Oakland Mills hopes 3rd visit's a charm Scorpions' opponent, Rising Sun, another team with 19 wins on season

Class 1A girls basketball

March 13, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

On a roll. That's how senior point guard Jamie Beale sees her Oakland Mills girls basketball team.

"We've been playing so well lately that there's no reason we can't continue it in states," said Beale, whose 16-9 team will play Rising Sun (19-3) of Cecil County at 9 o'clock tonight in a Class 1A state semifinal game at UMBC.

"Our goal was to get to the states," Beale added, "and now we want to win it. I know we have the potential to do that."

The Scorpions have won eight of their last 10 games, including a 51-42 win over host Poolesville in the Class 1A South region championship.

"I think we are ready to peak," said Teresa Waters, in her 15th season as coach at Oakland Mills. "We're playing more TC consistently, and everybody is contributing."

Beale, shooting guard Jessica Oster, and senior forward Adrienne Butler have scored in double figures the last two games. Oster, a junior, had a season-high 20 points against Brunswick in a region semifinal, and Beale contributed 14 points -- including four three-point baskets -- in the win over Poolesville.

The Scorpions also are getting solid play from freshman starting center Rayna DuBose, as well as sophomore Heather Romich, senior Jennifer Johnson and junior Tasha Brooks.

"We've always had the potential, but in the past we didn't connect as team," said Oster. "The chemistry is so much better )) than last year. If we keep it up, we'll win the whole thing."

Rising Sun lost in the state semifinals last year, and the Tigers' familiarity with the surroundings at UMBC could help them at the start.

"We might be a little nervous going in, and they might have a little advantage because they've been there," Oster said. "But if we come in with confidence and play with heart and desire, we'll be fine."

And that is exactly what Waters has been telling her team all week.

"They have to be totally focused and play with poise, discipline and confidence," said Waters, who had her team attend last night's Wilde Lake game to support the Wildecats as well as get a feel for the UMBC arena. "It's going to take a team effort. We're not looking for one or two people to carry us through. It's got to be a team effort, and that's from all 11 players, regardless if they are on the floor or on the bench."

Rising Sun graduated its top two scorers from last year's team but got a break when Naja Rasheed transferred from Philadelphia's Cardinal O'Hara High School. Rasheed a 5-foot-9 sophomore forward, is averaging 15 points -- the only Tiger averaging in double figures -- and leads the team in steals (103) and blocked shots (26).

Rising Sun coach Keith Porter said his team, which has only two seniors, is strong defensively and likes to run on offense.

"We put a lot of pressure on wherever the ball is," said Porter, who admitted the Scorpions' height advantage could be a problem for his team. "Our bread and butter is our half-court press."

On offense the Tigers will "try to push the ball down the floor," said Porter. "We're going to have to play our type of game, which is up-tempo."

This is the third time an Oakland Mills girls team has reached the state semifinals. The 1991 and 1977 Scorpions both lost in the finals. This year's team hopes the third time is the charm.

"We are really excited that we're here," said Waters, "but we want to go the full length of the way. It's going to take a team effort. We'll do whatever it takes."

Pub Date: 3/13/98

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