Severna Park deals No. 14 Arundel loss

Guards come through for No. 18 Falcons in 66-62 upset of 'Cats

Girls basketball

High Schools

January 23, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

For the Severna Park girls basketball team to upend reigning county champion Arundel, the Falcons knew they would need an inspired effort from their backcourt.

The junior trio of Jessica Norris, Lauren Hall and Lauren Haag didn't disappoint as they combined to score 37 points and help No. 18 Severna Park upset the No. 14 and visiting Wildcats, 66-62, last night.

Although Arundel's own threesome of guards - juniors Amanda Hernandez and Jessica Collins and freshman Alex McGuire - scored 44 points, the play of the Falcons' guards provided a seemingly perfect balance with junior forward Julia Waters' 17 points from the post.

"I think we're a pretty good group," said Hall, who scored 13 points and had five rebounds, three steals and three assists. "I guess we were a little quicker than them."

Hall and Norris, who posted a game-high 18 points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists, helped neutralize the Wildcats' full-court press.

The Falcons' speed and ball-handling skills forced Arundel, winner of the past four county titles, to switch to a half-court defense for much of the game.

"We've got three pretty good guards who can handle the basketball," said Severna Park coach Bill Giblin, adding Haag (six points, three rebounds and two steals) to the mix. "We made sure we set one screen to get someone down the floor."

That strategy worked in the first quarter, when the Falcons found teammates for easy layups or open jumpers in the lane to build a 23-15 lead at the end of the quarter.

But the Wildcats gave up their full-court press for a zone defense that seemed to baffle Severna Park. Arundel scored eight of the first 12 points in the second quarter to trim the lead to four, but the Falcons went on a 7-4 run to carry a 34-27 advantage at halftime.

Severna Park appeared to clinch the game in the third quarter behind an 11-4 burst that provided a commanding 49-36 lead at the end of the period.

The Wildcats (10-5 overall, 6-3 in the county) scored 26 points in the final period to shave the advantage to four points with less than 20 seconds left, but senior forward Kate Drazan grabbed a rebound off a missed free throw to seal the seventh consecutive victory for the Falcons.

Severna Park improved to 11-4 overall and 8-1 in the county.

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