Towson's offense wakes up late, turns down N. Harford, 36-29 Game's 11 a.m. tip-off leaves both teams sluggish

Class 2A/Girls basketball

March 09, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Maybe it was just too early in the day for a basketball game.

Towson and North Harford tipped off in yesterday's Class 2A North regional final at 11 a.m., and neither team settled into any kind of offensive rhythm.

In the end, however, Towson put together the only significant run of the game and held off the visiting Hawks, 36-29, for the title.

"Yeah, it was a little early and neither team was on," said Hawks guard Suzanne Eyler, whose team lost a 40-38 contest to the Generals early in the season. "We came in really confident which we needed to, but we just didn't pull it together."

The Generals (19-4) now advance to the state final four for the first time since 1985. They will play a semifinal game Friday night at 5 at UMBC. The Class 2A title game is Saturday at 1 p.m.

Coach Bev Snyder needed just one word to explain her team's win yesterday. "Their tenacity. They didn't want to give up. They knew it was within their grasp and then the shots started to fall."

The Generals hit seven of their last 14 shots and staked their claim to the title with an eight-point run that began late in the third quarter.

Jaimee Reynolds, Lindsay Buchanan and Sara Lev hit consecutive baskets to give the Generals a 28-23 edge. After the break, Melissa Coyne found Buchanan with a cross-court pass and the sophomore swished an 18-footer for a 30-23 lead.

North Harford, behind three steals from Amy Scotten, cut the lead to one over the next 3: 41, but the Hawks' rally stalled. They missed their last five shots as well as five free throws.

The Hawks (15-11) were coming off a win over North East, which had upset Baltimore County champ Milford Mill in the first round, and they gave the Generals fits with a full-court press led by feisty guards Eyler and Scotten.

The Generals, who lost to Catonsville in last year's regional final, turned the ball over 28 times against the press.

"We knew how to break it. That wasn't the problem," said Lev. "The problem was we were just panicking. We'd break it and then we'd force it."

Towson's defense was also tough, forcing 26 turnovers, but the Generals' biggest advantage was their height. The Hawks gave away at least a couple of inches at every position and Towson won the battle of the boards, 42-32.

Reynolds, a 5-10 forward, grabbed 20 rebounds to go along with 11 points. Lev also scored 11 points while Scotten led the Hawks with 13 points and nine steals.

Rising Sun 51, Sparrows Point 35: Renie Mitchell scored 21 points to lead Rising Sun to the 1A North region championship with a home victory. Jenee Tyson led the Pointers with 11 points.

Pub Date: 3/09/97

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