Psyched-up Westminster rebounds, defeats No. 10 South Carroll, 55-44 10 seniors compete for last time in heated rivalry

Girls basketball

February 07, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

It was four years ago when the Westminster-South Carroll girls basketball rivalry reached a higher level.

The Owls' Jill Ibex and South Carroll's Ce Wagener -- both senior centers now -- were learning from the likes of former standouts Beth Lister and Nicole Spencer. Since, it's always been these two teams a notch better than the rest in the county.

Last night in Westminster, the two teams went at it for a final time this season. Ten seniors started the game, and after the No. 16 Owls avenged an earlier loss to the No. 10 Cavs with a 51-44 win, there was a degree of closure.

"A lot of us have been playing with and against each other since sixth grade," Wagener said. "It's kind of sad. It's like the last time we'll see each other with everyone going off to different colleges and stuff."

The Owls (12-6) moved into a tie with South Carroll (14-4) in the county race, with both teams having 3-1 records and North Carroll and Liberty remaining. Barring any major upsets, the two will share the county title for a second straight year.

Just as the Cavaliers put it to the Owls on their own home court with a 45-35 win in the first meeting earlier in the season, the Owls returned the favor last night with a blue-collar effort.

Ibex led the way with 17 points. Courtney Wunderlich (11 points) came up big offensively in the pivotal third quarter when the Owls built an 11-point lead. Guards Kim Frame and Lauren Henry were taking care of the ball and making things happen with tight defense.

"The kids came out with energy," said Westminster coach Bernie Koontz. "They played with confidence and were ready. They just have to go out and play hard. This is a good group of seniors -- good basketball players. They just have to go out and play that way."

South Carroll coach Al Skierski's last instruction before the start of the game was "no silly fouls."

It didn't happen.

Senior point guard Lindsey Vosloh picked up her third foul late in the first quarter, and Wagener had her third midway through the second quarter -- both fouled out.

The middle of the third is when when the Owls took over, going on a 10-0 run to take a 32-21 lead.

Wunderlich started it with a three-pointer from the top of the key with 5: 35 left, and underneath the net, Wagener was called for her fourth foul, pushing. That gave the ball right back to Westminster for Ibex to add to the lead with a short jumper.

The Cavaliers got within six when senior Shannan Henley (15 points) hit a runner with 2: 45 left, but Ibex made five-of six from the free-throw line in the final minute.

"I think the [earlier] loss kind of helped us," Ibex said. "I don't think we came out ready to play the first time, and we didn't want it as much as they did. We didn't want to lose twice."

Said South Carroll coach Al Skierski: "They turned the tables on us. We didn't come out with any kind of intensity. It looked like each girl was trying to do a little more than they were capable of. We don't play well as individuals. We need to be cohesive, and we didn't always have that."

Junior Amy Lewis (four points) came off the bench and played solidly for the Owls.

In the past four years, the two teams have each won a county title, shared another one and appear to be on the way of doing the same once against this year.

In 1994-1995, South Carroll won both games on its way to a 22-2 record. In 1993-1994, Westminster won 63-59 in overtime at home; the second game was cancelled by bad weather.

Pub Date: 2/07/97

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