Sherwood's 29-2 run leaves Perry Hall behind, 62-38 Gators shoot 0-for-14 during a 10: 29 span

March 08, 1996|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Contributing Writer

It was probably the longest 10 minutes and 29 seconds o Perry Hall coach Linda Caccavalla's life.

Certainly, it was the most agonizing.

In that span, Perry Hall went 0-for-14 from the field and committed 12 turnovers to turn a one-point deficit in the second quarter into an 11-point deficit in the third quarter against Sherwood of Montgomery County.

And things only got worse, as Sherwood cruised to a 62-38 victory over the Gators in a Class 4A North Region semifinal at UMBC yesterday.

The Warriors (24-1), making their second appearance in the 4A state championship game in three years, will meet top-ranked Arundel, a 68-64 winner over Largo, tomorrow at 3 p.m.

No. 19 Perry Hall (12-8), which advanced to the state semifinals for the first time with last week's 58-57 upset of Western, was a step behind the speedy Warriors from the outset.

"The level of this game is about two seconds faster," Caccavalla said. "Even when we were doing a give-and-go, they were anticipating where our passes were going and picking them off."

Perry Hall initially had trouble handling Sherwood's full-court pressure. The Gators turned the ball over on their first four possessions and did not get off a shot for the first 2: 18.

After that, however, the Gators adjusted and began trading baskets with the Warriors.

Caccavalla used a three-two zone early to contain 5-foot-11 senior forward Meredith Pine, who picked up her third foul late in the first quarter and finished the half with three points on 1-for-8 shooting. With Pine on the bench, Perry Hall was able to build a 20-19 lead with 3: 24 remaining in the second quarter.

Then came Perry Hall's drought from the field.

The Gators, who trailed 24-21 at halftime, pulled within 26-25 after two free throws apiece by Stefanie Koman and Alyssa Phoebus.

But Sherwood answered with a 12-0 spurt that became part of a 29-2 run, and the rout was on.

Caccavalla tried switching defenses to a triangle-and-two and then a two-three, all to no avail.

Pine, who never did pick up a fourth foul, scored 14 of her 17 points in the second half, and 5-11 senior point guard Keisha Brooks (18 points) was the catalyst on Sherwood's unrelenting fast break.

When they weren't scoring on transition, the Warriors were hitting from outside, especially Katie O'Brien (15 points), who had three three-pointers, and Mindy Williams (six points, all in the second half).

"Brooks is an excellent point guard, and being 5-11 and having the outside shot, you can't stop her," Caccavalla said. "O'Brien and Williams also were excellent outside shooters. If you can shoot from the corners and you can shoot from three-point range on top, that's the game."

The loss ended a breakthrough season for Perry Hall, which rose to the occasion in the regional playoffs after finishing 9-7 in an injury-filled regular season.

"We came a long way. No one even expected us to get past the regionals," said Phoebus, who led the Gators with 16 points. "But I think we definitely didn't play up to our ability as a team, and we could have made a lot better showing here."

Pub Date: 3/08/96

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