Chapman's free throw puts Seton in title game St. Mary's falls, 61-60

Largo trips Wilde Lake

IAABO Tournament

December 28, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham and Stan Rappaport | Glenn P. Graham and Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

LARGO -- Tomorrow's championship definitely has a tough act to follow.

Elizabeth Seton, winners of the last four IAABO Girl's Invitational Christmas Basketball Tournaments, survived a semifinal challenge from top-ranked St. Mary's when junior guard Mia Chapman hit a free throw with 1.8 seconds left last night to send the Road Runners to the final with a 61-60 win.

Seton will play Largo in the 8 p.m. championship for the second straight year. The Lions outlasted depleted Wilde Lake, 56-44, in last night's final game at Prince George's Community College.

St. Mary's and Wilde Lake meet at 6 p.m. tomorrow in the !B third-place game.

"Nip and tuck," is how St. Mary's coach Harry Dobson aptly described the semifinal against Elizabeth Seton, a team which handed the Saints (8-3) a 15-point loss in their season opener.

With eight lead changes and eight ties in the second half alone, execution in the final minute decided the outcome.

St. Mary's had a 58-57 lead and the ball with 45 seconds remaining. An errant shot and failure to get back on defense then proved costly as Seton's Christina Black scored on a follow and was fouled, hitting her free throw to give the Road Runners a 60-58 lead with 21 seconds remaining.

Saints junior guard Emily Lipton had an answer driving the right baseline to tie it at 60 with seven seconds left.

The Road Runners quickly got the ball up the floor and Lipton grabbed Chapman's arm as she drove the lane, sending her to the free-throw line with 1.8 seconds left.

After Chapman's first attempt clanked off the back of the rim, she calmly sank her second try to send Seton to tomorrow's final.

"We didn't do what we needed to do down the stretch," said Lipton, who scored a team-high 23 for the Saints. "We got too excited at the end. I got a little too excited when I fouled [Chapman]. We played much better than we did the first time we saw them."

There were plenty of positives for the Saints. They committed 30 turnovers in the season-opening loss, but had only 12 last night.

Terri Daniels had 10 rebounds, nine assists and six points for the Saints. Maria Smear scored 12.

Largo 56, Wilde Lake 44: No. 5 Wilde Lake was missing five players, three of them starters. But the Wildecats, led by twins Lashon White (19 points) and Toni White (12 points) never gave up against taller Largo.

"I can't ask for anything more," Wilde Lake coach Kelly Storr said. "They worked so hard. So many times we got close, but we just ran out of steam."

Largo went inside early in the game and it paid off with an 18-9 first-quarter lead. The Lions scored the first seven points of the second quarter for a 16-point lead with 6: 33 left.

Lashon White brought the Wildecats back with excellent defense and opportunistic scoring. She scored nine as the Wildecats ended the quarter with a 15-2 run that cut their deficit to 27-24.

Largo, which had four players in double figures, opened the second half with a 7-0 spurt to open a 10-point lead. But Wilde Lake got four baskets from four different players in an 8-0 run that cut Largo's lead to 34-32 with 3: 51 left in the quarter.

Wilde Lake got no closer. Largo scored six straight points for an eight-point lead and was not challenged again.

Wilde Lake sophomore Bryanna Herring (eight points) had her second strong tournament game. She battled bigger players and held her own.

Arundel 61, Friendly 56: Senior guard Sherice Proctor scored six of her 22 points in the final 1: 15 to lead the Wildcats (3-2) past Friendly of Prince George's County in a consolation game.

Tied at 55, the Wildcats took the lead for good when Proctor scored inside. They made four free throws in the final minute.

Junior guard Megan Rollins scored 19 for the Wildcats, who will face Oxon Hill at 4 p.m. tomorrow for fifth place. Oxon Hill was a 56-38 winner over Coolidge yesterday.

Pub Date: 12/28/97

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