Missed chances cost Woodlawn in 63-40 triumph by Oxon Hill

Turnovers, missed layups hurt Warriors in 1st half

Girls Class 4A semifinals

March 08, 2002|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Woodlawn coach DeWayne Burroughs needed no more than a bit of simple math to explain his team's 63-40 loss to Oxon Hill in yesterday's state girls basketball semifinals.

"We had 12 turnovers and 12 missed layups [in the first half]," said Burroughs. "That's 48 points. Even if we make half of them, that's 24 and instead of being down by five, we're up by 19."

Given that opening, however, Oxon Hill seized its opportunity. The Clippers, who upset defending champion Suitland in their regional final, ran their five-point halftime lead to 13 in the first four minutes of the second half and rode the momentum to a victory in the Class 4A semifinals at UMBC.

The Clippers (19-6) ran the floor well, took advantage of the Warriors' mistakes and earned a spot in tomorrow's 3 p.m. title game at UMBC. Looking for their first state title, the Clippers will meet Winston Churchill, a 72-58 winner over No. 15 Chesapeake-AA in yesterday's other semifinal.

The No. 20 Warriors (21-4) were fortunate to be as close as they were at the half, within 28-23. They had used a seven-point spurt to take their last lead of the game, 23-22, on Tiara Wildy's layup assisted by freshman point guard Brittany Taylor.

After that, the Warriors didn't score another point in the half. They didn't even get a shot off during the final 2:54, turning the ball over on their last seven possessions before the break.

"We didn't play aggressive defense," said Warriors forward Rhonda Shelly. "I don't think we were tired, but our intensity dropped [at the end of the half]."

Still, the Clippers only converted three times and led by just five points, leaving the Warriors within striking distance.

Oxon Hill emerged from the break with newfound determination and the Warriors turned the ball over five times before they managed a basket. When Chastidy Carter hit a fadeaway jumper with 4:06 left in the quarter, the Warriors trailed, 36-25.

"They came out with more intensity," said Warriors 6-foot center Nicole Dixon. "They wanted it bad enough and we were just falling down, turning over the ball, doing things that we're not really used to doing."

In addition to the turnovers -- 27 in the game -- the Warriors struggled to sink even their easiest shots. They hit just 14 of 53 shots from the field and no one scored in double figures. Shelly, who grabbed 16 rebounds; Dixon and Melony Rhames each scored eight points.

Although the Warriors out-rebounded the Clippers, 52-37, Oxon Hill had the better of play in the paint. Six-foot forward Rayven Simms scored 18.

"They weren't going to give up," said Burroughs. "They have a no-lose policy now. They beat Suitland, which was ranked third [in The Washington Post], so they feel like they can beat anybody. I'd have come in with the same attitude."

After the game, the Warriors, who had not been to the state tournament in 12 years, tried to focus on the success of their season rather than the season-ending loss.

"Of course, all kids want to win," said Burroughs, "and I've told them that no one expected us to be here. We're here. We had our plan when the season started to get here. The kids worked hard all summer and all season long to get here. I'm disappointed we lost, but I'm not disappointed in our season."

With just two seniors in the starting lineup, Dixon and Rhames, the Warriors are already thinking about next year.

"We'll feel better about this, because we're coming right back here in the same place next year," said Shelly, "but next year we'll win it."

OXON HILL -- Oliver 6, Williams 4, Kenion 14, Jones 5, Simms 18, Hill 3, Cooper 2, Payne 9, Wood 2. Totals 26 9-16 63.

WOODLAWN -- Taylor 7, Wildy 7, Rhames 8, Dixon 8, Shelly 8, Baldwin 2. Totals: 14 9-15 40. Half: OH, 28-23.

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