Roland Park opens fast, slows Spalding, 68-55

Reds work inside early

Kell scores 23 points

Girls basketball High Schools

January 25, 2003|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Roland Park coach Scott Buckley said he doubted that his No. 11 Reds girls could play much better than they did in the first half last night against No. 8 Archbishop Spalding.

The host Reds ran up as much as an 18-point lead and held off a Cavaliers rally by hitting 12 fourth-quarter free throws to beat the defending Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference basketball champions, 68-55.

"Thirty-six points in a half is a lot for us," Buckley said. "We just beat Seton Keough, 37-35. We played super in the first half. In the second half, we knew they would make a run, but we put the pressure on."

The Reds (11-4 overall, 7-4 conference) opened the game with a 9-0 run, then settled into an offensive rhythm that slowed the game's pace. Patiently working their set offense, the Reds went up 36-18 with another nine-point spurt late in the first half.

Barbara Seaman opened that run with a follow shot, and Breyanna Hall capped it with the third of three assisted baskets from the lane.

"We were focusing on getting the ball inside," said Reds junior Dani Kell. "We've got some post players we felt they couldn't match up with. We just slowed it down and made them play our tempo."

Kell, a 6-foot guard, scored 23 and had five rebounds, 6-foot forward Audie Fugett had 12 points and four rebounds and 5-8 forward Hall had 12 points and seven rebounds. The trio combined for 25 first-half points.

"They've got a lot of weapons," said Spalding coach Deb Taylor. "They give us a lot of mismatch problems. Dani and Audie - they're two tough matchups. In the first half, they worked their offense pretty well, and we did a lot of one-on-one stuff."

The Cavaliers (10-6, 7-3) picked up the pace in the second half. Guard Stacy Hunt scored eight of her 19 points in the third quarter, and the Cavaliers opened the final quarter with four points from Lizzie Bayly (16 for the game), cutting Roland Park's lead to 48-39.

A little later, Hunt fed Meghan Latonick for a 20-footer that cut the Reds' lead to 51-44. After Hall drove the baseline for lay-up, Hunt fired a terrific pass to Meghan Sullivan to drop the lead back to seven. But the Cavaliers got no closer.

With two minutes to go, Kell's fade-away jumper boosted the Reds' lead to 58-48, and the Cavaliers had to resort to fouling to preserve time. Roland Park hit 10 of 14 free throws in the final 1:39 to seal the victory.

Despite the loss, the Cavaliers remain in third place in the IAAM A Conference behind No. 1 St. Frances (10-0) and No. 3 Institute of Notre Dame (8-1). The Reds are tied for fourth with No. 14 Mercy.

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