Westminster falls to Quince Orchard, 65-51 Second half is filled with referees' whistles as Owls' lead disappears

February 24, 1996|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

GAITHERSBURG -- There was a brief stretch in the middle of the third quarter last night when the Westminster Owls had some problems with the Quince Orchard press.

In a fourth quarter filled with whistles, it was the Cougars' work on the boards that gave the Owls fits.

And what was most frustrating for the Owls in their 65-51 loss against Quince Orchard in a Class 4A West region opener was the fine first-half effort that was wasted.

After a two-point loss in the regular season, the Owls (10-13) knew what they had to do to get past Quince Orchard (9-8) and were off to a good start with a five-point lead at the half.

The Owl guards were finding junior center Jill Ibex down low where she is most effective.

She had eight of her 26 points in the second quarter and scored six more early in the third quarter to give the Owls their biggest lead at 34-27.

That's when things began to unravel.

"It was a shock," said Westminster coach Bernie Koontz.

"After the regular-season game, we thought we'd have another game that would come down to the last minutes again."

The Cougars went on a 12-0 run to take a 39-34 lead they would never relinquish.

Laura Myers' basket with 3:38 gave them the lead at 35-34 and after a steal, she had four chances rebounding her own misses before getting fouled and hitting two free throws.

A three-pointer by Courtney Wunderlich and two baskets from Ibex early in the fourth kept the Owls close, but the game slowed down with a lot of whistles from the referees.

"There were four or five possessions in a row where [the referees] called a jump ball when [Quince Orchard] looked like they were going over the top and reaching," Koontz said.

"Our kids just couldn't get into any kind of rhythm. There were a lot more whistles in the fourth quarter and it changed the tempo."

K.C. Thompson scored nine of her 25 points in the fourth quarter to help Quince Orchard pull away midway through the quarter.

The Owls trailed 53-49 with 3:46 left after Wunderlich hit two free throws.

The Cougars scored the next 11 points -- seven coming from the free-throw line -- with Ibex fouling out during the run.

"I felt our kids played hard and did a lot of right things. We just couldn't get over the hump," Koontz said.

"It was a good season and we have a lot of juniors coming back so hopefully they can learn from this."

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