Glenelg stays cool, cruises to title

Gladiators rally to beat Smithsburg, 74-50, face Bohemia Manor in semis

High Schools

1A South girls basketball

March 04, 2001|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

There's an axiom in sports that says you can't teach experience. You also can't teach composure.

Glenelg found itself trailing Smithsburg 25-17 in the second quarter. The Gladiators composed themselves, using a pressure defense that forced numerous turnovers en route to a 74-50 win in the Class 1A South region championship.

The Gladiators (17-7) will play Bohemia Manor, a 50-30 winner over Perryville in the Class 1A semifinals, at 7 p.m. Friday at UMBC.

Eariel Gohlson led all scorers with 24 for Smithsburg (19-6). Chrissy Starcher led the Gladiators with 17, followed by Alli Biggs with 16.

The Gladiators almost lost their composure on Thursday in a semifinal victory over Oakland Mills. Glenelg had an 18-point lead in the third quarter before winning by three.

"I think that game really helped us," Glenelg coach Ciaran Lesikar said. "We wanted to make sure that didn't happen again tonight. I knew, once we got the lead, we weren't going to relax tonight."

Sure enough, Glenelg got the lead with 3:11 left in the third quarter on a three-pointer by Heather Young and never looked back. The Gladiators went on a 19-8 third-quarter run to take over the game after trailing 32-29 at the half.

"I knew I was really nervous in the first quarter, but then we settled down," Stacher said. "We played our style of defense in the second half, and it paid off for us."

The Gladiators held Gholson to eight points in the second half, after allowing her 16 points in the first.

"We stepped out on her a little more in the second half," Lesikar said. "Our plan was to keep them out of the paint, but we had to adjust for her."

After taking Gholson out of the game, the Leopards seemed to lose their will.

"I think it was fatigue," Smithsburg coach Jimmy Powell said. "Glenelg stepped up their pressure in the second half, and we didn't adjust to it."

The trip to UMBC will be the third straight for the Gladiators. Glenelg lost last season to Allegany in the state championship, but won the state title the year before.

"Most of our girls don't remember 1999. We only have two players left from that team," Lesikar said. "They all remember last year, and it was really important for us to get to this point again. Now, we'll see if we can go back and get it all again."

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