Broadneck eliminates Atholton from playoffs

February 29, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

It took almost an entire up and down season, but Broadneck found the missing piece just in time for the playoffs and finds itself in tomorrow's Class 3A East Region final.

The Bruins were missing a "go-to" player until senior guard Stacy Smith answered the call a couple weeks ago.

"I just decided that if I don't shoot, it won't go in, so I started shooting more and started gaining confidence," said Smith, who scored seven of her 13 points in the final period to ignite a 13-0 run as the host Bruins closed with a 40-28 victory over Atholton.

The Bruins advance to the East final at 7 p.m. tomorrow at at Howard, a 46-45 winner over Centennial.

With Smith fueling the offense, the Bruins played a tenacious 1-3-1 zone and man-to-man defense that confused Atholton especially in the final period.

"We've been winning with defense and we used a lot of combinations tonight, and it worked," said Broadneck coach Bruce Springer.

Atholton had trouble getting off good shots and hit only one of 16 from the floor in the final period.

Also, Broadneck's superior rebounding took away second shots from its opponent, while it got the extra chances (14 offensive rebounds) and capitalized.

The Bruins out-rebounded Atholton, 39-19, with Sarah Brino leading the way with 10 rebounds, followed by Amy Vandehei (nine) and Alicia Nagowski and Smith had seven each.

Smith had all of her rebounds in the second half, but it was her offense down the stretch that stood out.

"Stacy's confidence has really stepped up and she has become our go-to person, something we didn't have until a couple weeks ago," said Springer.

Atholton (10-12) overcame a six-point halftime deficit (19-13) to tie the game at 25 on two straight baskets by Caitlin Bair (seven points, four rebounds, three steals) at the end of the third period.

The two teams traded baskets to start the final period before Smith (13 points, seven rebounds) took over. Broadneck's Katie Pickett and Atholton's Mandy Robins exchanged field goals for a 27-all count.

Katie Young's free throw on the back-end of two with 4:27 remaining gave the visitors a 28-27 lead, but it would be their final score.

Smith hit a basket and then a three-pointer to give Broadneck a 32-28 lead with 3:22 left. Nagowski's back door pass to Vandehei boosted the lead to 34-28.

Nagowski hit the front end of two and Vandehei put back Nagowski's miss on the second attempt for a 37-28 lead with just over a minute to go. Brino, who also led all scorers with 15 points, and Smith sank three free throws to cap the scoring and 13-0 finish.

"They're a good team, play hard and we haven't been a good rebounding team all year," said Atholton coach Don VanDeusen, whose team was led by Alicia Walcott's nine points and eight rebounds.

"We were at a disadvantage not being able to see them yesterday [Broadneck played at Edmondson Tuesday with no spectators allowed]. That didn't help any. Broadneck can definitely play with Howard or Centennial."

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