A small-town girl and her coach Girls basketball: Lindsey Lowman and Southern coach Linda Kilpatrick have a long-time relationship that has grown on- and off-court, as well.

March 14, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Lindsey Lowman is another small-town, U.S.A. basketball story sure to capture the imagination of a lot of high school fans and many people in general.

When Lowman takes the court today for 13-10 Southern-Harwood against No. 8 Wilde Lake (21-4) in the Class 2A state semifinals at UMBC, she will not only be the star player on the team. She also will be continuing a life-long association with Southern coach Linda Kilpatrick that has reached deep into the lives of the athlete and the coach.

Lowman has grown up with and attended Southern with Kilpatrick's son, Brian, and the two 17-year-old seniors are going to the prom together this year.

"Lindsey is such a great girl," said Kilpatrick, "that I've been pushing Brian to go out with her. It's not like they're inseparable or anything like that, but they do spend a lot of time together."

Lowman said with a laugh: "Yes, I'm going to the prom with Brian, but it's more like we're friends. He's always there for me. He was there for me last year when we lost to North Caroline in the region finals, and he was there when we beat South River [last Saturday] to make the states."

Brian Kilpatrick is a pretty fair athlete himself, playing football and lacrosse for Southern, which means he has the basketball season off to support Lowman's hoops career.

And there have been those long summer days when Lowman and Linda Kilpatrick cut grass together for the coach's landscaping business.

"We laugh a lot on those jobs," said Lowman.

Lowman also has Linda Kilpatrick for physical education class at Southern, is beginning a fourth lacrosse season as a midfielder for the coach, and is completing a third basketball season under the woman who has won five state titles and made 10 trips to the states in 20 years as basketball coach.

"I'm going to miss Southern and playing for Linda," said Lowman who is the team's 5-foot-7 shooting guard and averages a team-high 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and four steals. "We have a great association. I love her intensity for the game. I don't think any coach yells more than she does, but it's all for the fun of winning. I can take it."

Kilpatrick admitted she drives Lowman harder than any player ++ on the team.

"I expect a lot from her," said Kilpatrick. "I love her like my own. I've known her since she was born. We've never had a falling out. I can say and do anything with Lindsey. She's a great athlete [whose third varsity sport is soccer], a great kid and has a lot of desire and determination."

The coach said Lowman even had to endure a hard slap on the knee this season that "was meant for another player" during a timeout.

"I was yelling at another player and Lindsey happened to get smacked," said Kilpatrick.

So just how has Kilpatrick known Lowman since birth?

Kilpatrick explains, "Lindsey's mom, Dodie, and I graduated from Southern together in 1971, went our separate ways for about six years, got married and then wound up living in the same apartment building in Annapolis before we both moved to South County, where we've stayed."

The coach said she remembers Lowman playing recreation basketball from an early age to the day she enrolled in Kilpatrick's summer camp as an eighth grader.

"I knew in that camp that Lindsey had the skills to be a special player, and she hasn't disappointed me," said Kilpatrick.

Lowman lit up Severna Park for a career-high 30 points this season, was brilliant on defense in the 56-47 upset over last year's Class 4A state champion Arundel Feb. 11, and was never better than in last Saturday night's 46-37 win over South River in the Class 2A East Region final.

Lowman injured an ankle in the first half but came back to play in the second half and scored 14 points to finish with 19.

"The adrenalin was flowing that night," said Lowman. "That win over South River and the one over Arundel are my two greatest thrills in basketball. Beating Arundel will be something I'll tell my grandkids some day."

Pub Date: 3/14/97

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