Biggs making a difference

Freshman gives Glenelg good shot at repeating

Girls basketball

March 09, 2000|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Alli Biggs was a little shy about taking shots at the start of the season. But the 5-foot-10 freshman has a different attitude now, and her emergence as a scorer is a big reason Glenelg has a good chance this weekend of defending its Class 1A state championship in girls basketball.

"I wasn't as confident as I am now with my shooting," said Biggs. "I didn't take take as many shots. I think I've gotten a lot better."

Said Glenelg coach Ciaran Lesikar: "Alli's always had a good shot, but at the beginning of the season she wouldn't take it. Now she does."

Biggs, who will turn 15 in June, has led the Gladiators in scoring six of their past nine games. She had a season-high 19 points in Glenelg's 52-38 victory over Smithsburg on Friday in the Class 1A South region championship.

"She's been huge for us," said Lesikar. "She's one of the big reasons we're back here."

The Gladiators (17-8) meet Rising Sun (15-10) of Cecil County at 9 p.m. tomorrow at UMBC in the second Class 1A semifinal game. Allegany (23-2), which lost to Glenelg in last season's title game, plays Pocomoke (19-6) of Worcester County at 7 p.m.

Biggs will join seniors Stephanie Howell and Jenny Kurdziel and juniors Heather Young and Erin Edell in the starting lineup. Howell, Kurdziel and Young started last year's title game, and Edell was one of the first players off the bench.

Howell is averaging a team-leading 12.9 points and six rebounds. And while her scoring has slipped recently, her passing has improved, and her assists are up to four a game.

Lesikar said Young's turnover-to-assist ratio has greatly improved and that "she's playing with tremendous confidence." Young, who averages 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds, had three three-point baskets in the first quarter of the regional championship.

Kurdziel had "the best game of her career," against Smithsburg, said Lesikar, scoring 13 and pulling down six rebounds. Kurdziel is averaging 6.5 points and 4.5 points.

The 5-10 Edell "can play four positions on the court," said Lesikar. Starting at No. 2 guard, she is averaging 2.8 points and 4.5 rebounds.

Look for Glenelg to press against Rising Sun and for Lesikar to rest his starters if the Gladiators get out to a comfortable lead.

"We're going to have to play hard defense like we have been playing," Biggs said, "and move the ball around on offense and get as many open shots as possible."

Here's a brief look at the three other semifinalists:

Rising Sun: The Tigers started out 1-4 and have played a number of close games this season. They beat Bohemia Manor, 41-40, in a regional quarterfinal on a basket by senior Kristen Barrick (12-point average) with seven seconds left. Jen Allen, a 6-2 senior, averages 9.8 points and 8.6 rebounds.

Allegany: With four returning starters, coach Scott Bauer said his team is improved and more mature. Junior Teandra Smith, 5-10, is solid underneath, averaging 15.4 points and 10.7 rebounds. Seniors Tracey Little and Cassie Murray are both 5-11 and are averaging 16.2 and 12.9 points, respectively.

Pocomoke: The Warriors start four seniors, led by Janell Hurley, who averages 13 points and 10 rebounds. Pocomoke lost by 30 points and 18 points to Snow Hill in the regular season, but beat the Eagles, 61-55, in the East regional final.

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