Up 19 points, Glenelg keeps Oakland Mills at bay, 59-53

No. 7 Gladiators reach region final vs. Smithsburg

1A South girls basketball

High School

March 02, 2001|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN CLASS

Glenelg's Heather Young needed a moment.

"Hold on, let me catch my breath," said the senior guard.

It was understandable.

After playing its finest first-half of the season to take a 19-point lead, seventh-ranked Glenelg withstood an emotion-charged rally by No. 6 Oakland Mills before escaping with a 59-53 victory last night in a Class 1A South region semifinal game at Oakland Mills.

The Gladiators (16-7), who were state champions two years ago and a state finalist last season, will play host to Smithsburg, a 60-43 winner over Catoctin, at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the region championship. Glenelg beat Smithsburg (19-5) in last year's region title game, 52-38.

Alli Biggs' three-point play with 3:40 left in the third quarter gave Glenelg a 50-29 advantage. Oakland Mills then scored 24 of the next 30 points. When Pair Buckner's spinning bank shot in the lane went in with 16 seconds left, the Scorpions had closed to 56-53.

Glenelg had missed the front end of one-and-one free throws three straight times before Young went to the line with 12 seconds remaining. She made the first to give the Gladiators a four-point lead. Young missed the second, Oakland Mills (16-8) got the rebound but promptly turned the ball over. Chrissy Starcher's layup with one second left ended the scoring.

"We played one half," said Oakland Mills coach Marcus Lewis, whose team had split with Glenelg during the regular season.

"The girls are back there crying. If they had showed that kind of emotion in the beginning of the game, then the outcome might have been different."

Glenelg coach Ciaran Lesikar said his team played its best first half of the season, and was rewarded with a 43-24 lead.

"We came out with a lot of intensity," said Young, who scored 13 of her team-high 18 points in the first half. "Oakland Mills is a very good team. We were pumped and ready to go because we knew it was going to be a battle."

But it wasn't a battle until Glenelg ran into fourth-quarter foul trouble and Oakland Mills' Rayna DuBose (14 of her game-high 21 points in second half) and her teammates woke up.

"We started to get a little intimidated by the crowd, which normally happens in the first half, but for some reason happened in the second half," said Glenelg's Erin Edell. "And they got their emotion going and we got a little frustrated and it took us awhile to get back."

The loss ended the high school career of DuBose, a first-team All-Metro center player who has signed to play at Virginia Tech. DuBose was a freshman when the Scorpions won the Class 1A title in the 1997-98 season.

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