Towson seniors enjoy big finale Reynolds leads quartet of upperclassmen to title, 48-37 win over Middletown

Class 2A girls basketball

March 15, 1998|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

In last year's state semifinal loss to Wheaton, Towson center Jaimee Reynolds watched most of the second half from the bench, nursing a bruised back she had suffered midway through the third quarter.

The Generals could have used her then. They certainly needed her yesterday, and she answered the call.

Reynolds scored 15 of her 21 points in the second half and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead No. 12 Towson to a 48-37 victory over Middletown of Frederick County in the Class 2A state championship game at UMBC.

It is Towson's first state title and the first for a Baltimore County team since Dulaney won the Class 4A championship in 1988, which also was the last time a Baltimore County team had reached the finals. Milford Mill, representing the county in the Class 3A finals, lost to Wheaton, 62-39, last night.

Tournament history seemed to favor the Knights, who had won three state championships (1978, 1989, 1993) and were making their fourth appearance in the finals in eight years.

But Middletown (26-2) started just one senior, while the Generals (25-3) started four seniors -- Reynolds, Sara Lev, Leslie Hunt and Julie Ramer -- who had played together since they were 8 years old and were determined to end their high school careers as state champions.

No one was more determined than Reynolds, who entered the game averaging 11.5 points and 8.1 rebounds. Although the teams were equally matched in size, the Generals were able to dominate inside, thanks to Reynolds, who had nine offensive rebounds -- one more than Middletown had as a team.

"This is my last game to ever play basketball and to ever play with Sara, Julie and Leslie, so I really wanted to win this game," said Reynolds, an All-Metro lacrosse and volleyball player who said she will probably play lacrosse in college.

Towson also received solid performances from Lev (14 points), who scored eight in the fourth quarter, and Hunt (eight points), who did an effective job running the offense and played strong defensively. Lev, Hunt, Reynolds and junior Lindsay Buchanan also were members of Towson's first lacrosse state championship team last spring.

The Generals, which led for the majority of the contest, started the game on a 14-2 run. Middletown recovered, however, and briefly took the lead at 18-17 with 1: 52 remaining in the first half. The Knights took their last lead, 20-19, on an inside basket by Audra Frizzell to open the second half.

Buchanan's only basket, a 12-foot jumper with 2: 58 left in the third quarter, gave the Generals a 27-25 lead and started a decisive 11-2 run. Middletown pulled to 36-31 with 4: 52 remaining in the game, but it would get no closer, as Lev and Reynolds combined to score 10 of Towson's last 12 points.

"Their defense, after the first quarter, really started shutting us down and we went cold and we lost some momentum," said Towson coach Bev Snyder, who also led the Generals to the state finals in 1979 and 1985 during her 25-year career. "But we just kept plugging. We always feel like the underdogs and the kids just wouldn't give up."

Said Lev: "Last year, we were just happy to get here, but we learned that we are good enough to be here. This year, we weren't satisfied with just getting to the tournament. We wanted it."

TOWSON -- Lev 14, Ju. Ramer 3, Reynolds 21, Buchanan 2, Hunt 8. Totals 20 7-14 48.

MIDDLETOWN -- Rieser 5, Baker 6, Felthousen 2, Shannon 9, Frizzell 6, Waeber 3, McCumber 6. Totals 16 4-10 37. Half: Towson 19-18.

Pub Date: 3/15/98

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