Chesapeake-AA ousted by Winston Churchill

Cougars' 72-58 defeat comes in school's 1st trip to semifinals in its history

Girls Class 4A semifinals

High School Basketball

March 08, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Nerves, stage fright, anxiety - whatever you call it, the Chesapeake-AA girls basketball team had it.

The No. 15 Cougars, playing in their first Class 4A state semifinal in school history, withered under the spotlight of the state setting and fell, 72-58, to Winston Churchill at the UMBC RAC Arena in Catonsville yesterday.

Chesapeake, which bore the title as the East region champions, committed 25 turnovers and couldn't find its offensive rhythm until it was too late.

"I think we were pretty much nervous," said junior guard Lynnea Spinnenweber. "Most of us have never played in a big game like this in any sport. It was new."

The Cougars - who finished the season with a 20-7 record - actually shot better than the West region champ Bulldogs, 42.3-41.3 percent, and won the battle of rebounds, 41-34.

But Churchill's defense produced 13 steals to Chesapeake's five and registered four more blocks than the Cougars did. The Bulldogs, who improved to 23-3 and are ranked fifth by The Washington Post, also went to the free-throw line 24 times, converting 16.

"We knew that's what they liked to do," said Chesapeake junior guard Courtney Gogolinski. "We just didn't execute with our pump fakes. It wasn't anything unexpected."

The Bulldogs' presence in the state semifinal wasn't a surprise, either, as they advanced to the final last season and hadn't lost since Jan. 3, a span of 16 games.

After Spinnenweber connected on a three-pointer to tie the game at 12 with about three minutes left in the first quarter, junior forward Catherine Adams scored five points to spark a 10-4 run and give Churchill a 22-16 lead at the end of the period.

The second quarter was dominated by the Bulldogs, who scored 11 of the period's first 16 points to build a 34-21 advantage.

At the half, Chesapeake trailed 38-25 and had committed 17 turnovers.

"We really feed off our defense," said Churchill coach Pat Fisher. "We want to put the other team back on their heels and make them uncomfortable."

Behind by as many as 21 points, the Cougars closed the gap to 12 after Gogolinski hit a jumper with less than a minute left in the third quarter.

But the Bulldogs embarked on a 7-0 run and regained a double-digit advantage they never relinquished.

Junior guard Alis Freeman led Churchill with a game-high 17 points, six assists and three steals. Senior guard Louisa Feve and sophomore forward Morgan Hatten each chipped in 13 points, and junior forward Catherine Adams recorded 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.

Chesapeake was paced by junior center Ginger Williams's 16 points and nine rebounds. Gogolinski posted 13 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Spinnenweber scored 12 points on 3-for-5 shooting from three-point country.

The Cougars, who will graduate just one player and expect their starting five back for next season, hope to use yesterday's experience for the future.

"It's tough to get here," said coach John Spinnenweber, Lynnea Spinnenweber's father. "It's a great experience for us to get here."

CHESAPEAKE-Peach 4, Owen 2, Gogolinski 13, Spinnenweber 12, Klug 7, Siskey 4, Williams 16. Totals 27 9-17 58.

WINSTON CHURCHILL-Freeman 17, Feve 13, Paul 2, P.Calomeris 2, Adams 12, Hatten 13, Holland 9, Phillips 4. Totals 30 16-24 72. Half: WC, 38-25.

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