Westminster hits boards to shut off Paint Branch Second chances let Owls turn game into runaway

March 05, 1997|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Paint Branch had a good season, but coach Becky Clark said rebounding was her team's Achilles' heel -- and No. 17-ranked Westminster found it last night in a Class 4A West region quarterfinal game.

Jill Ibex scored 21 points, and nearly half of host Westminster's rebounds were on the offensive end to help the Owls come up with numerous second chances in a 62-41 victory over Paint Branch.

Westminster (18-7) will play (home vs. Quince Orchard or at Watkins Mill) tomorrow at 7 p.m. in a region semifinal.

The Owls out-rebounded Paint Branch (15-7) by nine (36-27), but 17 of the Owls' caroms came on offense. Westminster had 14 offensive boards out of its 23 in the second half to break open a five-point halftime game.

"They just went after it on the boards," said Westminster coach Bernie Koontz. "We were the ones getting to the ball."

The offensive rebounds played a large part in Westminster's breaking the game open. Sixteen of the Owls' 30 second-half points came as a result of offensive rebounds.

Honesty Drumgoole (12 points) led Westminster with 11 rebounds, six of which were offensive. Courtney Wunderlich added 12 points and seven rebounds (two on offense).

Ibex had the best stretch of offensive rebounding, getting four straight follow-ups on one fourth-quarter play before sinking a layup.

"We wanted to hit the boards," said Ibex. "I think we just hit our stride and got going in he second half."

Westminster also kept the Panthers off the offensive boards. Paint Branch finished with only six offensive rebounds, three of which came in the final five minutes with the issue no longer in doubt.

The Owls caused problems for Paint Branch with tough defense. Westminster harassed the Panthers on every possession, forcing them to shoot without many passes.

Paint Branch turned the ball over 20 times and rarely got its offense going. Christen Greene was the only Panther to do well, finishing with a game-high 22 points.

The Panthers finished by making only 15 of 40 from the field, but remained close until midway through the third quarter.

Ibex, Drumgoole and Wunderlich then sparked a 19-6 run that gave Westminster a 16-point lead early in the fourth quarter.

"The rebounding [problems] just caught up to us," said Clark, who will not return as coach next season. "We got just one or two shots maximum."

Pub Date: 3/05/97

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