Roland Park catches No. 1 St. Frances short

Undermanned Panthers slip in quarterfinals, 49-47

IAAM basketball

February 16, 2000|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Playing without two of its top three players, St. Frances could not hold off No. 15 Roland Park's inside game yesterday and the Reds stunned the No. 1 Panthers, 49-47, in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference quarterfinal.

The host Reds, who led by as many as 12 points early, took a 49-43 lead on Esther Ehrmann's free throw with 1: 09 left. Shaylynn Harrison's follow and Shanell Watson's runner with four seconds left brought the top-seeded Panthers within 49-47, but time ran out on their title hopes.

In tomorrow's semifinal, the Reds will travel to meet No. 12 Mercy at 4 p.m.

The Panthers (21-4) played without 5-foot-10 guard Latanya Blue, a preseason Street & Smith's honorable mention All-American, and 6-0 forward Brooke Campbell, a versatile post player.

After the game, Panthers coach Jerome Shelton would not comment. Campbell watched the game from the stands. Blue was not there.

Without them, the Panthers could not stop the Reds (16-10) in the paint, where 5-10 Kelsey Twist scored 16 points and 6-2 Ehrmann, 14 -- many on barely contested drives.

"If we did not turn the ball over, I felt we could score whenever we wanted to inside," said Reds coach Scott Buckley, whose team lost the regular-season contest, 61-43.

When the Reds didn't convert, they often ended up at the line, where they hit 17 of 23 free throws. The Panthers, who scored four more field goals than the Reds, were just three of five at the line.

The Panthers also started the game without Shanell Watson, the 5-5 guard who has been their spark all season. Watson arrived late, entered the game with 1: 34 left in the first quarter and ended up with 19 points and seven assists.

Watson immediately rallied her team. The senior had a hand in almost every score for the rest of the game. In a 9-2 run just before halftime, Watson had four points, three assists and two steals. Her pull-up 18-footer capped the run and tied the game at 27.

But fouls in the open court hurt as the Reds finished off the half with five free throws.

After halftime, the Panthers caught up again at 33 on another Watson-to-Harrison connection, but Twist drove the middle for two layups and Caline McHenry drove the baseline for another to boost the Reds, 39-33. The Panthers didn't get closer than within four until the final four seconds.

No. 4 Seton Keough 42, McDonogh 24: Keisha Blackwell and Denise King had 11 points apiece as the host Gators (22-4) won their A Conference quarterfinal. The Gators led 15-4 after the first quarter and held the Eagles, last year's Association of Independent Schools champs, to just one field goal in the opening half.

Seton Keough, which won the last two Catholic League titles, plays host to No. 5 John Carroll in the semifinals at 4 p.m. tomorrow.

No. 5 John Carroll 54, No. 16 St. Mary's 32: Kristin Jasper scored 17 points and Elizabeth Octavec added 12 to help the host Patriots (18-6) roll over the Saints (13-12) and into the semifinals.

No. 12 Mercy 72, No. 11 Archbishop Spalding 59: Kaitie Schyuler scored 20 and Colette Hailey added 18 as the Magic (17-8) won its semifinal. The Cavaliers (18-8) ran out to an early 15-4 lead, but the visiting Magic (17-8) erased it with a 20-5 run. The Magic forced 24 Spalding turnovers and hit seven three pointers.

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