Third time no charm for Westminster Montgomery Blair beats Owls again, wins title

Class 4A/Girls basketball

March 09, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

It was supposed to be different this time.

The Westminster Owls were on a roll, playing their best basketball of the season and at just the right time.

A third chance at Montgomery Blair, which beat them twice during the regular season by a combined margin of eight points, was a welcome challenge. It was even at home.

The Blazers, with a frustrating two-three zone and their own plan, snuck away with a 44-40 win and the Class 4A West region championship last night at Westminster.

Baskets were at a premium all night for both teams and it was the Blazers (23-2) who were better able to execute in the final minutes of a tight game.

"It was pretty hard to get a good look with the defense they played. We tried, but ," said Westminster senior center Jill Ibex, -- who finished a stellar four-year career with eight points.

The Blazers dared the No. 16 Owls (19-7) to score from the outside and it wasn't happening. Then the Owls tried to force things inside with penetration and that wasn't any more successful. They didn't make a field goal in the last five minutes of the game, but stayed in it with some good man-to-man defense of their own.

A basket from Alyssa Hughes with 2: 10 left gave Montgomery Blair its biggest lead of the game at 41-36, but the Owls pulled within one with 1: 03 left as junior guard Amy Lewis was fouled on drives three straight possessions -- hitting four of six free throws.

After Montgomery Blair guard Shira Fishman hit the front end of a one-and-one with 13 seconds left to push the lead to 42-40, the Owls had one last chance, but Ibex's jumper from the right side banked off the rim. Fishman added two free throws with one second left to cap the Blazer win.

Said Montgomery Blair coach Bill Lindsay: "We've developed a long-distance rivalry and we knew this wasn't going to be easy here at Westminster. After the first game, [Westminster coach] Bernie [Koontz] said 'We'll see you at Westminster.' And then after that, he said 'We'll see you when it counts.' He was right, I was like here we go again. I have a lot of praise for them."

The respect is mutual.

"We just didn't attack the zone where we needed to. They're a good team and at times we had trouble containing their guards," said Koontz, who also cited his own team's problems at the line (16 of 26) as one of the differences.

"This will be a hard group to replace. All six [seniors] were good kids. [Down the stretch] the kids played with confidence."

Senior forward Honesty Drumgoole finished with 11 points.

Pub Date: 3/09/97

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