Fallston wins ugly, 41-36, over tall, tentative Bel Air Cougars take league lead, despite 23-turnover game

Girls basketball

January 09, 1998|By Mark Hoeflich | Mark Hoeflich,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Fallston saw last night's game at Bel Air as a measuring stick for the rest of the season.

From the way the unranked Cougars struggled with their shots, it looked as if they might get the short end of this game. But 18th-ranked Bel Air never found its rhythm, either, allowing the Cougars to escape with a 41-36 win and, for now, control of the Harford County League.

Although the win was Fallston's third straight, it came with 23 turnovers and several stretches of poor shot selection.

Coach Nancy Ferguson had hoped to see improvement from her Cougars, who have overcome several injuries and were humbled in early, lopsided losses to Milford Mill and John Carroll.

Yet despite the Cougars' ragged play, Ferguson was encouraged by her team's fight.

"Sometimes you have to be able to win ugly," Ferguson said. "Girl for girl, Bel Air has one of the tallest teams in the league, and we had to adjust our shots."

Both teams combined for just 25 field goals and had totaled just 30 points with a minute left before halftime.

Fallston held a tenuous 19-13 lead at halftime, and then, &L improving play by Fallston forwards Stephanie Manfra and Lacey Anzelc pulled the Cougars through.

Manfra, who had a team-high 13 points, scored four of Fallston's first five points in the second half as the Cougars took control with a 25-13 lead.

Although Anzelc finished with just three points, her work on the defensive boards was a factor as Bel Air (7-3, 2-1) went the first JTC 4 1/2 minutes of the third period without a field goal.

Bel Air, which relies on a balanced offense that has four players averaging near double figures in points, struggled mightily to find any flow offensively. The Bobcats missed open shots and were slowed by 20 turnovers. Leading scorer Kellie Flynn fouled out with 6: 36 to play.

"We always feel we are able to turn things around, and I kept telling the girls that in our timeouts," said Bel Air coach Val Cooper, winless against Fallston in seven games. "If 10 more shots had fallen for us, this would have been a different game."

Guard Colleen Keefe, who had a game-high 14 points, got Bel Air back in the game as the fourth period began. She converted consecutive layups off steals by Jacque LaFleur to pull the Bobcats within 26-24 with 6: 45 remaining.

But the Bobcats missed eight of their next nine shots.

Pub Date: 1/09/98

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