Western gets in last word, 65-51

Pesky Southside is held scoreless in final 3:05

Girls basketball

January 24, 2003|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

In a game of huge momentum swings, Western made the final surge last night to put away upstart Southside in what is fast becoming one of Baltimore City's best girls basketball rivalries.

The host Doves remained a notch above Southside with a 65-51 victory behind Jeanell Hughes' 31 points.

However, the Jaguars, in only their second season as a varsity program, proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. They made up a 12-point deficit and took a three-point lead in the third quarter.

With 3:05 left, the Jaguars were still in the game, trailing just 58-51. Hughes then hit back-to-back baskets to give the Doves the final momentum swing.

The 5-foot-9 senior forward/guard, who averages 24.7 points per game, put back her own shot. She also made a layup off a long pass from Ebony Dennis, who had stolen a pass in the lane at the far end.

Although the Doves (13-3) have been beating city foes by significant margins, they were ready for a battle from Southside (8-4), which had upset Dunbar of Washington three weeks ago.

"This is a big rivalry," said Doves senior guard Joy Dixon. "Last year, the score was really close, so we knew we had to work hard."

The Doves came out strong in last night's city nonleague contest, taking a 15-7 lead after Hughes scored 10 points in the first 5 1/2 minutes. The Jaguars turned the ball over eight times during that stretch.

"We had to come together and minimize the amount of turnovers," said Southside senior Mone't Johnson. "That way they wouldn't get that many fast-break layups."

After Hughes' layup to open the third quarter gave the Doves a 35-23 lead, the Jaguars scored 15 unanswered points. Lanier Brown scored five in the run and Angela Speight gave Southside its first lead, 36-35, by grabbing a loose ball on a broken play and going straight up with it.

Tiffany Lewis then fed Speight for a layup and a 38-35 lead with 2:19 left in the quarter. But the lead would not last.

Dixon's runner and Hughes' turnaround jumper put the Doves in the lead to stay, 39-38, with 1:23 to go in the quarter.

The Doves pulled away again early in the fourth quarter, helped by a couple of Bethany Sloat jump shots that pushed the lead to 49-41.

"We just had to play tough defense and get the ball up the court, take care of the ball," said Dixon.

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