Wildecats win, 58-45, rise to top in Howard Hold Centennial to 3 points in last 6 minutes for victory

Girls basketball

January 10, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Seventh-ranked Wilde Lake got big baskets from a number of players when it needed them and held ninth-ranked Centennial to three points in the final six minutes, pulling away to a 58-45 Howard County league victory last night at Centennial.

The Wildecats (8-2 overall, 6-0 league) find themselves alone at the top the county standings after handing River Hill (on &L Wednesday) and Centennial their first league losses of the season.

"Thank god, it's over," said an exhausted but happy Wilde Lake coach Kelly Storr. "It came down to the fourth quarter, and we were lucky enough to put a few in when it counted."

Centennial tied the game twice midway through the third quarter, but a basket by Natashka Hill (12 points) and a three-pointer from Toni White (20 points) kept Centennial from taking the lead. Wilde Lake used a 6-3 run to take a 40-36 advantage into the final period.

Kathleen O'Connor's basket with six minutes left pulled Centennial (7-3, 5-1) within 45-42. But the Wildecats, who shared last year's Howard title with the Eagles, ran off eight points in two minutes to decide the outcome.

Bridget White (nine points) scored on a nice inside move, Toni White put back an offensive rebound, Jesse Roy-Harrison scored inside, and Bridget White added another soft left-handed hook.

Caitlin Ryland (eights points off the bench) scored off an offensive rebound with 2: 38 for the Eagles' lone basket of the last six minutes. But Bridget White scored again 19 seconds later for a 55-44 cushion.

"We moved the ball around much better in the fourth quarter," said Storr, whose team is averaging 58 points against county teams.

Said Bridget White: "We did a better job [in the fourth quarter] with our pick-and-roll and dishing the ball off when they collapsed."

Wilde Lake has the deepest team in the county, and it needed everything it had against Centennial's aggressive defense.

"We needed everyone to contribute to win this game," said Storr. "People stepped up when we needed them to."

Toni White, playing with a pulled thigh muscle, led the way, hitting three three-point shots and scoring a number of baskets off offensive rebounds.

"This is huge," said Toni White. "To beat them we had to play almost perfect."

Centennial coach Dave Greenberg complimented both teams.

"That's as well as we've played all year," said Greenberg. "They're a terrific team. I'm very proud of our girls. They played their hearts out. It wasn't like we lost it; they earned it. That was a great game -- intense and well-played, a game everyone should see."

O'Connor led Centennial with with 11 points. Wilde Lake trailed 12-6, but led 16-14 after one quarter.

Pub Date: 1/10/98

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