Centennial deals Central 39-36 defeat Free throws by Evans, Richardson secure 2A win

March 03, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Centennial failed to make a basket in the fourth quarter, but got two free throws each from freshman Ashley Evans and junior Tia Richardson in the final 18 seconds to hold off Central of Prince George's County, 39-36, last night in a Class 2A South region quarterfinal game at Centennial.

The 15th-ranked Eagles (19-5) will play tomorrow at Potomac, which defeated host Surrattsville, 61-52, last night. In the other region semifinal, River Hill will play at Long Reach.

Centennial led 34-24 entering the final period. But the Eagles missed all 10 of their field-goal attempts, and survived by making five of nine free throws.

Evans missed two free throws with 62 seconds left. Central (11-12) scored 16 seconds later to trim Centennial's lead to 35-33, then forced a turnover and tied the game on Cynthia Gray's driving basket with 25 seconds.

Gray then purposely fouled Evans near midcourt with 18 seconds. "The kid [Gray] made a mistake," said Central coach Eugene Couser. "She thought we were down one, and so did I. It's know big deal. Those things happen."

Evans got some words of advice from senior teammate Kathleen O'Connor, then made the first free throw. After a Central time out, she calmly sank the second.

"I knew I could make them," Evans said. "I got my two misses out of the way so I had a better chance of making them."

Central sophomore Nadiyah Simms missed a layup to tie, but dTC Ruby Branson got the rebound. She missed the put-back, but got her own rebound and was fouled going back to the basket.

The Eagles took a 20-second time out before the free throws. Branson missed the first and made the second, cutting Centennial's lead to 37-36 with nine seconds remaining.

Central fouled Richardson (team-high nine points) with seven seconds, and the junior made it look easy. "I always make the free throws under pressure," said Richardson, who was five of seven from the line in the game.

Central had one last shot, and Simms' three-pointer just before the buzzer went in and out.

"We got the shot we wanted," Couser said. "She's our best three-pointer shooter."

"I thought it was going in," said Centennial coach Dave Greenberg, whose team made only 13 of 29 free throws.

River Hill 60, Fairmont Heights 57: Caitlin Bair scored 22 and Cristin Etheridge and Hope Zelinger each had 11 to pace the host Hawks (12-12) in the Class 2A South quarterfinal game.

No. 3 Wilde Lake 73, City 53: Lashon White scored 14 and Bridget White, Jessie Roy-Harrison and Bryanna Herring all had 12 to power the third-ranked Wildecats (21-2) over the host Knights in a Class 3A East quarterfinal.

Glenelg 75, Forestville 15: Stephanie Howell and Lauren Martin scored 18 and 17 points, respectively, as the visiting Gladiators (14-9) beat the Knights (0-18) in a Class 1A South quarterfinal. Glenelg outscored Forestville 23-0 in the third quarter.

Poolesville 44, Hammond 35: Lindsey Mitchell and Crystal Todd scored 10 points apiece for Hammond (6-15) in the Class 1A South quarterfinal contest.

Oakland Mills 56, Catoctin 22: Jamie Beale had 20 points as the host Scorpions (14-9) won in their Class 1A South quarterfinal.

Pub Date: 3/03/98

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