N. Carroll overcomes slow start

No. 19 Panthers put away Westminster, 54-26

Girls basketball

February 16, 2000|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A good team finds ways to win even on a bad night. For North Carroll girls basketball coach Sarah Parker, the first quarter of last night's game at Westmnster could not have been much worse.

The No. 19 Panthers (17-4, 10-3, 7-0) played poorly in the first half, but outscored host Westminster (3-18, 0-13, 0-6) 27-19 in the second half en route to a 54-36 victory in a Carroll County League and Central Maryland Conference game.

The Panthers were led by Becky Wike's 17 points and 15 rebounds. Candace Jeffrey contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds for North Carroll. Westminster was led by Katie Selby's 11 points.

The Panthers trailed 10-4 with 4: 21 gone in the first quarter, when Parker had seen enough and called a timeout.

"I told them, `Welcome to the ballgame,' " said Parker. "We weren't doing anything right, and I told them they needed to start playing their game."

The Panthers responded, using an improved defense and a superior advantage in the paint to outscore the Owls 18-7 the rest of the half.

"They did a really good job doubling down on us in the first quarter," said North Carroll's Jeffrey. "We had to get our inside-out game going, and once the outside shots fell, we were all right."

Parker, whose team had a hard-fought 42-37 win over league power Linganore on Friday, was concerned about a letdown.

"This is a hard stretch for us," said Parker of the Linganore game, last night's game and a Friday showdown at Liberty. "It's hard to keep that momentum going, and Westminster plays much better than their record indicates."

Parker says she can only do so much to prepare the team for Liberty. The Panthers defeated the Lions by 13 at North Carroll earlier this season.

"They know what they have to do. If they do it and follow through, we should be all right. If not, it will be a fight. It has to come from them now."

The Owls, who have five sophomores on the varsity, played tough although they have not won since beating Long Reach at a Christmas tournament at North Carroll.

"We played hard for three quarters, but then we let down," said Westminster coach Dick Ebersole. "[North Carroll] has superior talent, and they came up with the key buckets. We just didn't put the ball in the hole tonight."

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