Bestul lifts Archbishop Spalding, 56-32

Junior forward scores 21 on St. Mary's

Boone's 16 lead Annapolis Area, 44-27

Girls basketball

January 14, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

It was a monster night for both Kylie Bestul and the St. Mary's girls basketball team.

Bestul, a 5-foot-11 junior forward, made 10 field goals en route to a game-high 21 points, propelling No. 13-ranked Archbishop Spalding to a 56-32 victory over the visiting Saints last night in Severn.

Bestul, who also pulled down six rebounds for the Cavaliers - who improved to 6-2 in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland's A Conference and 10-8 overall - connected on shots ranging from layups in the lane to fadeaway turnaround jumpers along the baseline.

"I think that when we run, everybody gets better shots," said Bestul, who distributed some of the credit to her teammates. "There were a lot of good passes into the post."

On the flip side, St. Mary's missed 14 of 20 attempts from the free-throw line and committed 10 of their 28 turnovers in the first quarter, where Archbishop Spalding built a 10-2 lead it never relinquished.

"Pitiful," Saints coach Harry Dobson said of his team's effort, which followed a resilient nine-point loss to third-ranked Seton Keough on Thursday. "We reverted back to our old ways, unfortunately. ... We missed a ton of foul shots and had a ton of turnovers."

St. Mary's, which dropped to 3-5 in the league and 6-9 overall, had opportunities in the second quarter to catch the Cavaliers, cutting the lead to six points early in the period.

But Archbishop Spalding's full-court press and strategy of double-teaming the ballhandler on aborted pick-and-roll attempts produced easy transition baskets and a 19-8 third quarter. Cavaliers coach Deb Taylor said practices have been focused on applying relentless pressure on the opposing team's ball handlers.

"It was something we struggled with around Christmastime," Taylor said. "So we went back to square one and back to emphasizing defense, getting the easy buckets in transition."

Senior guard Lauren Bonanni led the Saints with 10 points, six steals and two assists, while junior forward Beth Foster contributed eight points and seven rebounds.

Annapolis Area Christian 44, Salisbury School 27: Senior guard Emiley Boone posted a game-high 16 points to help the host Eagles swamp the visiting Dragons of Wicomico County in a Western Division game of the Chesapeake Women's Athletic Conference.

Annapolis Area improved to 5-0 in the division and 9-3 overall, despite trailing 9-4 after one quarter.

"We were definitely dragging," said Boone, who also added six steals and three rebounds. "We wanted to move the ball around a lot, and the gaps began to show once we started doing that."

The Eagles outscored their opponents 16-7 in the second quarter and sealed the win by limiting Salisbury (4-3 division, 8-3 overall) to a single three-pointer by senior forward Rachel Gordon (13 points, five rebounds) in the third.

Annapolis Area received 10 points, eight steals and four rebounds from sophomore guard Paige Cheek and 10 points, five rebounds and three steals from senior forward Chelsea Thomas. But coach Bob Topp was more impressed with his team's 24 total steals.

"The one constant for us has been our pressure defense," Topp said. "This is a morale boost for us because we have set winning the regular season and the tournament as our team goals. We're moving in the right direction."

Dragons coach Ken Luck called his team's play "horrendous."

"We scouted this team, and they didn't change anything," Luck said. "I can only say that we had a mental breakdown and didn't recover from it."

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