Freshman Snowden fills bill for Seton Keough

13 points, nine rebounds help beat Mercy, 54-42

Girls basketball

High schools

January 18, 2003|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Seton Keough freshman Haleina Snowden didn't see any pressure in her first starting assignment last night at Mercy. Instead, she saw an opportunity.

The 6-foot forward seized that opportunity with a pivotal 13 points and nine rebounds in sparking the No. 12 Gators to a 54-42 victory over the No. 15 Magic in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference basketball game.

Snowden took control in the post, especially in the third quarter when her power moves took control of the game.

She scored nine points and had four rebounds in the quarter. Her presence also had an effect on the Magic, which went 0-for-11 in the paint in the period.

The Gators (9-6 overall, 5-4 conference) emerged from halftime trailing 23-21, but Snowden hit a follow shot, back-to-back layups and a free throw to give them a 28-23 lead. Seton Keough would never again trail.

"She did a great job stepping up for us," said Gators coach Jackie Boswell. "She just wants the ball. We've been waiting for a post game and hopefully, there's no turning back after this."

Snowden, who shot 6-for-9 from the field, had been averaging about 10 minutes a game. She got the start last night after 6-1 veteran Melissa Anger rolled an ankle in warm-ups.

The freshman's success certainly didn't go to her head.

"Most of my advantage is that I'm taller than everyone else. That and I want to score," said Snowden, who is 14 years old.

The Magic (9-4, 6-3) didn't have any one player who could contend with Snowden.

"We probably should have doubled down on her," said Mercy senior forward Mary Buettner. "We couldn't deny it right away. We shouldn't have let her get the ball straight on."

Three of the passes Snowden converted were terrific feeds from Heather Galvin, including two during the early third-quarter spurt.

Late in the half, Kristen McLaughlin fed Snowden for a layup and a 31-28 lead, but the Magic tied the score on Katie Dantoni's three-pointer with 1:36 left in the third quarter.

The Gators' other big offensive threat, Andrea Bustamante, matched Dantoni with a quick 20-footer at the other end. Kelly O'Connell hit a pair of free throws. Then Bustamante, who hit four three-pointers and finished with 20 points, beat the buzzer with a driving layup for a 38-31 Gators edge.

The Magic would pull within 46-42 on Morgan James' breakaway layup with 2:52 to go, but Galvin answered with a layup and the Gators hit six of eight free throws late.

Amanda Courter led Mercy with 11 points, while Colette Hailey added eight for the Magic. The team was without head coach Mary Ella Marion, whose father died Wednesday.

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