Barnes sparks Joppatowne to 55-39 win Mariners stop Bo Manor to claim 1A North title

Girls basketball

March 02, 1996|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

CHESAPEAKE CITY -- For the second time this season, Bohemia Manor found out that Joppatowne is basically just too much Brandi Barnes.

Barnes, a 6-foot-2 senior center, was slightly better than her season averages, as she had 22 points, 18 rebounds, and a half-dozen blocked shots in leading the Mariners (13-10) to a 55-39 triumph in the Class 1A North regional championship game last night.

The win sends the Harford County school to the state tournament for the third straight year. It lost in the final two years ago, and in the semifinals last year. This time, it will play the West regional champion Friday at 9 p.m. at UMBC.

"This [the regional title] wasn't on my mind when I took over; I was just trying to salvage the season," said Joppatowne coach Roy Washington, who replaced former coach Lynette Shelley in early January.

About the same time, Joppatowne, a loser of four of its first five games, throttled visiting Bo Manor, 62-33.

"Since then, I think everybody on the team has stepped up and improved their games," Washington said. "I have tried to put them in situations where they could excel. We tried to match up, and, for instance, I would not put one of our slower players on a fast opponent."

Another thing he did was to instill confidence in Monique Washington, a freshman forward.

"She's been a big part of our development," he said. "As she got better, the team got better. She's a hustler, and tremendous on the boards."

This was especially true in the late going, for Barnes played the last 10 minutes with four personal fouls.

"After the fourth one, I expected them to come after me, but they didn't," Barnes said. "There were shots I wanted to block or go for a rebound, but I'd back off and even had my hands down so there was no chance of contact."

Bo Manor coach Paige Kimball said she wanted the ball to go inside, but her team had been successful from the perimeter in recent games and it had trouble making the change. It also had trouble in transition, leading to many of its 25 turnovers.

After Bohemia Manor (12-11) had taken its only lead of the game, 13-11, on two Tina Sparkman free throws in the first minute of the second quarter, and earned a tie at 15, the Mariners scored the last eight points of the quarter, with Washington getting two of her side's three final-minute baskets.

The Eagles, down 23-15 at the half, made their only run of the game in the third period, rallying from a 37-19 deficit to reel off 11 unanswered points. It was 43-33 going to the last eight minutes.

Bo Manor's offense during that closing stretch consisted of foul shots, as they converted six of 12.

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