Meade falls short against Northern Poor shooting haunts Mustangs in 49-46 loss

Class 4A/Girls basketball

March 07, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Imagine missing 64 shots and still having a shot to win at the end.

That was the plight of the Meade girls last night in a 49-46 defeat at Northern High in Calvert County in the Class 4A East semifinals.

Meade hit only 20 of 84 shots from the field, with 50 percent of their misses coming in the paint, but the woeful 24-percent shooting did not overshadow a gritty effort by the Mustangs.

Meade's 5-foot-8 sophomore guard, Angie Creek, the county's leading scorer (19.7 points) played on a bad ankle, and leading rebounder, 6-2 sophomore Katie Netherton, was injured late and did not play the final four minutes.

Northern's victory ended the No. 14 Mustangs' Cinderella season in which they set a school record for victories (22-4) and won their first Anne Arundel County girls basketball championship. The Patriots (22-3) advance to tomorrow's region championship game at Annapolis.

It was Northern's second win in three games with Meade this season, the first at Northern in mid-December by 55-28 with the Stangs 13-for-62 from the field. Meade avenged the loss at home by 55-48.

"The rims aren't friendly to us down here," said Meade coach Phil Popielski, who used to teach and coach at Northern. "They're used to them. The rim at one end is real loose and the other is tight."

The frustration of so many missed shots and out-rebounding their opponent by 45-28 did not effect the Stangs' will to win.

Overcoming a 41-33 deficit to start the final period, the Mustangs held the Patriots scoreless through nearly the first four minutes and tied the game at 41 on the back-end of two from the line by Lindsay Meyer with 4: 39 left.

It was the first tie since 2-2 in the opening minute, but misfortune struck the Stangs within seconds of catching up.

Northern's Jen Mitchell (13 points, six rebounds) answered with a jumper to put the Pats back up, 43-41, and on the ensuing trip down the floor, Meade lost Netherton.

Netherton, who had eight points (six in the second half) and a game-high 14 rebounds turned an ankle.

"Losing Katie was a really big, big loss," said Popielski. "She was playing very well killing them on the boards and you can't lose players like that."

Popielski came into the game worried about Creek, but she gutted it out, scoring eight of her 12 points in the second half and grabbing seven rebounds.

"We didn't know if we would have Angie tonight," said Popielski.

Creek drove inside to tie the game at 43 with 3: 50 left after Netherton was helped off.

Northern regained the lead when Katrina Mitchell (14 points, five rebounds), drained a three to give the home team a 46-45 edge.

Katie Andes' jumper extended Northern's lead to 48-45.

Meyer, who had a game-high 18 points to go with 12 rebounds for the Stangs, went to the line with 11 seconds left. After she sank one to make it 48-46, Popielski called for a timeout. The second attempt by Meyer hit the rim and the scramble for the rebound resulted in the ball going out of bounds and over to Northern. Jen Mitchell was fouled with five seconds to go and she tossed in a free throw for the final margin.

Pub Date: 3/07/97

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