North County puts away pesky Northeast, 52-44

Third-quarter stretch key for No. 20 Knights

Girls basketball

High Schools

January 10, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Four minutes, 30 seconds.

The No. 20 North County girls basketball team took advantage of that span to distance itself from a clingy Northeast squad that dropped a 52-44 decision to the host Knights in Glen Burnie last night.

The victory was a lot closer than it should've been, said North County senior forward Stacy Karcher.

"We expected to win, but we expected to win by more," said Karcher, who registered 15 points and 16 rebounds. "We're not playing with the same intensity as we did before."

Senior forward Stephanie Watts led the Knights with a game-high 16 points, but the 4:30 block of time during the third quarter paced North County to a 4-2 county record and an 8-3 overall mark.

Armed with a 31-28 lead at halftime, the Knights watched Northeast string together a 6-3 run to tie the game at 34 with about six minutes left in the quarter.

That's when the scoring stopped for the Eagles, who missed six attempts and committed two turnovers during the drought.

Meanwhile, North County went on a 12-0 run, sparked by Watts' six points.

"That's when we started to play good defense," said Watts, who also posted nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. "We came back into our heads and stepped it up a bit."

Northeast scored the quarter's last four points, but any hope of catching the Knights dissolved as the Eagles missed six of nine shots in the final quarter.

Northeast coach Clarence Tennell, whose team fell to 1-4 in the county and 6-4 overall, called the 4:30 stretch in the third quarter the "turning point."

"We got away from what we were doing," said Tennell, who also was dismayed by his squad's 20 turnovers. "We weren't getting out, filling the lanes, getting the easy buckets that we had been getting. We didn't execute."

The loss spoiled a yeoman-like effort from senior forward Karen Kotofski, who recorded 13 points, nine rebounds, six steals and three assists.

Neither team shot well from the field. North County finished at 31.3 percent, and the Eagles converted 34 percent.

Knights coach Sally Entsminger said her team's performance left plenty of room for improvement.

"Defensively, I thought we played poorly," she said. "We let them dictate what they wanted to do. I would say that our intensity level was a 2 tonight."

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