St. Mary's guards help cut Oxon Hill down to size, 57-33 Wilde Lake tops Friendly

Arundel falls to Largo

IAABO Tournament

December 27, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham and Stan Rappaport | Glenn P. Graham and Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

LARGO -- Top-ranked St. Mary's got the Baltimore area teams off to a good start in yesterday's IAABO Girl's Invitational Christmas Basketball Tournament with a convincing 57-33 win over Oxon Hill.

Fifth-ranked Wilde Lake then followed suit with a 50-39 victory over Friendly. But No. 9 Arundel couldn't quite pull off the area trifecta in the nightcap at Prince George's Community College, falling to Largo, 60-51.

The three-day tournament, in its 25th year, should get more interesting today with St. Mary's taking on Elizabeth Seton, 54-35 winners over Collidge, at 6 p.m. Seton, which defeated St. Mary's in the Saints' season opener, has won the last four tournaments. Wilde Lake will follow against Largo at 8 with the winners meeting in the championship game Monday night.

Arundel will meet Friendly at 4 p.m. tomorrow in a loser's bracket game.

St. Mary's 57, Oxon Hill 33: On paper, it's tough to measure the quality of guard play.

And when Oxon Hill, with two post players over 6-feet tall starting and another 6-footer coming off the bench, jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead against a smaller St. Mary's team, it looked like it might be a long day for the Saints in their first tournament appearance in Largo.

As it turned out, the Saints (8-2) ended up making short work of their opening-round opponent from Prince George's County.

And it started with the Saints' talented guards.

Once junior standout Emily Lipton (16 points, six steals, four assists) got the Saints' first points -- hitting a three with 5: 28 left in the first quarter -- their smothering, man-to-man defense took over.

By the end of the first quarter, they enjoyed a 15-11 lead with some good perimeter shooting from Lipton and junior guard Maria Smear (six points) to go with the quick hands on defense that led to a number of steals and easy lay-ups.

"When Emily hit the three to give us our first basket, I knew we were in pretty good shape," said St. Mary's coach Harry Dobson. "Our guards were exceptional today. They did a good job on the [Oxon Hill] guards to negate their inside game. It was just good defense. No traps or anything, just straight up man."

The Clippers (2-5) got two free throws from 6-foot forward Curshawn Carter (17 points) on their opening possession of the second quarter, cutting the St. Mary's lead to 15-13, but didn't score again until 6-4 center Jamecca Harrell (seven points) hit one more from the line.

In between, St. Mary's broke it open with a 12-0 run, getting points from five players -- including two straight baskets from junior forward Amy Mulligan midway through the quarter. The Saints took a 32-14 lead at the half and continued to wear down Oxon Hill in the second half.

Wilde Lake 50, Friendly 39: Wilde Lake, which trailed most of the first three quarters, scored the first nine points of the fourth period and pulled away from Friendly of Prince George's County.

"You could tell in the third quarter they were getting tired and frustrated," said Wilde Lake's Toni White, who had a team-high 16 points. "We just took care of them."

Friendly, which led 27-22 at halftime, scored only six points in each of the third and fourth quarters. The Patriots, going against Wilde Lake's aggressive 2-1-2 zone defense, were 2-for-19 from the field in the fourth quarter and 3-for-11 in the third quarter.

"We picked up our defense in the second half," said Wilde Lake senior guard Natashka Hill. "In the first half we didn't look too good."

Hill came off the bench and her aggressive play helped the Wildecats.

"Natashka does all that scrappy stuff that is so important," said Wilde Lake coach Kelly Storr.

Largo 60, Arundel 51: A slow start and an inconsistent second half proved costly to the No. 9 Wildcats.

Trailing 19-8 after the first quarter, the Wildcats (2-2) went on a 13-0 run in the second to close the gap to 26-25 at the half. Senior point guard Sherice Proctor was the spark, scoring eight of her 16 points during the run as the Wildcats appeared to be in control.

Arundel enjoyed its first lead of the game on its first possession of the third quarter -- a follow from Lindsey Schiesz -- and built a 31-26 lead before Largo answered with a 13-1 run to regain control.

Pressure defense and solid free-throw shooting down the stretch from Proctor and fellow guard Megan Rollins (13 points) brought the Wildcats within two at 52-50 with 1: 58 remaining.

But the Wildcats couldn't convert on three inside looks with a chance to tie and the Lions put the game away with a three-point play by Channan High with 58 seconds left.

Pub Date: 12/27/97

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