In rematch with Liberty, it's all Westminster, 56-30

6-1 Bollinger, 5-11 Walkling control boards for Owls

Girls basketball

High Schools

February 02, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Sophomore Emily Bollinger missed Westminster's first game against Carroll County rival Liberty with a sprained foot. In last night's rematch, the 6-foot-1 forward returned to give the Owls a huge leg up.

Bollinger produced 16 points and 13 rebounds to go along with 15 points and 12 rebounds from Jennifer Walkling, as Westminster avenged an earlier loss in cruising to a 56-30 victory over the much shorter Lions.

"It was revenge. Our whole attitude was different," said Bollinger, a front-runner for county Player of the Year. "It didn't have anything really to do with me coming back. It was just our team finding something deep within themselves."

The Lions, however, might beg to differ.

With Bollinger and 5-11 Walkling in the lineup together, Liberty - which could have clinched the county championship with a win - had no answer in the paint, getting out-rebounded by a wide margin.

"It made a major difference," Liberty coach Mike Boehme said of Bollinger's return. "Sixteen points a game and 10 rebounds makes a big, big difference. They out-rebounded us completely, and when you control the boards like that, it's all over."

Playing without Bollinger on Jan. 8, Westminster (11-6, 7-2 Central Maryland Conference, 4-1 county) shot 19 percent in a 35-33 loss to the Lions.

This one was no contest from the start.

Buoyed by Bollinger and Walkling, who combined to score 14 points in the first 5:20, Westminster built a 16-6 lead and never looked back. After Liberty (8-8, 4-5, 4-1) got to within seven on a three-pointer by Becky Trumbo and 15-footer by Holly Steinacker to start the second quarter, the Owls again pulled away, scoring eight straight points early in the third to increase their lead to 37-18.

Playing their third game in four days, the Lions never got a rhythm, shooting 20 percent and committing 18 turnovers.

"Our shots weren't going in, and it's tough to play when your shots aren't going in," Boehme said. "We got really outplayed."

Much of that, of course, had to do with Westminster's improved half-court defense.

"We did what we had to do tonight," said Westminster coach Dick Ebersole. "I just really was pleased with our half-court defense. We had worked really hard on that [since Wednesday]."

At 4-1 in county play, both teams could wind up sharing the county title.

"One of our major goals has been to get the county championship," Bollinger said. "If we have to share it, it's going to be kind of sad, but hopefully we proved tonight who it really belongs to."

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