In a game that was there for the taking last night at Severna Park, Archbishop Spalding guard Leslie Juengst did the fourth-quarter taking.
Scoring nine of her 12 points in the final frame, Juengst provided the No. 6-ranked Cavaliers with the offensive push they needed to come away with a 53-43 win over No. 11 Severna Park.
She actually got started a little earlier, hitting a free throw and a jumper in the last two minutes of the third quarter to provide Spalding (2-2) with a 30-29 lead before hitting four field goals in the fourth -- the last a runner with 3: 32 left for a 45-35 lead.
"I have no idea how that happened, it just worked out that way," said Juengst. "We needed to step up. We were not as intense or focused in the first half. I was just happy to be the person to get us going."
While Juengst played big in providing the happy ending, others played big roles in getting the Cavaliers in position for one.
Sophomore forward Kylie Bestul was steady throughout with 14 points and seven rebounds and senior guard Lauren Schaech provided key second-quarter offense when the Cavaliers couldn't find any.
Struggling from the outside and unable to get inside on the Falcons' (0-1) zone defense, the Cavaliers went nine-plus minutes without a field goal (0-for-18) to fall behind 18-9 with 3: 45 left in the half.
Schaech (seven points, seven rebounds) first hit a free throw, then a three-pointer from the baseline, followed by a put-back. Trailing 18-17 at the half didn't look so bad.
"Lauren is just steady no matter what. She's our leader on the floor who's there to calm everyone down," said Spalding coach Deb Taylor.
The Falcons got a blue-collar 15 point-effort from senior forward Kim Lawton and 10 more from Natalie Hicks, but the Cavaliers' depth and pressure was too much to handle in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 38-32, the Falcons got a three-pointer from Hicks with 6: 42 left before missing their next six field goals while Juengst was finding her range at the other end.
"Leslie stepped up -- huge," said Taylor. "She's just real quick with her dribble and when she's on, that's what she's capable of doing."
No. 5 River Hill 66, Urbana 50: Sparked by an aggressive defense that led to uncontested baskets, the host Hawks outscored Urbana by 18 points in the fourth quarter in the season opener for both teams.
Juniors Greeba Outen-Barlow and Rashida Walcott and freshman point guard Fana Walcott combined to score 22 of River Hill's 28 fourth-quarter points.
Pub Date: 12/08/99