Glenelg can't find touch as title game slips away, 45-36

Poor shooting catches up to Gladiators in rematch with hungry Allegany

Girls 1A state final

March 12, 2000|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

There is nothing like it.

"There's no pressure like a state final," said Glenelg senior Jenny Kurdziel.

A year ago when Glenelg played Allegany for the Class 1A state championship, seniors Lauren Martin and Kris Brust combined for 41 points and led the Gladiators to the school's first title.

Last night, in a rematch of last season's title game, Glenelg needed to find someone to take charge.

"It's a different role when you have to be a leader," Kurdziel said. "You have to find someone willing and someone who can hit it."

Glenelg never found that person last night at UMBC, but Allegany did -- in triplicate. Tracy Little, Teandra Smith and Cassie Murray combined to score all but one of Allegany's points as the Campers earned their first state title with a 45-36 victory.

"I thought Allegany played very well," said Glenelg coach Ciaran Lesikar. "They played better than they played Friday night [in the semifinals] and better than what we had seen of them in our scouting tapes. They definitely had something to fight for having lost last year."

The game, at least on the scoreboard, was close entering the final period. Allegany had a 30-28 lead.

"That game was anybody's," said Glenelg senior Stephanie Howell. "It was a matter of who wanted it more."

Little and Smith, who finished with 18 and 15 points, respectively, certainly did. The Campers (25-2) erased a five-point halftime deficit and took the lead for good two minutes into the third quarter. Little (13 second-half points), from the outside, and Smith (11), from inside, wouldn't be denied. The two-some outscored Glenelg in the second half by nine points.

"We played hard, but we weren't playing inspired," Lesikar said. "In a state championship you have to play inspired."

And you have to make baskets.

Glenelg (18-9) took a 13-5 first-quarter lead, but missed 15 of 20 shots. The Gladiators missed nine of 12 shots in the second quarter, but still led at halftime, 21-16.

The Gladiators' poor shooting caught up with them in the second half. Glenelg made three of 14 field-goal attempts in the third quarter, and three of 19 in the fourth. Allegany's 15 fourth-quarter points equaled Glenelg's entire second-half output.

"We shot like we were scared," said Howell, who finished with 10 points. "I don't think anybody was confident to take a shot."

Said freshman Alli Biggs, who led Glenelg with 11: "They just weren't falling for us."

Glenelg usually generates a lot of its offense from its defensive pressure. The Gladiators expected to do that against Allegany, but Murray and Little made it a non-factor.

So Glenelg was forced into a half-court game, and Allegany's defense made the Gladiators work for every shot, especially in the second half.

"We played hard and that's all you can ask for," said Lesikar. "I just wish we could have executed better."

Added Kurdziel: "We knew what we needed to do, we just couldn't do it."

Lesikar said as his team's frustrations grew, so did its inability to play smart and under control.

Another factor was Glenelg's lack of intensity. Smith said Glenelg "had more enthusiasm [Friday] night" in its semifinal victory.

Howell agreed. "We just didn't have the spunk we had the other night," Howell said.

Despite its poor shooting, the Gladiators came within 37-35 with 2: 08 remaining when Biggs scored off an offensive rebound. But the Campers ran off seven straight points to put the game away.

"I'm just proud we got this far," said Howell. "Nobody expected us to get this far except us. We worked very hard to get here."

ALLEGANY -- Little 18, Smith 15, Murray 11, Corthron 1. Totals: 15 14-25 45.

GLENELG -- Biggs 11, Howell 10, Kurdziel 6, Young 6, Simpson 3. Totals: 14 4-8 36. Half: G 21-16.

Pub Date: 3/12/00

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