Perfect again, Linganore rolls past Centennial, 61-42 Lancers finish unbeaten for 2nd straight season

Girls 3A

March 16, 1997|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

There was only one way Linganore could be stopped this season, and it happened last night.

The season ended.

The Frederick County school completed its second straight unbeaten season, defeating Centennial of Howard County, 61-42, at UMBC.

The Lancers, led by Cara Consuegra's 19 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals become the first public state school to win 28 games in a season. They also are the first girls team to win consecutive state titles after moving up one classification. Linganore defeated Hammond for the Class 2A title a year ago when it went 25-0.

"We set out what we wanted to do, met some lofty goals and did it. That makes it feel great," said Linganore coach Brian Matthews. "We heard about their tenacious defense and wanted to show them our tenacious defense. We did that."

Seventh-ranked Centennial (21-6) held the Lancers, who averaged 81 points, to a season-low point total. Their previous season low was 64. But the Eagles fell behind by 13 points at halftime and never recovered.

"It's a struggle for us to score a lot of points," said coach Dave Greenberg, in his third season at Centennial after winning six state titles at Mount Hebron. "It was tough once we fell behind. "They're awfully good. It would have been tough to hold them to what we needed to to win, and we probably needed to hold them to 40."

Consuegra, headed to Iowa in the fall, finished with school career records in points (2,190), assists (590), steals (572), field goals made and blocked shots. She was second in rebounds (1,010).

"She's just a phenomenal player and deserves more credit than she's received, particularly at the national level," Matthews said. "She's everything we strive for, starting with her work ethic and ,, commitment."

Linganore went 91-11 in Consuegra's four years. She never missed a game.

"It's hard to find the words to describe it," said the 5-foot-8 guard. "It's been wonderful. I've been blessed with a great coach, great teammates and a wonderful community behind us."

Centennial, which had won 15 straight before last night, led twice in the first quarter. But baskets by Kelly Palmer (10 points) 11 seconds a part at the end of the period gave the Lancers a 12-10 lead they never lost.

rTC Linganore opened the second quarter with a 10-2 run -- five players scored -- for a 22-12 margin with 4: 51 left. The Eagles, who were in the state final for the first time since winning a title in 1981, made only one of their last 10 shots in the quarter, and Linganore took a 30-17 lead into halftime.

For Centennial it was a disappointing end to a very good season.

"I thought it was a tremendous season," Greeberg said. "We're ** talking about a team that was 2-20 three years ago. All these kids -- four have been with us for three years and four more have been here for two -- and here we won the county, and made it to the state final and I feel great about these kids."

Pub Date: 3/16/97

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