St. Frances, Blue are too much for Rams

Randallstown can't keep up after Gibson leaves with injury, 72-30

Girls basketball

High Schools

January 19, 2001|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

A lot of opponents have trouble matching up with St. Frances' All-Metro point guard LaTonya Blue, but when Randallstown's Crystal Gibson left last night's game in the first quarter with an injury, the Rams had no shot.

Blue had a triple double - 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 steals - to lead the No. 5 Panthers in a 72-30 rout of No. 6 Randallstown at the Mayor's Basketball Academy Tournament at the Coppin Center.

The Virginia-bound senior, who scored 12 points in the second half, also contributed seven assists - six in the first half.

"She really wanted to come out and be impressive today and I think she was," said Panthers coach Jerome Shelton. "As usual, she got everybody else involved and looked for her own offense as well. It was a good overall floor game for her."

Early on, Blue was content to dish off to Kia Coady, who had the hot hand in the first half. Coady couldn't seem to miss, scoring all but two of her 13 points in the half.

"I like to shoot," said the 5-foot-4 junior guard, "and I like to sacrifice for my team, but I was feeling good."

Coady scored nine of the Panthers' first 12 points, including four free throws - the last two after a technical foul on Rams coach Anthony Knox less than four minutes into the game.

Knox said he only asked the official to watch out for elbows being thrown after Gibson took one to the eye and had to leave the game.

"He T'd me up and he said it was because of my mouth," said Knox. "Can't I say, `Watch the elbows?' That changed the whole complexion of the game. We were still in it. Then, it turned into an 8-4 game and that quick, they ran away with it."

After Coady hit the technical free throws, the Panthers scored the next 18 to go up 26-4 on Blue's layup two minutes into the second quarter. St. Frances had scored 22 unanswered points and the Rams did not score for 6 1/2 minutes.

Without 5-8 point guard Gibson, the Rams (10-2) had no one over 5-6 to play the 5-11 Blue. They couldn't hope to contain her and she got all of her teammates involved in the offense as nine of her 10 teammates scored.

The Panthers (10-3) ran their lead to 52-20 to open the third quarter. Blue had three steals and 10 points in the first 3:49. The Rams turned the ball over eight times.

"You can see how important Crystal is to our offense," said Knox. "Without her we looked like we were running around with our heads cut off. We just had too many turnovers [32]."

The Rams shot well, 10-for-24, but not often enough. The Panthers put up 70 shots and took more in the first 11 minutes than the Rams did the entire game.

Reserve junior guard Tiffany Cox led the Rams with 10 points.

"This is going to make us stronger," said Rams senior guard Shanel Knox, "because in the county nobody can play with us, but we come into the city and they give us competition. Our confidence is too high, so we have to work harder, because we know there's people out there that can beat us."

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