Glen Burnie ousts Westminster, 70-63

Owls rule boards but can't shoot in 4A East quarters

Girls basketball

February 26, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In a game in which Westminster controlled the boards, host Glen Burnie controlled the basket.

Despite being out-rebounded 52-35 and giving up 33 offensive rebounds, the Gophers used 49 percent shooting to bump the Owls, 70-63, last night in the Class 4A East Regional girls basketball quarterfinals.

Using their superior athletic ability, the smaller, quicker Gophers, led by senior Essence Greer (26 points), consistently broke Westminster's press and worked the ball for high-percentage shots.

"That's the best we've played all year," said Glen Burnie coach Dan Mangum. "We knew we could do this. The kids the past four or five games have been really phenomenal with teamwork. They believe in the system and believe in each other, and I think you could see that here tonight."

Glen Burnie (13-11) advances to face top-seeded Frederick, a winner at Meade, on the road in tomorrow's regional semifinal.

After trailing by as many as eight, Westminster (15-8), led by junior Carmen Fajardo's 18 points, rallied to tie the score at 38, only to watch Glen Burnie take command by scoring 20 of the next 27 points to take a 58-45 lead with 7:06 left.

Greer, who has narrowed her college choices to Syracuse, Boston University and Central Florida, and teammates Alisha Carr and Jessica Griffith (each with 15 points) paced the Gophers with a combination of accurate outside shooting and quick drives on the baseline and down the lane.

Griffith scored all of her points on five three-pointers, three in the third quarter.

"We ran some set plays to isolate Essence and Alisha inside on certain people," said Mangum, adding that two quick first-half fouls on Westminster forward Jennifer Walking, sending her to the bench, played a large role in helping to open up the middle.

"`It was about breaking their press down to create offense for my team," Greer said. "They came back and tied the game, but we were focused. We had a bond on the court - a chemistry - and we were just set on winning this game."

Though the Owls attempted to rally in the fourth quarter, they could pull no closer than six on Emily Bollinger's layup with four minutes left.

Westminster's downfall was poor shooting.

Although the Owls got plenty of close looks at the basket, thanks to dozens of second- and third-chance opportunities, they shot 32 percent from the field, with top scorers Bollinger (15 points) and Jennifer Walking (10) combining to hit nine of 29 shots.

They also shot just 13-for-24 from the foul line.

"We just couldn't hit our shots," said Westminster coach Dick Ebersole. "That was the difference."

Westminster, the Carroll County champion, had won seven of its previous eight.

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