Tempers flare as St. Mary's downs Gwynn Lake, 63-46, in battle of ranked teams Exchange between coach, fans mars fourth quarter

Girls basketball

February 26, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Second-ranked St. Mary's tuned up for the Catholic League tournament last night by blitzing fifth-ranked Gwynn Lake, 63-46, in a non-league girls basketball game marred by a fourth-quarter incident involving Gwynn Lake coach Roland Hall and a few spectators at St. Mary's in Annapolis.

Hall flashed an obscene gesture toward some St. Mary's fans who had yelled at Hall after the game had been held up for approximately five minutes following an emotional outburst directed at officials by the Gwynn Lake coach and his ensuing back injury.

Hall became incensed at the officiating in the fourth quarter when St. Mary's surged ahead, 54-34, with a 14-2 run midway through the period. The coach began to rush on the court to protest the calls.

Shortly after being hit with his first technical, Hall started on the court again, but this time he was restrained by an assistant coach, apparently prompting Hall to fall and hit his back on the bench.

Hall rolled on the floor in pain and was attended to for about three minutes before getting up, only to fall down again a minute later when one of his players accidentally stepped on his foot.

When Hall got up the second time, he looked toward some St. Mary's fans and gave the obscene gesture in response to catcalls. That prompted verbal exchanges between fans from both teams.

However, Gwynn Lake athletic director and boys basketball coach Donchez Graham quickly ordered all Lakers fans to sit away from St. Mary's spectators, avoiding further trouble and allowing the game to end peacefully.

The Gwynn Lake players also aided in defusing an even uglier scene by pleading with their fans and coach to calm down.

St. Mary's coach Harry Dobson warned boisterous fans that he would end the game immediately if there was any more trouble.

Graham coached Gwynn Lake the rest of the way while Hall sat quietly next to him.

Hall seemed embarrassed by his actions after the game and said, "I took out my frustration from the refs on the fans and then on my team. We were a little sluggish tonight and I overreacted."

Carmine Blades, girls athletic director at St. Mary's, said, "I don't want to comment on this at all."

St. Mary's (21-4), which almost always gives up a lot of height to opponents, finally found a team it was taller than last night.

The Saints dominated the boards and played a tight 3-2 zone defense to shut down the lightning-quick Lakers (24-4) and their foul-plagued scoring leader, Jimea Barner.

Barner entered the game averaging 23 points but was limited to 10 last night. Barner was called for her fourth foul with 2: 58 left in the third quarter.

"Gwynn Lake would have run us out on West Street if we had played a man-to-man defense," said Dobson. "They're so quick, but we had people come through for us off the bench [Felicia Holloway and Amy Mulligan] tonight and that helped."

St. Mary's played without starting guard Maria Smear, who broke her nose Sunday in practice and may miss this weekend's Catholic League tournament if she can't breathe properly while wearing an orthopedic mask.

The Saints also were hurt by foul trouble to scoring leader Emily Lipton, who collected her third in the first half but still scored 10 points, had seven assists and five steals in a limited role.

Terri Daniels led the St. Mary's scoring with 16 and also had nine assists and rebounds. Tiffany Schummer had a big night with 13 points and 14 rebounds.

Quante Toney led Gwynn Lake with 17 points.

Pub Date: 2/26/97

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