Rexrode recognizes her talent Breakthrough game: A year ago, Shannon Rexrode had a 30-point effort that showed her she could be one of Catonsville's top players.

March 07, 1996|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Shannon Rexrode never considered herself a good basketball player until a year ago this week.

In a regional semifinal against then fourth-ranked Fallston, the Rexrode Catonsville forward scored 30 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.

"I never really considered myself one of the top players on the team," said Rexrode. "I never thought I was a big asset, but after that game [point guard] Meghann Mohler said, 'You just proved you are.' "

The Comets lost that playoff, but Rexrode's game has never been the same.

"That was a breakthrough game for her," said Comets coach Mike Mohler. "She was virtually unstoppable that night. To have that kind of a game against Fallston, a team that went on to finish second in the state, she realized she could play with these kids. Now, when we need to score, she seems to do it, when we need a rebound, she seems to get it."

Friday, Rexrode certainly did all of that in another big night at the regionals. Her 28 points and 17 rebounds led the Comets to a 61-43 win over Towson and their first regional championship in four years.

Tomorrow night at 5, the Comets will meet Linganore, from Frederick County, in the state Class 2A semifinals at UMBC. While the No. 8 Comets (22-2) face a formidable opponent in Linganore (23-0), Mohler said his players appear more relaxed now than in a late-season stretch in which Milford Mill upset Catonsville for the Baltimore County championship.

"We've been playing real tense the last seven or eight games and a lot of that is due to the Sunpapers rankings. We've been watching that thing too darn close," said Mohler, whose team had been ranked as high as No. 4 before the Milford Mill loss. "The pressure was on us the whole year and now it's a reversal. We're the underdogs and Linganore is the team to beat. At practice, it seems like they're very relaxed. It's like the monkey's off their backs."

Linganore is led by highly-touted 5-7 guard Cara Consuegra (24 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists per game) and has four starters averaging in double figures. The Comets have one -- Rexrode (19.4 points, 9.4 rebounds).

Despite playing since January with a torn rotator cuff in her left shoulder, Rexrode has continued to put up big numbers. She said the injury, apparently suffered on a skiing trip in late January, is nearly healed, although she has played a few games in pain.

"You can see her grimace every time something happens," said Meghann Mohler. "Every time I see her go up underneath and get fouled, I cringe for her. But she's always done everything she can. If we didn't have Shannon, we wouldn't be where we are today."

The only returning starter on the volleyball team last fall, Mohler led the Comets to the Class 2A title match. The Comets fell in five games to Glenelg, but Rexrode broke the tournament record for kills in a match with 32.

Now the dilemma for Rexrode is whether to play basketball or volleyball or both in college. She has been recruited by Division I programs in each, but also is considering playing both at the Division III level.

` Pub Date: 3/07/96

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