Brunswick catches Key at buzzer, 60-57 Railroaders' 40-foot shot stops Eagles' streak at 12

Girls basketball

February 12, 1997|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Gretchen Unger of Brunswick went from goat to hero in a matter of moments last night at Francis Scott Key.

Unger missed two free throws with 18.5 seconds left that opened the door for Stephanie Stambaugh's game-tying jumper with six seconds remaining. But Unger took the inbounds pass, raced just past midcourt and sank a 40-foot shot at the buzzer to let Brunswick stop No. 19 Francis Scott Key's 12-game winning streak with a 60-57 victory.

The victory moves Brunswick (16-2 overall) into a three-way tie with Key (17-2) and Middletown for first place in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League. All three teams are 13-2 in the league.

Brunswick had rallied from a 10-point, first-half deficit behind the shooting of Julie Foltz (game-high 26 points) to take over in the fourth quarter. Foltz hit four straight free throws to give the Railroaders a seemingly safe 57-52 lead with 29.4 seconds left.

But Nicole Keffer calmly sank a three-pointer for Key with 23.7 seconds remaining. The picture looked even brighter for the Eagles when Unger missed the two free throws.

Key came right downcourt, and Keffer fed Stambaugh (17 points), who then tied the score at 57 with a turnaround jumper. But Unger (13 points) then made up for her misses. "I just threw it," said Unger. "I just kind of heaved it. I thought it was going in."

Brunswick coach Bill Martin said the Railroaders were hoping to get fouled.

"That was awesome," said Martin. "Nobody touched her. She saw the opening and just went for it."

Winning on an outside shot was kind of ironic for Brunswick, which struggled with its shooting all night. The Railroaders hit only 23 of 66 from the field.

The Eagles also struggled on offense. They never got in sync all night, finishing with 24 turnovers and hitting only four of 17 from the floor in the fourth quarter.

"We just couldn't do anything offensively," said Francis Scott Key coach Alice Smith. "We didn't work well together."

Stambaugh (17 points) and Sheedy (15 points) helped carry the Eagles in their final home regular-season game. Sheedy sparked the Eagles in the third quarter, scoring nine while Stambaugh sat with foul trouble for the final five minutes.

The first half belonged to Stambaugh. The center scored six points in the first 3: 15 of the half as Key took a 31-26 lead at the break.

The Railroaders -- who lost to Key by two earlier this season -- crept back into the game. Foltz hit two free throws and a running jumper for a 43-40 lead with 53 seconds left in the quarter.

But Sheedy took a nice pass from Stem to make one jumper with 37 seconds remaining.

Key went ice-cold in the fourth quarter, however, scoring just one basket in the first 7: 17 and falling behind.

"There was just something missing for us from the beginning tonight," said Stem, who finished with 11 points before fouling out with 18.5 seconds left.

Pub Date: 2/12/97

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