The moment belonged to Howard senior Chanelle Carter.
But the night was all Wilde Lake's.
Carter became Howard's all-time leading scorer late in the third quarter of its Class 2A South region semifinal game against the visiting Wildecats. The game was stopped, and Chanelle's mother came out on the court, embraced her daughter, and handed her a dozen roses.
It was the highlight of Howard's night. The Lions trailed at the time by 31 points.
Sparked by the first-half shooting of guard Toni White, Wilde Lake ran over the Lions, 78-49. White scored 16 of her season-high 21 points in the first half as the eighth-ranked Wildecats (20-4) took a 46-18 halftime lead. Bridget White had 10 of her 14 points and Lashon White eight of her 10 points in the first half.
"I walked over to [Wilde Lake coach] Kelly [Storr] at halftime and told her I had never seen a display like that," said Howard coach Craig O'Connell. "You can't but appreciate something like that. They were so hot."
Wilde Lake will play at Hammond, which needed overtime to down host Glenelg, 48-42, at 6 p.m. tomorrow for the region championship.
That game will be a rematch of last year's region final. Hammond won that game at home, 51-48, and went on to its fifth straight appearance in the Class 2A state championship game.
The teams split this season. Hammond won at home, 58-50, on Jan. 3 and Wilde Lake returned the favor, 54-50, Feb. 5.
Oddly enough, last night's game began slowly. It was 2-2 three minutes into the game. Then the Wildcats, who beat Howard twice in the regular season, ran off nine straight points and ended the first quarter with a 20-13 lead.
Wilde Lake missed its first shot of the second quarter, then made five straight -- three by Lashon White -- for a 30-13 lead six minutes before halftime. The Wildecats scored four more points before Carter made two free throws with 3: 41 left.
Wilde Lake didn't stop, scoring nine straight points for a 44-15 lead. Marie Land then made Howard's only second-quarter basket -- a three-pointer -- with 33 seconds left.
"Our whole team was in a zone tonight," said Lashon White. "We were very focused from the beginning. We knew Howard was a team that likes to surprise people, and we didn't want any surprises."
Said Toni White, who tied a season mark of four three-point baskets: "This is the best we've played this year. Everybody got involved."
The combination of Wilde Lake's pressure defense, which forced numerous Howard first-half turnovers, and the offensive contributions from a number of players was too much for Howard (12-13) to overcome.
"I give them all the credit," said Carter. "We couldn't get shots off. They were up in our face all the time. It was a nightmare."
Carter, who will attend Delaware State on a scholarship, finished with 19 points and 1,424 in her four-year varsity career. She topped 1995 graduate Mona Jackson's mark of 1,412 points with a free throw with 55 seconds left in the third quarter.
Now, Wilde Lake must turn its attention to Hammond.
"This game is out of our minds right now," Toni White said. "I think we'll play the same against Hammond, probably better. It builds up our confidence."
Pub Date: 3/07/97