Falcons make it sticky, but Meade breaks away Mustangs spread it out to top Severna Park, 66-56

March 05, 1998|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Bottled up in the first half dealing with Severna Park's tight zone and slow-down offense, visiting Meade finally broke out late in the third quarter last night to come away with a 66-56 win in the Class 3A-4A East region semifinal.

Running, hitting free throws and opening up space inside -- something the No. 8-ranked Mustangs (21-4) didn't do a lot of in a first half -- was the differnce in a 10-2 run that ended the third quarter giving them a 43-33 lead.

The score was tied at 25 at halftime.

Junior guard Angie Creek (15 points) got it started when she went the length of the court and finished with a three-point play to give the Mustangs a 36-31 lead. Freshman forward Nicole Dailey (16 points) followed with a basket inside and two free throws on the next possession before Creek was at it again with a steal and lay-in.

The Mustangs' biggest lead before the run was three points after Megan Poehlman scored from down low midway through the first quarter for a 7-4 margin.

Severna Park, an upset winner over No. 9-ranked Annapolis in Monday's quarterfinals, couldn't quite pull off a second one with Meade maintaining the double-digit lead most of the fourth quarter.

"Ugly win," said Meade coach Phil Popielski. "Severna Park played as well as I've seen them play. I think we wore them down a little in the second half. At halftime, we talked about spreading things out more, and that opened things up for us."

The Mustangs advanced to the region final, which means a visit to county-rival Arundel at 7 p.m. tomorrow.

The No. 5-ranked Wildcats -- 74-34 winners over Westminster in the other semifinal last night -- defeated Meade in the county championship game, 78-61, on Feb. 25. In the regular-season meeting on Jan. 27, Meade was 62-57 winners at Arundel.

"We'll have to go over there and take care of the basketball," said Popielski. "If you're a girls basketball fan, you looked at the brackets and hoped to see these two teams meet again. These are two quality teams that both played pretty tough schedules."

And while Meade and Arundel were expected to still be playing this late in the season, Severna Park -- with a starting lineup of three juniors and two sophomores -- was not.

After a 3-6 start, the Falcons finished strong winning 11 of their last 15 to end the season with a 14-10 mark.

Meade was simply a little too much for the Falcons to handle for 32 minutes last night.

Pub Date: 3/05/98

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