Gerhart's free throws ice C.M. Wright's win over Parkville, 50-48 Junior's late show repels feisty Knights' comeback

March 05, 1997|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Jamie Gerhart, who seems to respond best in pressure situations, sank two free throws with 12 seconds left, lifting C. Milton Wright to a 50-48 victory over visiting Parkville in a Region 3A North game last night.

The Mustangs (10-10) protected the margin when Kiafa Harden, a senior starter, used tough defense on Parkville leader Ebony Edwards, who turned the ball over on an over-and-back mid-court violation.

Gerhart, one of the team's less successful shooters from the field this year, came through when it was needed most, scoring nine of her 11 points in the last quarter.

Wright now moves on to a semifinal home game (7 p.m.) tomorrow night against arch-rival, No. 18-ranked Fallston (19-2). The Mustangs won the last playoff meeting between the two, last year's regional final.

Parkville (13-9), seemingly on the ropes on several occasions, made a game of it by making up eight points of a 10-point halftime deficit during the third quarter. The Knights got within 35-33 on their third straight buzzer-beating basket, and tied it at 35 on a layup by Amanda Karbowniczek two minutes into the last quarter.

Wright broke away for a 45-38 margin in a stretch that included two Gerhart baskets. Right back came Parkville, and when Stephanie Curnoles hit a 15-foot jump shot, it vaulted the Baltimore County school into the lead, 46-45, with 53 seconds to go.

Then it was Gerhart's turn. The junior, who has not shot well from beyond the arc all season, hit one of those "Oh no, no nice shot" efforts for 48-46. A driving layup by Edwards tied it at 48 with 15 seconds left, setting the stage for Gerhart's final heroics.

"I don't usually shoot threes," Gerhart said, surrounded by well-wishers. "I thought, 'I just hope it goes.' "

Nicole Nimmo, the Mustangs' 6-foot-4 senior center and the team's leading scorer, ended with 20 points, 22 rebounds, including 13 at the defensive end. Karbowniczek had 17 for the visitors.

Parkville coach Nancy Gross did not use Edwards until the second half. The student had had an in-school suspension Monday and did not practice. As a result, she sat the first two quarters.

"She's our pressure player," Wright coach John Harvey said of Gerhart. "She's not the greatest basketball player, but she's an athlete, and she gets the job done. She makes things happen."

Gerhart's work was needed because 6-foot senior Betsy Blom, normally a double-figure scorer and rebounder, was checked. "That's the way we are. If either Betsy or Nicole is having an off game, I know I have to pick up my game," Gerhart said.

"Down 10 and get back in the game -- we've done that before," Gross said of her side's comeback. "We were a little nervous, and that was probably good, but we're not a structured, patterned team. We don't do the obvious things, but the more relaxed we are, the better we seem to play. The players work well together."

Pub Date: 3/05/97

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