Twins power Wilde Lake to rout of Central, 67-50 Whites' 31 points, 8 steals lead team to 2A South final

February 29, 1996|By Chuck Acquisto | Chuck Acquisto,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Wilde Lake can attest that the state's new open playoff system certainly lacks logic.

How else does one explain the fact the No. 13 Wildecats' first two playoff opponents -- Glenelg and Potomac-- had a combined 32-13 record, while Central of Prince George's County came into last night's Class 2A South region semifinal with a 3-15 mark?

Central, advancing courtesy of an opening-round bye and a second-round opponent (Great Mills) who elected not to play, saw enough of Wilde Lake's sophomore twin guards Toni and Lashon White as the duo combined for 31 points and eight steals in the Wildecats' 67-50 win.

"I didn't even tell them Central's record because we tend to play to our opponents' level," said Wilde Lake coach Kelly Storr, who employed her entire bench once the Wildecats built a 63-33 second-half lead.

"If our opponent plays sloppy, we play sloppy. We've let too many games get down to were its close at the wire and we're not able to pull it out."

Wilde Lake (15-8), with 11 players scoring last night, advances to the Class 2A South final tomorrow against Hammond, a 49-38 winner over Oakland Mills.

"It was fun being a fan for one night," said Toni White, who spent a big bulk of the second half cheering from the bench.

Wilde Lake last met Central (3-16) in last year's Class 1A South region semifinal, in which the Wildecats prevailed, 53-38, over the visiting Falcons on the Wildcats' way to a state crown.

Central coach Eugene Couser said his Falcons' 10-day layoff coming into the game had an adverse effect on a game that featured 33 turnovers by the visitors.

"This team is young and won't quit. We had no doubts about playing in this tournament. We only wish Great Mills had participated," said Couser, whose team was led by junior guard Niki Butler (23 points) and sophomore Cynthia Gray (14 points, 12 rebounds).

Wilde Lake erased any doubt the Wildecats might be looking past Central to tomorrow's 2A South final by jumping out to a quick 10-0 lead, with Toni White (19 points) scoring six of her 14 first-quarter points in the opening minutes.

By applying full-court pressure, Wilde Lake forced 12 Central turnovers (seven steals) in taking a 28-7 first-quarter lead.

After converting just 1-for-13 field goals in the first quarter, Central produced an 8-0 second-quarter run to cut Wilde Lake's 29-point lead to 38-17 on Falcon sophomore Patty Peden's three-pointer.

"The difference between us and Wilde Lake is they have players like the Whites who play AAU ball and we don't," said Couser.

"You can see how much more advanced they are by playing year-round, and we hope that we can get a few of our players to follow their lead."

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