospect Hall and prove that she has almost fully recovered from surgery last June to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.

In her last five games while still playing with a one-pound knee brace, DeSalvo has scored 78 points after getting only 20 points in the first four games of the season.

"I can't even tell most of the time that I have the brace on," she said. "It will rub a little once in a while. The brace just looks a lot worse than it is."

The main reason DeSalvo was able to bounce back so quickly from the knee injury that occurred in an AAU basketball scrimmage last May was her devotion to therapy.

"I was religious about it," she said. "I didn't skip out on my sessions and I practiced basketball over the summer."

Now, DeSalvo is being pursued by Salisbury State.

She has raised her scoring average to 10.9 points with the recent surge.

"I like the idea of Angela taking more outside shots now than she did earlier in the season," said Severna Park coach Kevin McGrath. "That opens things up more for Jen Holmes. Angela has been passing up too many shots. I'm also comfortable with her driving to the basket. She's been a major asset to our program."

DeSalvo came to Severna Park in the 10th grade from Niceville, Fla., where her father, a career serviceman, was stationed in the Air Force.

It's been a good run at Severna Park for DeSalvo, a first-team All-Anne Arundel County basketball pick last season, and now she would like to go out with a state 4A championship.

"On good nights, we can beat anybody," she said. "But we have to play smart to win. I love to win."

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