Chesapeake wins ugly, slipping by S. River, 40-37

Cougars girls advance to school's 2nd region final

Girls basketball

February 28, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Chesapeake tried to give the game away, but South River wouldn't take it. Thus, the Cougars escaped with a 40-37 Class 4A, East region semifinal victory in Lake Shore last night following a sloppy fourth period by both teams.

The Cougars (19-6) advanced to their second region final for girls basketball in school history and will play at Frederick tomorrow night.

Neither team shot well in the final period, Chesapeake going 3-for-11 and South River 3-for-12. Opportunities to score off misses hurt both teams, and Chesapeake sank only one of seven free throws in the final 62 seconds.

"I kept telling our kids during timeouts that they're giving us every opportunity, [so] let's take it," said South River coach John Wardell, whose girls also couldn't capitalize on five consecutive Chesapeake turnovers as the final period opened.

"We lacked intensity in the first half," he said, "and coming off the win over Arundel [52-46 Monday] might have had something to do with that."

No. 18 South River (16-8) also was hurt by managing only two offensive rebounds the entire game. Unranked Chesapeake got only seven.

But two rebounds on the same sequence by center Ginger Williams resulted in a big putback that gave the Cougars a 37-32 lead with 3:00 left. Williams had seven points and a game-high 11 rebounds despite sitting most of the third period with three fouls.

Oddly, South River didn't try to go inside on Williams, as well as when she was out.

"Our post players were too far out, and except for Ginger, they don't have a post game and are an outside team," said Wardell. "They don't get a lot of offensive rebounds as it is, and we normally get our fair share. We took too many outside shots."

Courtney Gogolinski, who led Chesapeake with 17 points, scored another big basket a minute later for a 39-32 lead. The winners then missed six straight free throws, while Lindsay Sheppard, who paced the Seahawks with 17 points, hit a two-pointer and a three-pointer with 34 seconds remaining to make the score 39-37.

Finally, Williams sank a free throw with 19 seconds left, and South River never got off a good shot to tie it.

"We are normally good free throw shooters, " said Chesapeake coach John Spinnenweber. "But I told them we played well enough during the game that we could trash it up at the end and still beat a pretty good team."

Chesapeake has never won an outright region title but was handed the 1998-99 title by way of a forfeit. After Chesapeake lost at home to Meade in the region final, and Meade went on to lose in the state semis, it was discovered that Meade had an ineligible player, costing it the title.

Now the Cougars have a chance to win it on the court and showed last night they want to do just that.

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