C.M. Wright ends Fallston's home streak Run that began Feb. '92 stopped by Mustangs, 52-51

February 20, 1996|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Unbeaten and No. 5 C. Milton Wright proved its first-game victory over arch-rival and No. 6 Fallston 10 days ago was no fluke when it squeezed out a 52-51 Harford County League victory before an overflow crowd at Fallston last night.

The win improved Wright to 17-0, 13-0 in the county, with a game at home against Bel Air tomorrow. The defeat marked the end of an impressive streak for Fallston (13-2, 10-2), as it was its first home loss since Feb. 20, 1992, when it fell before county champion Wright, 49-42.

Entering the final minute, Annie Sappington, a senior reserve with a four-point average, sent the visiting Mustangs ahead to stay, 51-49, with an 8-foot jump shot from the right side, her only basket of the night.

With 35 seconds left, Erin Updegrove forced a turnover, and Sappington added one of two free throws off an ensuing foul. Miranda James then forced a jump ball, and on the possession, Sappington was fouled again.

This time, the 63 percent free throw shooter missed two shots, but Updegrove was there for the rebound. She was fouled and made one of two chances for 52-49, with 12 seconds left.

Rachel Simon, the heart of the Fallston effort, missed a three-point attempt, but Beth Rappold put in a short shot at the buzzer.

This month's earlier loss to Wright had ended Fallston's 44-game winning streak against county foes, and such had been its domination over that span (58-2 in regular-season games from Feb. 1992) that last night's setback marked the first time it had lost two games to the same county team in a season in more than five years.

Fallston started out as though it would get even for the earlier 62-58 defeat, turning a series of Wright turnovers into a 10-0 lead. As was the case 10 days ago, though, the Cougars ran into a second-quarter buzz saw.

They yielded 23 points the first time and 24 this time, including a 14-2 spree sparked by three baskets from 6-foot-2 junior center Nicole Nimmo. The visitors led at the break, 33-27.

Updegrove led the winners with 19 points (her average) and 10 rebounds, backed by Nimmo, who stepped up to have her best game of the season with 17 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocked shots. Simon was the only double-figure scorer for Fallston with 21.

"We felt we had something to prove because I'm sure they felt they couldn't be beaten twice in one season by the same team," Nimmo said. "A good part of the season I've been in a slump, and I came out wanting to do my best."

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